Many people have cooked more at home than usual. Today it is more important than ever that your pantry is filled with healthy and varied commodities to allow you to prepare quick and delicious meals for you and your family.
Here are some of the highlights from my pantry, as well as information on how they can help you improve your overall health.
A Selection of Healthy Cereals and Flours
It is important to have a large number of healthy cereals and flours, especially if you cook a lot during this period. Always have a sufficient stock of wild rice, quinoa, whole dry pasta and wheat flour substitutes such as coconut flour, cassava flour and organic cocoa flour. These ingredients have beneficial health effects and delicious taste. If you want to prepare something out of the ordinary, with a lot of flavor, these products will be of great help to you.
Here are some of the health benefits of my favorite alternative flours.
Coconut Flour: The Best Gluten-Free Alternative
Coconut flour is a gluten-free alternative to ordinary wheat flour and can be used in your recipes because it contains various nutrients and has beneficial effects. You can make cookies, muffins, bread, pancakes and many other preparations with this versatile flour, which has the following advantages:
- High in fiber: coconut flour is rich in fiber, which promotes good digestion.
- Stimulates metabolism and stabilizes the level of sugar in the blood. Coconut flour is rich in healthy saturated fats in the form of medium-chain fatty acids. This promotes good metabolism, and also stabilizes the level of sugar in the blood. It is a food product with a low glycemic index that does not cause blood glucose peaks.
- Promotes heart health: it is rich in nutrients and helps strengthen heart health. Coconut flour can help reduce bad cholesterol and is beneficial to the heart due to its high content of fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
- Contributes to weight management: it promotes the feeling of prolonged satiety, which can facilitate weight management.
Cassava Flour: A Good Carbohydrate
Cassava flour is produced from cassava tubers, soft, sweet and nutty in taste. It is an excellent substitute for wheat flour and it does not contain gluten. You can make pancakes, bread and tortillas with cassava flour. You can also use it to thicken soups or sauces. It also has the following advantages:
- Rich in fiber: it promotes digestion thanks to its high fiber content and helps maintain regularity.
- Contains good carbohydrates: cassava flour is a complex carbohydrate that prolongs the feeling of satiety and promotes good health.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: with a high content of vitamins such as thiamine and riboflavin, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, it can help strengthen various physiological functions of the body.
Organic Cocoa Flour: Chocolate with A Dose of Antioxidants
Organic cocoa flour is obtained by grinding dried cocoa beans and removing the fat used in the manufacture of cocoa butter. It is also a gluten-free and organic flour that is very versatile. With this organic cocoa flour, you can make muffins, cakes, brownies, fondants and pancakes. The main health benefits of cocoa flour are:
- Rich in antioxidants: cocoa flour contains important natural antioxidants called polyphenols that promote health in various ways. They can reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation and maintain blood sugar levels.
- Potential beneficial effects on blood pressure: the consumption of organic cocoa flour increases the level of nitric oxide in the blood, which can help regulate blood pressure.
- Heart and brain health: due to its potential beneficial effect on circulation in the body, cocoa flour can strengthen heart and brain health.
- Can improve mood: cocoa has the natural ability to convert tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin acts as a mood stabilizer and helps you fight anxiety, stress and depression.
Choose Oils and Vinegar Carefully
It is recommended to build reserves of healthy oils that you can use to prepare your meals. Other essential products like apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar are must-haves that you should not forget. Choose healthy oils like olive oil, sesame oil and avocado oil to ensure a balanced diet. Avocado oil, for example, provides various beneficial and health-stimulating effects, which are listed below.
Avocado Oil: A Beneficial Alternative for The Heart
Avocado oil can be easily incorporated into your daily meals and offers excellent health benefits. You can use it as a seasoning oil in your marinades, for your smoothies, and even in soups.
Can improve heart health: avocado oil helps to increase the level of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, in the blood and promotes good blood circulation. Its ability to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health has been demonstrated.
Lutein strengthens eye health: it contains a special antioxidant called lutein that helps your eyes work properly. Avocado oil can help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Rich in oleic acid: oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that is particularly beneficial for the heart. It contributes to the maintenance of the physiological functions of the body to promote general good health.
Strengthens gums and skin: avocado oil can help fight gum pathologies. It can improve the quality of the skin and contribute to the acceleration of wound healing.
Pick Up Dishes with Spices and Condiments
Some basic spices and condiments are indispensable in your pantry. Make sure you have jams, sauces, maple syrup, nut butter and raw honey to flavor your preparations.
Raw Honey: The Sweet Super Food
Prefer raw honey to ordinary honey because it has many health benefits:
- Antioxidants: raw honey contains various antioxidants such as flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and phytochemicals. Processing raw honey reduces the effectiveness of these compounds. Antioxidants effectively remove free radicals in your body, thereby reducing oxidative stress.
- Antibacterial and antimicrobial Agent: raw honey has long been used for its medicinal properties. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of raw honey can contribute to the healing of the body.
- Fight against colds and coughs: honey can greatly alleviate cough and other throat problems. Tea infused with honey can help strengthen immunity and fight the symptoms of colds.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: raw honey is a nutrient-rich food that contains vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus, thus helping to promote overall health.
- Fighting inflammation: honey can help prevent inflammations in the body that have been found to be involved in many diseases and ailments.
Keep Preserves at Your Fingertips
It is always useful to have an assortment of canned products such as tuna, beans, lentils, tomatoes and coconut milk in your pantry. You can use them to enhance your meals easily. It is particularly beneficial in the event of a pandemic to have different non-perishable foods, as supermarket supply chains may face difficulties.
Dried Fruits and Vegetables for Micro-Nutrients
Dried fruits and vegetables are essential staple foods in any pantry. Canned fruits are also interesting to keep at hand. To remove part of the sugar, it is enough to drain the canned fruits under cold water.
Always keep at hand long-keeping milk or a non-dairy substitute, as well as various herbal teas. A cup of hot or cold tea can be the ideal solution to cheer you up and preserve your health during this pandemic.
Herbal tea is a drink that can be drunk without fear of excess calories. It strengthens your system from the inside and soothes you on different levels. Herbal teas have varied health benefits. Based on your well-being concerns, you can choose the ones that best suit you. Look for those that have these beneficial effects:
- Strengthens immunity: many herbal teas have immune-stimulating and antioxidant properties that help you fight germs and diseases.
- Muscle relaxant: some varieties of herbal teas contain anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxants that can act effectively against muscle pain, joint pain and headache.
- Soothes the stomach: some herbal teas can help relieve stomach pain by relaxing smooth muscles and decreasing gases.
- Weight management: there are specific herbal teas that contribute to weight loss and maintenance, but replacing sweet or calorie drinks with tea can also help in this area.
With a little planning, you can have an assortment of healthy ingredients in your pantry to meet your needs. A well-stocked kitchen allows you to always have at hand what you need to prepare delicious and healthy meals, for you and your family.