When was the last time you cleaned out your pantry? Today is a better day than ever to start fresh. Our meals can only be as healthy as the foods that we have in our kitchen! Keeping a stocked pantry with wholesome, shelf-stable ingredients is essential when preparing meals.
Below are some of my favorite food swaps you can make when cleaning out your pantry.
Filling your cupboards with these suggestions will go a long way to delivering big, healthy benefits to you and your family!
TOSS OUT: WHITE RICE
SWAP IN: QUINOA
White Rice is processed and stripped of almost all its vitamins, iron and fiber, but quinoa is loaded with fiber. Unlike rice, it’s a complete protein! Add it to soups or salads, or have it on its own with some veggies (I love sautéed spinach and mushrooms in mine – yummy!) or just eat it alone, you can’t go wrong with quinoa.
TOSS OUT: REGULAR BREADCRUMBS
SWAP IN: PANKO BREADCRUMBS
Not only do Panko breadcrumbs contain more fiber than regular breadcrumbs, they contain half the calories, too. Panko breadcrumbs are coarser than traditional breadcrumbs, which means you won’t have to fry your chicken or fish in oil to get that crunchy coating – you can put them in the oven! Even if you decide to fry them, these breadcrumbs will absorb less oil and fat than the regular kind.
TOSS OUT: CHOCOLATE CHIPS
SWAP IN: COCAO NIBS
I love chocolate! But even when we’re on a diet, this yummy sweet treat does not have to be off limits – when baking, try using cocao nibs instead of chocolate chips. They contain no sugar, have more than 5 times the fiber of regular chocolate chips, and they’re delicious!
TOSS OUT: WHITE FLOUR
SWAP IN: WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
When making cookies, cakes or anything else with flour, try substituting whole-wheat flour instead. It has more fiber than regular white flour, regulates blood sugar, and has more nutrients than white flour does – and I promise, you won’t taste the difference!
TOSS OUT: WHITE TABLE SALT
SWAP IN: HIMALAYAN PINK SALT
Let’s face it: salt is an essential part of life – we need it to survive. But table salt is processed and, as a result, many important minerals are removed. While table salt is 99% sodium chloride, pink salt is said to be the purest salt on earth. It’s 85% sodium chloride and the rest is made up of over 80 minerals. These minerals can help remove toxins, balance your PH levels, aid in absorbing nutrients, and more! You can use pink salt in all your cooking. Bonus? It’s pretty too!
TOSS OUT: PROCESSED PEANUT BUTTER
SWAP IN: ALMOND BUTTER
Processed peanut butter contains hydrogenated vegetable oils and added sugar. Almond butter is rich in heart-healthy fats and has more fiber than peanut butter. When purchasing almond butter, try to buy ones that aren’t processed or contain additives. Choose the ones that are made from nuts alone!
In addition to these swaps, when stocking your pantry, you should always look for food items that list no more than 5 ingredients on their labels. They will be less likely to have preservatives and added salt, sugar, or chemicals. And remember this: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it! Look for foods with ingredients that sound like they came from the earth rather than a laboratory – keep it simple.
So don’t put off until spring to do your spring cleaning! Clean out your closets and then fill them up again with healthy, nutrient-rich foods – foods that will allow you to make healthier meals for you and your family.
Let me know how you are doing, I’d love to hear from you!