When you're pinched for time, it's easy to be tempted by the call of the drive-thru or those sodium-blasted cans of condensed soup. That's why stocking your pantry with versatile, healthy ingredients is so important — when you start getting hangry, these foods step in to make easy meals that taste great (and make you feel pretty good too).
Quinoa is a great source of vegan protein, perfect for solving your #MeatlessMonday woes.
2. Canned beans
3. Tomato paste
Tomato paste is rich in umami — just a tablespoon can enhance the taste of an otherwise dull soup or sauce. It's also full of lycopene, an antioxidant that can reduce the risk of disease, including some forms of cancer.
4. Tuna and salmon
Two servings of seafood each week can reduce the risk of heart disease — all the more reason to stock up! Tuna and salmon are high-protein seafoods that are rich in a range of nutrients. Buy it in a pouch so it's ready to eat, no draining required — this way, you're always ready to add seafood to your pastas, salads and sandwiches.
5. Brown rice
Simply swapping brown rice for white can make your pantry a healthier place, and may even lower your risk of type-2 diabetes according to a study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. Choose a quick-cooking variety to get dinner on the table faster.
6. No-salt-added canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are great for making quick sauces or adding flavor to chili, soups and stews, and they often taste as good (if not better) than fresh tomatoes. Best of all, tomatoes boast a variety of important nutrients, including vitamins A and C.
7. Quick-cooking ancient grains
Why ancient grains? They're full of fiber, keep blood sugar stable, help lower cholesterol and more. Quick-cooking versions of ancient grains like barley and quinoa make it easy to incorporate these grains into your meals.
8. Whole-grain pasta
Pasta is delicious, and whole-wheat pasta has more fiber and protein than its more refined counterparts, meaning you stay full longer.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, low in fat and a good source of B vitamins. It's also inexpensive, meaning a healthy breakfast is never out of reach, and has been found to lower levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. For a quick breakfast in the morning, try one of these overnight oatmeal recipes.
Nuts are packed with nutrients and protein, so they're a great food to keep on-hand. Use them to top a salad or yogurt, or grab a handful for a quick and nutritious snack.
11. Dried fruit
Add a pinch of sweetness to your salads, cereals and desserts with dried fruit — there's no prep involved, and it has a much longer shelf life, making it an easier choice than fresh fruit.
This post was sponsored by StarKist® Tuna and Salmon Creations® Pouches.