We get a lot of questions about grocery shopping and what items we keep on hand.
A member in the Your Super Exclusive Facebook group recently asked: “I would love to see a grocery list of what you guys have stocked up on. Since I now have more time social distancing I would love to be able to have all the ingredients you are using daily so that I can follow along with recipes.”
Aside from fresh produce like leafy greens, bananas and avocados, we keep our pantry stocked with a variety of non-perishable items
To help you build up your plant-based pantry, we’ve put together a list of items to have in your kitchen. You never know when it will come in handy!
4 benefits of a well-stocked pantry
Before we get into what you should stock your pantry with, let’s talk about why you should have a well-stocked pantry.
In the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster or even a pandemic, and you’re unable to go to the grocery store do you have enough food for you and your entire family? If you have to think about it, chances are you’re not. The Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least 3 days worth of food per family member. FEMA, on the other hand, recommends having up to a 2 week supply of food.
2. Saves Time
Depending on where you live, there may not be a grocery store down the street or a few minutes away. With a well-stocked pantry, you can save yourself a trip by “shopping your pantry” and making meals with food you already have on hand.
3. Saves Money
Buying in bulk can be cost effective, especially when you take advantage of sales. Also, most bulk section items, including organic, are less expensive and higher quality than packaged goods. (Tip: Recycle pasta sauce jars or other jars with resealable lids to help reduce waste and add to the shelf-life of your food.)
4. It’s Healthier
With healthy food on hand, you’re less likely to eat out and more likely to make healthy meals at home.
What type of food should you stock your pantry with?
When it comes to stocking up on food, the best items to buy are non-perishable items. Also known as shelf-stable foods, non-perishable items are items that can be safely stored at room temperature without going bad or making you sick.
And lucky for us, there’s a ton of plant-based options out there, most of which are pretty inexpensive — you just have to know what you’re looking for!
If the thought of building a plant-based pantry intimidates you, or your cupboards are looking a little dry, here’s our non-perishable food staples.
- Grains: Oats, almond flour, brown rice, quinoa, pasta (gluten-free or whole grain)
- Herbs and spices: Black pepper, chili powder, curry powder, dried oregano, ground cinnamon, ground mustard, nutritional yeast, sea salt
- Cans and jars: Beans (kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc.), tomato sauce, tomato paste, capers
- Pantry: Your Super superfood mixes, nut butters, plant-based milk (almond, oats, etc.), coconut milk, vegetable broth
- Dried fruits and nuts: Raisins, dates, peanuts, cashews, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds,
- Oils and vinegars: Apple cider vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar
- Sweeteners: maple syrup, agave, molasses, coconut sugar
Note: You don’t have to run out and buy everything all at once. Building up your pantry will take time. Also, only buy the items you know you’ll eat and enjoy.
How long can non-perishable items last?
Contrary to popular belief, non-perishable items can last a long time on your shelf. If you’re not sure what pantry items you can have by the plenty, here’s a general run down.
Your Super mixes can last up to one year, but if you’re using them in your smoothies or oatmeal, you’ll probably need to stock up before then.
Oats and pasta can last up to 2 years past their “best by” date, whereas quinoa and whole spices can sit on your shelf for 4 years before needing to be replaced.
As long as canned goods are stored in cool, dark places and the can itself is in good condition, these can last for several years! However, be sure to check the expiration date just in case!
Plant-based milk alternatives, like almond, oat and coconut aren’t only found in the refrigerated aisle. They also make these dairy-free alternatives shelf-friendly. These are great to keep in your pantry for smoothie backup, as they usually last up to 1-2 years. Again, check the container for the expiration date.