20 Must-Have Items for Your Clean Eating Pantry
Categories: Healthy Eating

20 Must-Have Items for Your Clean Eating Pantry

For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2017! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

Clean eating” is jamming up everyone’s Instagram and Pinterest feeds right now, and everyone seems to have a different way of eating. For one person it might mean rice bowls and coconut milk, while for another it’s cauliflower rice and fat bombs. Whatever your take, everyone can agree: Eating real and unprocessed foods in as close to a natural state as possible is just plain better for you. When you can’t make it to a farmers’ market, clean eating pantry staples can be a lifesaver (like those under $5 from Trader Joe’s). Here are the top 20 pantry items no clean eater should be without.

1. Canned Tomatoes: Because it’s almost impossible to find a store-bought marinara sauce that doesn’t have canola oil and added sugar, behold the magic that is crushed tomatoes! Empty a can into a pot with some olive oil, chopped garlic and herbs, and in less than 20 minutes you’ve got a simmering sauce that will elevate your pasta, zoodles or spaghetti squash bowl to the next level. (Photo + Recipe via Fox and Briar)

See also: 8 Delicious Reasons to Keep Your Pantry Stocked With Canned Tomatoes

2. Olive Oil: If you’d long-ago given up on mayo because ALL store-bought brands use canola oil (even the ones that say olive oil on the label), whip up a batch of your own. All it takes is some olive oil, eggs and lemon juice, so make sure you keep a good supply of olive oil in your pantry. It’s also great for making herb-infused dips. (Photo + Recipe via The Healthy Foodie)

See also: How to Infuse Olive Oil

3. Apple Cider Vinegar: There are more uses for ACV than almost any pantry staple you can name — from detox drinks to bone broths to salad dressings — and it makes a decent substitute in recipes when you run out of fresh lemons. Be sure to grab a big economy bottle, because you’ll find so many uses for it. (Photo + Recipe via Creme De La Crumb)

See also: 11 Ways Bloggers Use Apple Cider Vinegar in Their Beauty Routines

4. Canned Salmon: For all the many times you forget to buy or thaw the fish, do yourself a favor and keep a few cans of healthy, hearty salmon on hand. With a recipe like salmon cakes that are packed with flavor, no one will ever guess it’s canned. (Photo + Recipe via Cotter Crunch)

See also: 30 Slammin’ Salmon Recipes to Keep You Fit

5. Canned Tuna: Nothing to eat in this house, you say? If you’ve got some leftover rice and a can of tuna in the cupboard, you’ve got “sushi stacks.” Of course, it’s not really sushi, since the tuna isn’t raw, but your taste buds will never know the difference.  (Photo + Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron)

See also: 37 Hot Wasabi Recipes

6. Canned Sardines: Like salmon, sardines are a superfood, chock full of healthy Omega-3s — plus they’re budget-friendly. Sardine fish cakes are savory and delicious and very easy to whip up, even on a weeknight. (Photo + Recipe via Garlic Matters)

See also: 7 Nutrients You Need to Add to Your Diet ASAP

7. Rice: If there’s anything more comforting than chicken and rice, we haven’t heard of it. This cajun version is spiced up and stir fried, with a mix of basmati and wild rice. Always keep several varieties of rice on hand, because THIS! (Photo + Recipe via Half-Baked Harvest)

See also: 15 Ridiculously Good Rice Bowl Recipes to Serve Tonight

8. Noodles: There’s nothing like a steaming noodle bowl to greet you when you come in the door at night. If you’re trying to be uber healthy, you may want to stock up on the buckwheat kind — they’re 100 percent gluten-free but OH SO satisfying. (Photo + Recipe via A Cozy Kitchen)

See also: 40 Must-Try Asian-Inspired Noodle Dishes

9. Quinoa: When you’re looking for a high-protein, one-dish meal that everyone in the house will love, you can’t go wrong with a quinoa bake. This one is delicately flavored with gluten-free hoisin and tamari, and the roasted cashews give it a delicious crunch. (Photo + Recipe via Fit Foodie Finds)

