Stocking your Pantry

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on June 22, 2011

I get so many questions about how I stock my pantry!

I guess you could say there is a bit of system behind it, so I figured I’d share the approach I use to ensure I have ample supplies in my home for many a healthful baking adventure.

For a handy dandy take-along of the below info, you can download the letter-sized pdf here.

Okay, let’s get to it!

Grains

I purchase my grains from local farmers. If you don’t have access to this sort of thing, and there are no bulk stores near your home, you could try ordering grains online through Amazon, or if you’re in Canada, Upaya Naturals is a great source.

My pantry is stocked with:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa flakes
  • Uncontaminated oats
  • Amaranth

Pulses

Cooking your own pulses is always better (with a pressure cooker or soaked overnight + boiled). If that’s not an option, canned will have to do!

I generally stock up on:

  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans

Nuts + Seeds

I store my nuts and seeds in 1L mason jars in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid.

The nuts and seeds I always have on hand include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flax seed
  • Chia seed
  • Hemp seed
  • Pumpkin [pepita] seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Coconut

Dried fruit

This is by far my favorite section in our pantry. I keep all of my dried fruit hidden away in dark plastic containers in the corner of the pantry. Why? Because Kevin hates dried fruit, so much so that he doesn’t even like looking at it. Some people are afraid of spiders, others, dried fruit. Go figure.

My all-time favorite dried fruits you’ll find in my pantry:

  • Raisins
  • Medjool dates
  • Prunes
  • Apricots

Condiments & baking supplies

This varies greatly on what your diet consists of. For me, I try to use the cleanest, most wholesome ingredients I can get.

I attempt to stick to a set list of baking items to make it easier for you guys to make my recipes. Nothing’s worse than having to go out and get a new product with each recipe you want to try!

I also have a set list of 4 favorite flours that I rotate to avoid sensitivities from popping up.

My favorites are:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
  • Flax oil (keep in the fridge)
  • Sunflower oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Unpasteurized honey
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Gluten-free flours: almond, coconut, sorghum, and chickpea
  • Non-dairy milks like hemp, rice, soy, coconut and almond
  • Apple juice
  • Molasses
  • Palm/coconut sugar
  • White powdered stevia
  • Ground stevia leaf
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cacao powder
  • Vanilla extract or bean powder
  • Spices
  • Bouillon cubes [chicken, beef, vegetable, onion, whatever your preference. I like vegetable the best because it’s the most versatile!]
  • Herbamare

Extra goodies

Because we all need a little treat once in awhile!

We keep the following snacky things on hand all the times:

  • Mary’s Crackers (use as croutons on salad)
  • LARABARs
  • BBQ and Original Baked Kettle Chips
  • Perky’s Crunchy Flax cereal
  • Roasted, salted pistachio nuts
  • Gluten-free granola

 

Do’s

  • Use air-tight containers to store all of your foods in your pantry. It will keep things tidy and prevent foods from going stale. Also, it’s easy to see when something is running out. A couple of products I like to use to store my products are mason jars, pyrex, and crate & barrel containers.
  • Pick up 1 new spice every time you’re at the grocery store. That way you’re not spending loads of money on a whole collection, but picking away at it. My absolute essentials are: cinnamon, nutmeg, dill, oregano, and basil.
  • Store spices in air-tight containers too!
  • Keep a grocery list on the fridge. When you run out of a pantry item, write it down and pick it up next time you’re at the store.
  • Keep your pantry organized. Separate your foods into sections like baking supplies [flours, sugars, etc], pastas + grains, canned foods [this section should be small!], snacks [dried fruits + crackers], condiments. By keeping your items together it will be much easier to find things and you’ll actually be more willing to spend time in your kitchen!

Don’ts

  • Store chia, hemp, or flax in the pantry. Keep them in the fridge.
  • Think you need a fully stocked pantry right away! Pick away at it. Start with 1 grain, 1 pulse, 1-2 nuts and seeds, a couple of condiments, and work your way to a larger collection.

