I’m taking you through a tour of my kitchen today. All the details about appliances, storage, organization, and my favorite real food pantry essentials for healthy eating in the midst of a full and busy family life. Plus, get two free printable kitchen essentials checklists to help you keep your pantry stocked with your favorites!
The links below may be affiliate links, meaning I earn a small compensation at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure policy here.
If you take a look inside my pantry today, (which you totally can in just a minute), and compare the contents to what I used to buy when I first started cooking as an adult, the difference would be night and day.
I did not know how to cook with many whole, real ingredients when I first got married. Actually, it might be better to say that I knew how to make very little from scratch. My concept of cooking was combining this package with this can and adding meat at some point in the process.
I am well-acquainted with the learning curve involved with cooking from scratch. Even shopping for the right ingredients can be overwhelming, not to mention what happens when you get back in your kitchen and try to make dinner.
My passion is to take the edge off of learning to cook from scratch, and to inspire you to see that balanced, healthy meals in the midst of a busy life is actually possible.
It’s why I blog and cook dinner live on camera. It’s why I invested almost a year of our family’s time to write a cookbook making real food accessible for families like yours.
Today I am kicking off a new series on the blog. For the entire month of February (and perhaps a little beyond), we are going to be talking about Healthy Resolutions for the Everyday Family.
It’s a new year and so many of us have goals and intentions to improve our cooking and our habits. I know because I’ve asked you on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve taken your responses and put together a plan to help us all make improvements (small or big) in our kitchens.
Healthy Resolutions for the Everyday Family will cover:
- How to stock your kitchen for success
- Healthy snack ideas
- Replacing processed foods with simple real food alternatives
- Eating the rainbow (adding new veggies to your rotation)
- More quick and easy meals
- Healthy breakfast ideas
Make sure that you are following along on your channel of choice so you don’t miss the new posts! For each topic, I will be sharing a different angle on Facebook live, here on the blog, and on YouTube.
Sign up for the newsletter:
Real Food Pantry Essentials
First up in the series is a tour of my kitchen and what ingredients I keep stocked in my kitchen for easy from-scratch cooking. Y’all have been asking for this for a while, and now that the holidays are over, I am happy to finally deliver!
You can watch a full tour of my kitchen (appliances, organization, etc) on YouTube.
Not having the right ingredients on hand can be a big deterrent to healthy cooking. My goal is to keep things simple while prioritizing whole, real foods. One way I’ve been able to do that is by keeping my pantry stocked with (my) essentials.
Benefits of a well-stocked pantry ::
- You will not need to rely on fast food or processed foods for quick and easy meals
- Avoid special trips to the store for one missing ingredient
- Prioritize unprocessed ingredients
- Grocery shopping is simplified because you are simply restocking what you are out of and adding perishables and fresh produce
- You can throw together impromptu desserts, appetizers, and so on with what is on hand
- Cooking from scratch will seem more accessible when you just have to pull out ingredients from the pantry/fridge
What’s in my pantry ::
Everyone’s essentials will vary somewhat based upon dietary restrictions, preferences, budgets, and grocery store options. However, I want to share what my pantry essentials are to give you a starting point for stocking your kitchen with real, unprocessed ingredients.
To see exactly how each category is stored in my kitchen and pantry, you can check out the tour of my kitchen on YouTube. In that video, you’ll see lots of dollar store baskets and twice as many mason jars.
My essentials list may seem overwhelming, but it’s helpful to remember that I’ve been cooking this way for years now. Slowly swapping out processed foods for real foods is a great way to make changes without breaking the bank or stressing out.
- Flours (all-purpose, bread flour, cake flour)
- Gluten-free flours (almond flour, 1-1 gluten-free flour, arrowroot flour)
- Baking powder, baking soda
- Sea salt, Kosher salt
- Active dry yeast
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Unsweetened coconut
- Semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- Dark chocolate morsels
- Cocoa powder
OILS & VINEGARS:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Unrefined coconut oil
- non-GMO canola oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- White wine vinegar
- Sesame seed oil
- Rice vinegar
- elbow macaroni
- angel hair noodles
- egg noodles
- Israeli couscous
- pad thai noodles
- old-fashioned rolled oats
- short-grain brown rice
- white rice
- wild rice
- arborio rice
NUTS & SEEDS:
- sliced almonds
- sunflower seeds
- chia seeds
- sesame seeds
- Maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Organic granulated sugar
- Yellow onions
- Potatoes (russet, red, sweet)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Organic diced tomatoes
- Beef broth
- Fruit snacks
- Popcorn kernels
- dried beans (black, pinto, kidney, canellini)
This list is not completely comprehensive because I did not include my spices and herbs, or my fridge and freezer. (Though you can find lists of fridge and freezer essentials on the printable below).
Kitchen Essentials Checklist
I have put all my real food kitchen essentials into a free printable checklist. I’m not being completely philanthropic, though. I definitely plan on using this checklist to keep track of my pantry items a little more easily too!
You can print a copy of the Kitchen Essentials Checklist that is already filled in with my favorite essentials (plus room for your own personal additions), or print a blank copy that you can fill in completely yourself. Use one or both to help you stay organized in your kitchen!
I printed the checklist two to a page and added it to my bullet journal for quick referencing.
I hope you found this helpful and you have some new ideas of real foods to keep stocked! If you have any questions about what I use particular ingredients for, don’t hesitate to ask. I couldn’t give all the details in this post or it would have been waaaaay too long.
Tell me in the comments what some of your must-have pantry staples are! And don’t forget to check back for the rest of the series!
Sharing is caring! Don’t forget to pin and share. Thank you!