Stocking Your Healthy Pantry


Creativity in the kitchen begins with a well stocked pantry.  Once you begin down the road to eating whole foods, you will be amazed at the variety of choices there are!   So much of the learning curve to improved nutrition is product knowledge.  One of my goals in teaching is to minimize how intimidating dietary changes can be for people. My cooking class guests get to see, smell, taste and touch ingredients that are new to them which makes the transition to shopping, cooking and eating more enjoyable.

Since you all can’t be in my kitchen with me, here is a list of staples I keep on hand to cook up nourishing meals at our house.

Whole Grains:

Any of these grains can also be made into freshly ground flour with the help of my NutriMill home flour mill.

Brown Rice (which includes short grain, long grain brown basmati, and sweet brown rice)


*Buckwheat or Kasha

*Bulgar Wheat

*Cous Cous


Oats (steel-cut or rolled)


Wheat Berries

Wild Rice

Other whole grains that I have yet to explore;  Amaranth, Teff.

* quick cooking grains


Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Flour

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Brown Rice Flour

Almond Meal

White Sorghum Flour

Corn Meal

Unbleached White Flour


Udon Noodles

Soba Noodles

any variety of small whole grain pasta for soups and salads

Quinoa Gluten Free Pasta

Legumes: I store the following assortment of dried beans and I keep a few canned beans on hand to whip out a quick meal when needed.  Alot of people shy away from the use of legumes because of their unpleasant side effects.  Taking care to cook them properly eliminates negative side effects and you get the health benefits that make them a sought after high quality source of protein.

Aduki Beans

Black Beans

Black Eyed Peas

Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans

Great Norhtern Beans

Kidney Beans


Pinto Beans

*Split Peas

*do not require presoaking

Nuts and Seeds:  These add variety and nutrients to any meal, any time of day and are a welcome addition to desserts and snacks. 



Ground Flax Seeds


Pumpkin Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Sunflower Seeds



Nut Butters:

I like to have a variety of these on hand for flavoring soups, sauces and spreads;

Almond Butter

Cashew Butter

Peanut Butter

Sesame Butter

Concentrated Sweeteners:

Agave Nectar

Barley Malt

Brown Rice Syrup

Coconut Sugar


Maple Syrup



Sea Vegetables:

No other foods offer such a rich supply of minerals… in our pantry I have..







Baking Supplies:

non-aluminum baking powder

baking soda

natural vanilla


cocoa powder

chocolate chips


Assorted dried herbs and spices

Assorted dried fruits – without sulphur dioxide

Sun dried tomatoes

Extra Virgin olive Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Toasted Sesame Oil

Coconut oil

Arrowroot powder, a natural thickening agent

Apple Cider Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar, red and white

Red Wine Vinegar

White Cooking Wine

Brown Rice Vinegar

Rice Milk

Almond Milk

Coconut Milk

Kuzu, a medicinal root soothing to the stomach in powder form.



Sea Salt

Soy Sauce

Red Curry Paste

Organic Chicken Stock

Not Chicken Stock by Imagine

Tomato Sauce, a few cans on hand for soup ingredients

Tomato Paste

Repunzel Vegetable bullion

and I forgot to include…a few boxes of Rye Crisp crackers for a quick snack 🙂

This list pretty much sums up what is in my dry goods pantry.  I hope I didn’t forget anything.  And just as I wrote that I remembered what I forgot!  For more information on contacting resources for quality whole foods  please refer to the Resources tab on this blog and checkout the Shopping Guide for Organic and  Natural Foods.

Feel free to inquire or comment,


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11 Comments on “Stocking Your Healthy Pantry”

  1. And this is why everyone should read this blog!! Most people aren’t familiar with, nor would they know what to do with, 90% of the items on this list! When people exclaim that it’s hard to “afford” a healthy lifestyle or it’s a “tasteless” existence to be vegan or vegetarian or eat whole foods, it’s because we don’t know all the many foods and flavors that are available! A dry goods pantry is cheap (grains, beans, etc) and tasty (spices, sweeteners, dried fruit ) . This is so awesome and thorough!!! Love love love! Now I’m going to buy kombu

    1. Kyah, stay tuned for 3 Bean Chili….comin right up. well, soon, anyway! Use Kombu anytime you’re cooking dry beans. See reply to Katie on this post. Also the natural foods company, Eden, sells canned beans cooked in Kombu, FYI.

  2. I love the canning jar idea! I have tons of Winco bulk bags with many of these same ingredients, but they look so sloppy. Now I know why I’ve been saving so many jars in my pantry.

  3. Hi Amy. You say that many avoid legumes because of the unpleasant side effects…I am one of those people. How do you prepare them so the side effects are minimized or eliminated? I like legumes, but avoid them like the plague .

    1. Hey Katie, there are a few things you can do to make beans more digestable. If you’re not used to eating beans, there will be an adjustment time, even still. They are so worth it because they are full of nutrients and fiber, delicious, yet low in calories. Soaking beans overnight improves digestion but make sure you discard the soaking water and start cooking with fresh water. When your beans come to a boil skim off the foamy substance that rises to the top. Generally speaking the smaller the bean the easier they are to digest. So you might want to start small. In addition to these tips, I cook all my beans with a 3 inch piece of Kombu, a sea vegetable that aids in digesting legumes and helps them get soft faster. The Kombu also adds vitamins and minerals. Let beans cook slowly for a long time so they are very tender. Don’t add baking soda as I have read it destroys nutrients and alters the flavor. I hope this helps Katie.

  4. I love how organized your pantry is, Amy. That will be my goal once we have a pantry 🙂 The directions on cooking beans is also helpful as I have the same problem. Can’t wait to see your chili recipe. Where do you get Kombu?

    1. Debbie, I bet you are so excited for stocking your new pantry! You can buy Kombu at any natural foods section of a grocery store. I have seen it at Freddie’s, Yoke’s and at Huckleberry’s. It’s also available through Azure Standard. See the Shopping Guide on my Resources tab.

  5. I was in a class recently where the instructor was teaching about eating more beans. I suggested the cooking technique you mention and she said that was a myth, skimming the foam off the top.

    I also wondered how long it took you to have such a well stocked pantry?

  6. Marcy, Evidently there are differing opinions on that. Little by little I’ve stocked my pantry…and it changes according to seasons. When we’re eating from the garden more I have fewer legumes in my pantry 🙂

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