There are lots of good reasons why you should have a well-stocked pantry in your home. Dinner preparation can be easier and quicker when you have the ingredients you need at your fingertips. Since most pantry items have a long shelf life, you can take advantage of grocery sales by buying multiples of frequently used items. In the event of inclement weather, a full pantry can save you a dicey trip to the store. Here are eight things that can be useful to keep in your pantry:
Dried beans are economical, healthy, and a good source of protein. You can use dried beans for soups, chili, salads, side dishes, dips, spreads, or serve them over rice. Black, pinto, red, navy, cannellini, and lima beans, as well as split and black-eyed peas, are all good pantry staples.
When stored properly, grains also have a long shelf life and can be healthy sources of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Oatmeal, quinoa, barley, popcorn, barley, grits, and cereals are examples of grains that are good to have on hand in your pantry.
Technically, rice is also a grain and could be included in the above category, but there are enough varieties to merit its own category. Rice can be used as a side dish, in soups and casseroles, or as a base for beans, seafood, and other dishes. White, brown, wild, mixed, jasmine, arborio, and basmati are good varieties to stock.
Dried pastas are best known as the main ingredient in many Italian dishes and as the base for sauces but can also be used for salads and first courses. Keep spaghetti, linguini, orzo, penne, ziti, angel hair, and bowtie pastas on hand for a variety of options.
5. Canned vegetables
For convenience and consistency, canned vegetables can’t be beat. Canned vegetables make easy side dishes and can be used in soups, casseroles, and marinated salads. Green beans, corn, peas, beets, mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus spears, tomatoes, and tomato sauce are some good canned vegetables to have within reach.
Canned soups make easy, satisfying lunches or dinners and are often called for in recipe ingredients. Stock chicken noodle, vegetable, tomato, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and beef stew varieties as well as chicken, beef, and vegetable broth.
Keeping supplies of flour on hand makes baking easier and more convenient. Different types include all-purpose, self-rising, wheat, and cake flours, as well as baking mixes.
In addition to making healthy snacks, nuts are used in many baking recipes as well as in salads and casserole toppings. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts all make good pantry additions.
To help keep pests out of your pantry and to help keep food fresh, it’s best to place items in sealed containers. Clean up any spilled contents right away, and place newer items in the back so that older items get used first.