6 must have foods for your pantry

Essential Pantry items

Having the right ingredients on hand, in your pantry is a key to having a nourishing diet. Here are a few versatile, nutrient dense ingredients that will also give flavour we crave!

1.    Milk

One of the staples of the shopping list for many years was and still is, cow’s milk. So many different varieties to now choose from and milk alternatives too that it can get confusing. Cow’s milk and dairy products have research to support that they are important for protein, calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients in our diet along with protecting against many of our chronic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Whether it be a carton of milk, Rokeby Farms Probiotic Yoghurt or Whole Protein Smoothies milk is a clear winner. Adding to your breakfast cereal, in a smoothie, making custard for a snack or dessert or mashing your potatoes.

Did you know that milk is a perfect rehydration and recovery food and fluid after exercise? It hydrates you with the water and electrolytes it contains and has protein and carbohydrate for recovery and repair. It could also fuel you before exercise too.

2.    Oats

Oats are a whole-grain with soluble fibre, a fibre that is often talked about in relation to its benefits on lowering cholesterol. The betaglucan is the main soluble fibre in the oats responsible for the benefits. You can store oats in the pantry in an air tight container ready to make porridge, bircher muesli, add to baking of breads, cakes and cookies or use as a topping when baking apples.

A breakfast that starts the day with overnight oats made with Rokeby farms Probiotic yoghurt, some fresh or dried fruit and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds will keep you going until lunchtime!

3.    Strawberries

It is not only oranges that contain vitamin C, strawberries like many fruits contain Vitamin C too.  Did you know that an average strawberry has around 200 seeds all on the outside, which technically means they aren’t a berry as berries should have seeds on the inside!

Strawberries are perfect when you have that sweet craving to eat straight out of the punnet or add to a smoothie made with Rokeby Farms Probiotic Vanilla Yoghurt, that will get you through the afternoon.

Strawberries are also delicious added to a salad, try it with some balsamic vinegar dressing!

4.    Almonds and other nuts

Did you know to keep your almonds fresh for longer you should store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer? You can keep natural almonds fresh for around 2 years this way and roasted almonds up to a year!

A handful of nuts a day (~30g) is recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines and research shows around 50g a day is beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease.  Nuts kept in your pantry ensure you have a store of a healthy fats snack, that also has protein and dietary fibre for your body to enjoy.

5.    Chickpeas

Chickpeas have been grown and eaten in Middle Eastern countries for thousands of years and bring a nutty taste and grainy texture. As a legume, chickpeas are a source of protein that can add to the plant protein in our diet. As a replacement to wheat flour, you can use chickpea flour with Rokeby Farms Probiotic yoghurt to make am delicious flatbreads in no time.

Keeping a can of chickpeas in the pantry means you can add them to soups, curries, whip up a hummus and add them to salads.

6.    Coffee

You might be wondering why a dietitian has said to have coffee in the cupboard, hardly a must have for a healthy diet. Many of us enjoy a coffee (I am one of the few that don’t) and food and drinks also need to be enjoyed and well as be nourishing with nutrients.

On the nutrient side coffee beans are rich in a number of antioxidants, more than in tea or red wine. There are many types of antioxidants, and these can help protect our cells against for our body to function properly. Coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may be a reason for it being one of the world’s most popular beverages. There is no need to take up coffee drinking if you don’t, remember it does contain caffeine which is not for everybody and can impact your sleep, but if you do enjoying a cup and don’t feel any negative side effects it will add to your antioxidant intake for the day. Your visitors might enjoy a cup too.

There is also the Rokeby Farms Whole Protein double expresso Smoothie, that will give you a caffeine hit! There is research to show that caffeine in sports can reduce the perception of effort, (how hard the activity feels). You can speak to an Accredited Sports Dietitian to help you decide whether caffeine is beneficial for your sports performance.

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