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7 Foods to Always Have in Your Kitchen

As we talk and work with more and more people, the more we realize how pushed for time everyone is … of course we know this, being busy parents ourselves who are also running a company.

The difference, though, is we’re comfortable in the kitchen and enjoy cooking.  We love finding new recipes, experimenting with various foods, and now it’s even more fun teaching Ella about all of this. 

We understand we’re a rare breed — few people either A) enjoy cooking and/or B) know where to even start if they were to venture in there.

Today we wanted to share some "must have" foods in your kitchen/pantry at all times.  While we love our favorite smoothie — a little variety in the diet is a good thing. 

So it got us thinking … it’s always good to have a few "real" foods on hand that will work in a pinch.

7 foods to always have stocked in your kitchen.

  1. Greek Yogurt:  Why do we like it?  It’s double the protein and half the sugar of "regular" yogurt.  Always good when you’re in a pinch – now you always have a super easy snack on hand if you get the individual containers of Greek yogurt.
  2. Nuts:  In our opinion, these are some of the greatest foods.  Ever!  They’re a great source of healthy fats, they’re a decent source of protein, and loaded with antioxidants.  Oh yeah and they don’t need to be refrigerated.  An absolute win win!   Perfect for travel.  Perfect for your desk at work.  And you can simply throw a handful on a salad, in a stir fry, or just eat ’em as a snack. 
  3. Packaged salmon (or tuna):  We prefer the packets over the can because they’re even that much more convenient — no can opener, nothing to drain.  These may not be "your thing" — but hear me out.  They’re not perishable.  They will last in your cabinet for a long time and if you are open to either salmon and/or tuna, they’re a great source of protein and healthy omega-3’s.  Whenever we travel we always have these — let’s face it, eating out all day every day is not the best.
  4. Frozen berries:  We like these because they’re non perishable and loaded with nutrition.  These are winners for sure.  Always have them on hand to throw in smoothies, yogurts, or have with oats. 
  5. Nut butters (almond, peanut, etc):  These are perfect for a quick meal — spread them on some whole grain bread, or just have with a banana or celery, as a quick snack.  Here’s a favorite meal of ours — 1 cup blueberries, 1 TBS almond butter, a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.  Enjoy like a bowl of cereal!
  6. Black beans.  Natures perfect carbohydrate — super high in fiber and antioxidants, yet also provides a nice amount of protein to boot.  Try mixing a can of the salmon or tuna with 1/2 cup black beans, toss with balsamic vinaigrette, and you’ve got an easy meal that’s ready in minutes. 
  7. Jarred tomato sauce.  We’re advocates of throwing together you’re own sauce — it’s quick, easy, and has waaaaay less sodium and sugar.  But this is always great to keep on hand for the times you’re in a really tight pinch … quick, easy, and can help you put together a meal in no time flat.  A quick one for us — pick up a rotisserie chicken, top it with a little jarred sauce, melt some mozzarella on it, and you’ve got the easiest chicken parm you’ve ever eaten!

There you have it — 7 foods to always keep on hand.  Out of that entire list, just 1 needs to be refrigerated!

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6 Responses to 7 Foods to Always Have in Your Kitchen

  1. Jenny July 2, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    Thanks for these—I’m always stressed driving home from vacation wondering what I can throw together for a late dinner! Right before we leave town, I buy a half gallon of organic milk that has a longer expiration date so we at least have that to open when we arrive home.

  2. Lois Bringhurst July 2, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    My suggestion for Item #8 for the “Must Haves” in the pantry.
    Is a few small cartons of “Shelf” stable milk. –
    Horizon has both plain & chocolate in small individual cartons
    (much like small juice boxes)
    And they work great in a pinch for smoothies, oatmeal etc.

    I’ve used these for the beverage, when I need to take the snacks
    for kids I volunteer with – they love them. Also a good choice
    for the cooler on trips – more of a treat then water better choice
    then soft drinks.

    Have a Safe 4th – Enjoy this wonderful weather.

    • Chris and Kara Mohr July 2, 2010 at 6:45 am #

      Great idea, Lois. These are absolutely great to have on hand.

  3. Bill July 2, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I have read a lot lately about the dangers of eating food from plastic and metal containers. It seems that research is showing that dangerous items seep into the food. What is your opinion of this considering your recommendations of canned salmon, tuna and tomatoes?

    • Chris and Kara Mohr July 2, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      It is a great point — as for tomatoes, POMI is one brand that are in BPA Containers. For the salmon and tuna, I would consider the packages vs. cans. I have not seen BPA free tuna/salmon cans, but I could be wrong.

  4. Karen October 25, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Based on your advice, spinach has become a staple for me. I use it in smoothies, tomato sauce, omelettes and salads. I also have been adding kale to salads.

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