What essentials do you have in your pantry?

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Meredith

Great post! And that little print out is super helpful, I think I’ll print it out and post it on my fridge! I’ll definitely keep that list in mind next time I hit up Bulk Barn :).

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

How funny! I was going to do a pantry post sometime this week! Your pantry looks pretty similar to the things I keep in it!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Great minds think a like! I can’t wait to read your post, Chelsey!

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Faith @ lovelyascharged

That sounds almost exactly like my pantry (down to the same tupperware!) I like to keep Clif Bars, Steel Cut Oats and dried fruit bars on hand as well.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I found the guide SUPER helpful and informative!

I did a similar post here
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/02/pantry-refrigerator-staples.html

I love how organized you are and what a diverse pantry you keep. With this, you could (and do!) make just about anything!!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

I had no idea chia and flax need to be stored in the fridge. Do they go bad or lose benefits?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

If they’re stored in the pantry they begin to go rancid, specifically in the summer when our homes are hotter. I talked about rancid fats in this post, if you’re interested: http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/04/maple-mystery-butter/

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

I love your pantry! I would say we have just about the same things going on in our staples. I love this post!

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Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well

This is great! I’m actually going to be reorganizing my pantry and fridge next week when I’m off of work, so this is a good guide!

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Amy

great guide! i want to try amaranth so bad! i always have beans in my pantry and quinoa, without a doubt!

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Casey (The Hippie Health Nut)

That. Is. Beautiful. Haha. Mine is fairly organized but this is a work of art.

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kate

thanks for the tips I definitely need to start cooking my own beans instead of buying canned.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

It’s such a great practice to get into. If you make big batches you can just freeze the remainder in smaller ziploc bags and just defrost as needed. Saves so much money!

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Camillia

Freezing the leftover beans! Brilliant! The what-to-do-with-the-excess-beans quandry has always stopped me from cooking my own. I’ve just moved to Vancouver Island and was shocked at the increased cost of canned beans here – so onward to try cooking my own beans. Cheers!

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Mercedes @ Cultivating Consciousness

I love the organization! I live about 4 blocks from our local co-op and am definitely guilty of going everyday just to get what I need. Highly ineffective! I may need to use some of your tips…!

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Lisa @ Healthful Sense

What a wonderful and detailed pantry post!! Love it :)

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Heidi @ Food Doodles

Great post! I do things very similarly and I always a ton of different things. You’re right, I hate having to go to the store for a new ingredient every time I want to try a recipe so I try to keep a stock of a lot of different things especially herbs and spices. Nothing worse than running out of herbs and spices, for me at least.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Completely, herbs and spices are the worst! Especially when you think you have it, are half done the recipe, and then realize you’re out. Bah!

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(what runs) Lori

Oh my goodness- what work you just put into this post! So awesome and totally helpful. I love the tips. Definitely a great post and SO organized… the post and your pantry. I would never even dare show you mine. lol stuff everywhere. Well stocked, just lots of stuff. :)

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Tiff @ Love, Sweat and Beers

I never realized how empty my pantry was! haha Thanks for the tips!

We always have loads of pasta, rice, oats, canned veggies in ours. Oohhhh, and of course, peanut butter. :)

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Deanna

Your pantry is scarily similar to mine. Well, I don’t usually have quinoa, and my total downfall treat is tortilla chips. But, otherwise, we eat a lot a like.

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Kris | iheartwellness.com

Hello Lovey!! I love how organized you are…..I swear I could pay you to come to mine ;)

Your pantry is like a grocery store, you are stocked to the nuts my friend! LOVE IT!

xxoo

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O.C.

Love this post! I especailly liked your essentails list and tips on how to organize and store different fours. I must have at least 8 different varieties of just flour! hah. but nothing in my pantry rivals my nut butter and bar stash :)

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Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover!