See also: 7 Super (Food!) Reasons to Stock Quinoa in Your Pantry

10. Beans: Move over, chickpeas! Hummus made from regular ol’ white beans has *all* the flavor with zero fat and a third less calories per serving. Keep your pantry stocked with beans, and you’ll always have the ingredients you need to make a quick and healthy veggies and dip. (Photo + Recipe via Kim’s Cravings)

See also: 17 Unique Hummus Recipes That You *Won’t* Believe

11. Lentils: Every clean eating pantry should have some lentils on hand. They’re economical, sustainable, easy to prepare and full of protein and fiber. They’re also SOOOO hearty and delicious. (Photo + Recipe via The First Mess)

See also: 12 Recipes That’ll Make You Mental for Lentils

12. Seeded/Sprouted Bread: In a perfect world, we’d all have time to bake our own bread from scratch. But in reality, most of us buy it. Since avocado toast is now a thing (and you need it in your life!), a clean-eating seeded/sprouted bread can be a real pantry essential. (Photo + Recipe via Blissful Basil)

See also: 22 New Ways to Upgrade Your Avocado Toast

13. Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is so versatile — you can use it to lighten your coffee or make a hearty stew. When you’re faced with getting dinner on the table quick, throw some coconut milk, chicken breast and chicken broth into a skillet with some spices and you’ve got a hearty stew to serve over rice or riced cauliflower. (Photo + Recipe via A Saucy Kitchen)

See also: 15 Clever Ways to Cook With Coconut Milk

14. Canned Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin can be a real kitchen lifesaver. Not only is it a healthy way to thicken soups and sauces, but it also makes a delicious and nutritious 15-minute soup, using just a few other ingredients almost everyone has on hand. (Photo + Recipe via  Honestly Nourished)

See also: 40 Recipes That Use Canned Pumpkin

15. Raw Nuts: Nuts are a perfect grab-and-go snack, but they’re also great to have around if you like to make your own nut butters, nut milks and sauces. Pro Tip: Cashew cream makes a wonderful *alfredo* taste-alike when you’re looking for a quick dairy-free pasta sauce. (Photo + Recipe via Minimalist Baker)

See also: 23 Dreamy Vegan Recipes Made With Cashews

16. Oats: Always keep some steel oats on hand to whip out the night before a busy morning. Recipes like these overnight oats are loaded with nourishing ingredients that will fuel you through your busy day. (Photo + Recipe via Sweet As Honey)

See also: 14 Sweet and Savory Oatmeal Recipes

17. Flaxseed: Homemade granola is great to have around to top your yogurt, chia pudding or hot cereal, and it keeps for weeks in an airtight container. Stock up on flaxseed and be sure to toss in a few spoonfuls to get some added antioxidants, fiber and Omega-3s. (Photo + Recipe via Little Broken)

See also: 8 Fantastic, Fiber-Packed Ways to Cook With Ground Flaxseed

18. Chia Seeds: When the pantry is almost bare and you need a quick breakfast idea, grab some chia seeds, canned coconut milk and a bag of frozen fruit from the freezer and you’re golden. Chia seeds are nutrient dense, with protein, Omega-3s, fiber and a host of healthy minerals — and chia pudding is so delicious, it feels like a cheat when it’s not. (Photo + Recipe via Good Habits & Guilty Pleasures)

See also: 20 Ways to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

19. Coffee Beans: No time for breakfast? Good thing you’ve got some coffee beans on hand. Bulletproof coffee is SOOOOO rich and creamy with grassfed butter and coconut, it will see you through to lunch with no rumblings in your tummy. (Photo + Recipe via Naked Cuisine)

See also: The Best Places to Find Organic Coffee Beans (and *ONE* Will Really Surprise You!)

20. Dried Fruit: Dried fruits like dates are great to have around, when you want to sweeten up a recipe the natural way. Pro Tip: Keep some antioxidant-rich dark chocolate in the pantry as well and mix in dried fruits and nuts for a *once in a while* clean treat. (Photo + Recipe via The View from Great Island)

See also: 20 Date Recipes to Try Now

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