Cooking healthy meals and choosing nutritious snacks becomes much easier when there are healthy choices at your fingertips. There are a few staples that are usually available in my kitchen, making nutritious snacks and meals easier to prepare. As our family heads into a busy season of juggling work, school and kid’s activities it’s important to make reaching for healthy options a priority.
Here are a few of my favorite kitchen staples that you’re likely to find if you stop by for a visit.
Olive oil has always been one of my favorite oils to use and has been touted by some to be one of the healthiest oils. It has so many interesting uses ranging from cooking to cleaning stainless steel appliances. Olive oil has a fairly high cooking temperature and adds great flavor to many dishes.We always have a few large bottles of olive oil hanging around on the counter or in the cabinet.
Coconut oil is another favorite that has become a staple in my kitchen (and bathroom!). I use it for everything from cooking and baking to removing my makeup. Go for the organic coconut oil if you can.
We like to spend time in Maine over the summer and summers wouldn’t be the same without Maine Organic Maple Syrup. Maple syrup is one of my favorite natural sweeteners and is perfect for baking. My kids can’t get enough of the stuff on pancakes and French toast. It’s important to read the label before buying to make sure you’re getting pure maple syrup.
Eggs are a staple in our home and as a result, our fridge is constantly filled with at least a dozen eggs. Our family’s been part of a CSA for many years and we receive an organic egg share each week. The eggs are delicious and definitely taste different than their store bought version (we did a taste test to prove this!).
Rice is a favorite at our house. It tops my list since it’s so easy to prepare. I use a rice cooker (THIS is my favorite rice cooker) with a timer so the rice is ready whenever we’re ready to eat. Make sure to rinse your rice before cooking to remove some of the arsenic. Here are a few interesting rice/arsenic facts from Treehugger:
• Basmati rice contains lower levels than other rice.
• Brown rice usually contains more arsenic than white rice (because of the husk).
• Growing rice organically doesn’t make a difference to levels.
• Rice cakes and crackers can contain levels higher than in cooked rice.
• The levels of arsenic found in rice milk far exceed the amounts that would be allowed in drinking water.
You will always find a container of baby spinach in my refrigerator. It’s great for a quick smoothie add-in or a sprinkle on top of any dish. Spinach is a nutritional rock star with one cup providing nearly 20% of the recommended allowance of dietary fiber and over 337% of the recommended allowance of vitamin A. One cup of spinach also provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K which helps to maintain the strength and density of our bones.
What staples are in your kitchen?
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