This post basically made my day. I’ve been looking for a guide like this one for so long, and I haven’t found a good (but not too extensive) one – until now. Thank you!

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Yolanda

I loved this and am not a computer geek, so would love to know how you made your pantry list, as I’d like to make my own, that I always have as well. THANK YOU!

Our pantry items are very similar.

You may crack up at this, but I have all my spices in alphabetical order so it is easy to find right when I need them and helps me from buying two of something.

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Rachel

I love this post! I recently got married and I’m excited to start my kitchen and start cooking healthy meals for my husband and I. Your blog and recipes are very inspiring… Can’t wait to start cooking!

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Lori @ Laurel of Leaves

Fantastic guide! I love the downloadable pdf.
I used to stock up on canned beans because I didn’t want to take the time to soak them and cook them for hours on the stove. But then I learned how to combine soaking and cooking in the crock pot (http://www.laurelofleaves.com/2010/11/cooking-dried-beans-in-3-easy-steps/) Seriously changed my life! Now I stock up on dried beans and save some money in the process.

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Kaitlyn

Love love LOVE this!! It’s just what I need to get started so I’m not searching out specialty items at the stores every week. I don’t live close to a WF but my boyfriend does, so I’ll be taking this list next time I visit!

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Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife

This is actually REALLY helpful, thank you for posting it! I’m kind of in that in between phase where I want to have a healthy pantry and try to shop with that in mind but I’m just so used to not thinking/shopping that way that I end up buying the same ol’ stuff every time and not really getting much variety. I have this starred in my reader, I will definitely be looking to it for reference!

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Nicole

I LOVED this! So organized, girl. My life saver has been the process of recycling: hello almond butter jar, hello empty almond butter jar, hello soap and water, hello container for puffed kamut for my cabinets! I’ve got quite the collection going on, and it makes everything look so much nicer in the kitchen. I keep my bulk friends down below, so no one sees their funny-looking bags, and refill the jars when needed.

I would love to find a local farmer who could sell me grains, it gets a little pricey ’round here, even in the bulk section at the grocery store.

Oh locally grown, you still seem like a far away dream… maybe I should look up growing my own dang grains! :)

Have a happy week!

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Tichina

Oh my goodness, I thrive off lists…this one is beautiful :) haha. In all seriousness I will be printing this imediately as my go-to guide!

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eva @5FruitsNVeggies

i love organization…good for you! thanks for your summary…will keep this post handy!

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Sera

Hello, thanks for this post! I am staying in my own place in September while at university, and will need to re-stock a pantry from start. :)

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Emily @ Life on Food

What a great post! We keep similar stocks but it is always nice to double check and get a list going. I am so jealous you have such a large storage area. And I never knew you should keep chia seeds in the fridge. Why?

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Cassie @ Bake Your Day

Great post, I enjoy writing posts like this one too!

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torviewtoronto

lovely post well written I find it is very important to keep a healthy pantry
torviewtoronto and createwithmom

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Irena

Love the post…pantry is extra important to be well stocked with quality products like you described.
It looks kind a familiar…like mine too…..nutritionist is nutritionist:)

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Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips

Love this post! Your blog has been so inspiring to me! Thanks!

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joanne

love this, thanks!

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Tzabia

Great post and you have included most of the important things which one should include in their pantry. As Its very important to stock your pantry correctly in order to go for healthy and nutritious food options. It also helps in maintaining budget as well as healthy weight & fitness levels.

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Daniella

Thanks this was super helpful. And reminded me that I need to re-organize my pantry! :)

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Michelle

I’ve been working on “re-vanping” my pantry, fridge, ect for the past year. Alot of this is very new to me. Thank you so much for your blog, it is so helpful!! Love this list. Now I have to run- I got to go take the chia seeds out of the pantry and put them in the fridge! I hope they are not ruined?!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

It does take time, but great that you’re picking away at it. No worries, they’re not ruined… they just get rancid a lot quicker so keeping them cool will just extend their shelf life.

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