If you have many mouths to feed, one often compromises nutrition with high-sodium, high-calorie ready meals. Here are cheap ingredients for healthy cooking you can stock at home. Best of all, they won’t break your budget.
Grain-based dishes like grain bowls, salads, pilafs, and soups are convenient and versatile. Especially when they are in a pinch, it is perfect. Also, depending on the type, amaranth, brown rice, spelled oats, bulgar, and quinoa are grains kept at room temperature.
So, you can keep them for months and even years. So, buying in bulk is a smart choice. Besides, such grains are great sources of micronutrients and fiber. They include manganese, vitamin B, and magnesium. So, eating grains can help protect against certain cancers and heart diseases.
Seeds, nuts, and butter
Seeds and nuts are powerhouses of nutrition. They provide filling protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Also, you can keep nuts and seeds at room temp for around one to four months. After that, it depends on their type. So keep them as a smart ingredient in your pantry.
Natural seed and nut butter are healthy alternatives and long-lasting. Compared to their commercial counterparts, nuts are better because they don’t have sugar and added oil. You can use nuts and seeds in many dishes. It includes yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and trail mix. Further, you can add seed and nut butter to smoothies. You can also add seeds to sauces or spread them over veggies or fruits.
Maple syrups and honey
People need a little sweetness now and then. Maple syrups and honey are natural sweeteners that offer health benefits. For instance, raw honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It also contains powerful antioxidants.
That said, even maple syrup contains magnesium, manganese, and potassium. It is also rich in antioxidants. You can use maple syrups and honey to add depth and flavor to savory and sweet recipes. However, ensure that you use these foods sparingly. It’s because too much sugar from anywhere can harm your body.
Onion and garlic
Onions and garlic are the backbones of several recipes. They are favored by home cooks and professionals for their long shelf life and versatility. In addition, both these foods benefit your health.
If you enjoy them regularly, these may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Garlic and onion even prevent heart diseases, diabetes, and mental decline.
Spinach delivers about 20 percent of daily folate needs. It is a vitamin A and potassium source and offers a vital mineral to our immune system. Like other leafy and dark greens, spinach is a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein. These are essential nutrients for the health of your eyes.
Eggs are among the best fast foods. You can boil them, poach, and even scramble. Or just fry after beating in a bit of oil spray. Also, you can roll up and cut into ribbons for stir-fries or make a thin pancake. These fast foods are excellent if you’re looking for nutrients like vitamin D, carotenoids, choline, and selenium. Eggs are further a great source of proteins.
It is a go-to pasta for adding to sauces, bakes, and salads. You can even choose wholemeal dried penne for a low-GI and high-fiber meal.
Cool them and freeze them in food bags if you ever cook too much. So, drop them straight into boiling water whenever you wish to cook. Cooled, cooked, and reheated pasta is a brilliant source of resistant starch. It is also an essential type of fiber.
Canned fish has ample versatility in one can. It is perfect for salads, sandwiches, pizza, and baked toppings. In addition, it is a cost-effective way if you wish to include omega-3 in your diet.
Frozen prepared vegetables
Vegetables aren’t only useful for steaming. For instance, you can stir-fry them with chili flakes for an easy and quick side dish. Besides, frozen veggies are as nutritious as fresh ones.
Canned chopped tomatoes
The flavor intensifies through the canning process. An option better than fresh tomatoes for making stews and rich pasta sauces is canned tomatoes. If you take fresh tomatoes, there’s antioxidant lycopene. However, in canned tomatoes, the antioxidant content is higher.
Frozen herbs are the best to inject flavor into the food (you cook). It is a fuss-free way. So, you can chop and freeze these herbs. They can be leftovers in small food bags. This process also saves waste.
Frozen prawns may not essentially be as meaty as king prawns. However, these will thaw quickly and go well with noodle dishes and Asian rice.
If you have your fridge, pantry, and freezer stocked with healthy foods, it’ll help a lot. You can use these ingredients to prepare a home-cooked, healthy meal. So, purchase a few of the foods listed above during your next grocery shopping. Then, you will have a kitchen fully stocked with safe cooking ingredients.