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Organizing your pantry and your fridge is the most important step when you decide to follow a healthy lifestyle. And I will not go into defining “healthy” because it is a seriously tricky task to do.

The only thing I can do to help you find your “healthy” is to share my thoughts on that, my experience and my list of ingredients I most often cook with.

 

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Eating healthy is a sort of job. A serious job.

You need to read, you need to learn, you need to work on it, and It takes time to get to know how it works best for you.

I used to find myself often running out of things which I needed for some recipes and with time I have realized that there are certain things I need to have on hand always (and I really mean *always*) if I do not want to end up eating processed foods, sweets and other bad things…so I went and made my list of those ingredients.

Here is my BASIC list.

It lists ingredients I most often cook with. Of course, fruits and veggies vary across seasons, and I tend to freeze some summer harvest because I love to have it around all year long (that includes all kinds of berries, tomatoes, zucchinis, some string beans, and a corn cob or two).

As you will see, my list does not include meat or seafood because I rarely buy it and cook with it. It is probably only once a week or so, and for those rare occasions I always get it fresh. If it happens that I buy more than needed, I freeze a package of it for another use.

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Although we do not pursue a strict diet, since in our family of 4 everyone has its own dietitian restrictions, I could best describe it as flexatarian – vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains are the most important part of our diet. We eat dairy products but most of us do not drink milk. We eat eggs, moderately, and some of us eat meat really rarely, twice a month or so (that would be me). I say this because I want to give you a clear guideline about this list and my kitchen. If you would need more explanations, feel free to leave a comment or contact me either on iva@culinary-postcards.com or through some of the social networks (all direct links available at the bottom of the page).

I hope you find this list useful and it helps you make your own healthy list in time.

And yes, it is OK to enjoy not -so-healthy dinner with your friends or have a bad snack from time to time. Don’t be hard on yourself, but do your best to eat healthy every day. <3

 

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GRAINS and CEREALS

  • millet
  • buckwheat groats
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • rice (basmati or jasmine for Asian food, Carnarolli or Arborio for classical risotto)
  • rice noodles
  • soba noodles
  • pasta – wholegrain, spelt

 

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NUTS and SEEDS (including nut butters)

  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame (and tahini)
  • sunflower seeds
  • flax seed
  • peanuts (and peanut butter)
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • cashew nuts

 

OILS

  • olive oil
  • pumpkin seed oil
  • coconut oil (raw, organic)
  • cold pressed sunflower oil

 

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PULSES

  • chickpeas
  • red lentils
  • beluga lentils
  • dry peas
  • beans

 

FLOURS

  • spelt flour (white and wholegrain)
  • buckwheat flour
  • oat flour (or simply grinded oats)
  • coconut flour
  • tapioca flour

 

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VEGETABLES

  • carrots
  • onions
  • garlic
  • peas (frozen)
  • leeks
  • cauliflower
  • sweet potato
  • butternut squash
  • zucchinis
  • eggplant
  • salad leaves
  • rocket
  • kale
  • spinach and chard
  • beets
  • cucumber

 

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FRUITS (and dried fruits*)

  • bananas
  • apples
  • lemons
  • oranges
  • avocado
  • berries (fresh in season, frozen for winter – incl. blueberries, blackberries, red currants)
  • cherries
  • melon and watermelon
  • kiwi
  • perssimon
  • *raisins, prunes, apricots

 

HERBS and SPICES

  • parsley
  • mint
  • basil
  • oregano
  • bay leaves
  • rosemary
  • fennel seeds
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • curry powder
  • cardamom

 

 

SWEETENERS

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • dates (medjool or deglet noir)
  • raisins
  • apple puree
  • dark muscovado

 

OTHER

  • cacao – raw (powder) and nibs
  • coconut flakes
  • apple cider vinegar
  • vanilla pods

 

FRIDGE

  • kefir (homemade, but sometimes also storebought)
  • yogurt
  • butter
  • parmesan cheese
  • canned coconut milk
  • eggs
  • (some of the fruits and vegetables previously listed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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