Pantry Basics: What Makes a Well Stocked Pantry?

Hi Friends! This past weekend I went to a yoga retreat. At the retreat I had the opportunity to really ground myself and refocus. I have decided that I really need to spend more time nurturing the areas of my life that bring me joy. And you guessed it, my blog is one of those areas of my life that brings me joy. This year it has really fallen aside as I have spent time focusing on other areas of my life that don't make me as happy and as a result haven't been feeling as inspired or motivated in some really important areas of my life; my blog being one of those areas. So, I have made a plan to revamp my blog and refocus my efforts. The change will be gradual, but I plan to try to post more regularly on a variety of food and wine related topics.

One of my ideas was to have a post once a week on Pantry Basics. What those posts will be comprised of are information regarding how to stock your pantry (the topic of this post actually), ingredient studies where we look at one ingredient in particular and think about what it is, what nutritional benefits it may have and how you can use it in your day-to-day cooking and baking. If you have any items or ingredients you would like me to feature, please let me know!

For my first pantry basics post I thought a fitting topic would be a discussion on what constitutes a well stocked pantry! Here's my thoughts on what a well stocked pantry would include so that you're prepared for anything. If you have anything to add to my list, feel free to add it in the comments! I'm always curious what others keep on hand and consider to be essential. I've broken my list down into categories to make it more manageable.

Photo credit to Blisstree.com

Fats/ Oils:
Olive oil (preferably extra virgin), coconut oil, canola oil, sesame oil, butter

Red and white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar (organic tastes way better than regular - Braggs is my favorite brand so far)

Spices & Seasonings:
Sea salt, black peppercorns (none of the pre-ground nasty stuff), red chili flakes, dried basil, thyme leaves, cinnamon, mustard seeds, nutmeg, oregano, granulated garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, regular paprika (aka sweet Hungarian paprika), cumin (whole seed and ground), ground coriander, turmeric, cloves, bay leaves, garam masala, curry powder

Bottles & Jars:
Dijon mustard (I like the really grainy stuff or the stuff with chardonnay in it), Asian chili paste (aka sambal oelek), mayonnaise, curry paste (thai and indian), barbecue sauce, pesto, apricot jam, maple syrup, soy sauce, ketchup, tabasco or other hot sauce, peanut butter, tahini, honey, vanilla

Canned Goods:
Chicken, beef and vegetable stock, canned tomatoes (preferably good quality, whole tomatoes), black, red and white beans, tomato paste, kernel corn, plain tomato sauce, chickpeas, chipotle chilies in adobo, sweetened condensed milk, light coconut milk, canned salmon and tuna

Frozen Goods:
Nuts (almonds, pecans and walnuts), peas, assorted fruits

Dry Goods and Other Miscellaneous Items:
Good coffee, loose-leaf teas, assortment of good quality dried pasta (fettuccini, penne, spaghetti, rice noodles), bittersweet chocolate, dried apricots, dried cranberries, flour (unbleached and whole wheat), sugar (granulated, brown and icing sugar), oats, cornmeal, rice (basmati, brown and Arborio), lentils, popping corn, tortilla chips, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, dried yeast, unsweetened cocoa powder, cous cous, quinoa

Photo credit above: coffeeproductionandstuff.blogspot.ca

Seems like a super long list doesn't it? But it really is amazing how far the above ingredients will go. Really all you need are your fresh ingredients to supplement those items and the odd specialty item and you're set! I hope you have found this post useful and informative. Let me know what you think about the pantry basics series I'm starting on and what you would like to see in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

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