Integrative Nutrition Blog

The Ultimate List of Healthy Kitchen Essentials

March 24, 2016

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While we often say that healthy eating begins with what’s on your plate, the real challenge happens before we even reach the point of sitting down to eat. It starts with what you stock your pantry and fridge with!

If you purchase processed foods, it’ll be much harder to avoid them once you’ve paid for and brought them home. However, if you stock your kitchen with wholesome ingredients then you’re more likely to eat wholesome food most of the time.

Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in an occasional treat, in fact, moderation is one of Integrative Nutrition’s core concepts, but it makes a world of difference to start with a solid foundation of real food.

Here are some of our favorite healthy pantry & fridge essentials!

General Pantry

  • Variety of your favorite teas
  • Nut or seed butter (almond, peanut, or sunflower seed)
  • Chia seeds
  • Raw honey or maple syrup
  • Gluten-free or whole wheat baking flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Raw nuts (cashews, walnuts, or brazil nuts)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Grains

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole rolled oats

 Legumes

  • Black beans
  • Other beans (cannellini, kidney, or pinto)
  • French, red, or green lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Mung beans

Spices & Seasoning

  • Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutritional yeast

Oils

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee

Vinegars

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Umeboshi vinegar
  • Rice vinegar

 General Refrigerator

  •  Organic eggs
  • Almond, coconut, or hemp milk
  • Yogurt or kefir (if dairy tolerant)
  • Organic butter

Room-temperature produce

  • Garlic
  • Onions/shallots
  • Avocados
  •  Apples
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  •  Butternut, delicata, or spaghetti squash

Refrigerated produce

  • Red leaf lettuce or mixed greens
  • Carrots
  • Lemons
  • Sprouts
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, or crimini)
  • Spinach
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
  • Zucchini

Fresh Herbs

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro

Occasional additions

  • Dark chocolate
  • Rice crackers or rice cakes
  • Flax seed crackers
  • Organic meats
  • Fresh baked bread
  • Anchovies or sardines
  • Olives
  • Cheese
  • Hummus

Keep in mind that we’re not suggesting you go out and buy ALL of these things at once, or buy only these things! Refining your kitchen is a process that might take a little transition time and experimentation.

Start by going through what you currently have and eliminating anything expired, clearly unhealthy, or just plain unsatisfying. Then begin to slowly incorporate some of the items above. Over time, you’ll find yourself surrounded by simple and healthy ingredients that are easy to shop for and turn into healthful and delicious meals. When in doubt, remember the wise words of Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Looking for recipe inspiration? Check out our recipe blog!

What’s on your healthy essentials shopping list? Share in the comments below!

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