My top 10 pantry essentials

Creating nourishing and wholesome meals is so much easier when you have your pantry stocked with some essential basics with which you can whip up a healthy dinner in no time. Having whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and spices in your pantry, means you no longer have an excuse for not cooking a quick meal on busy days. For a long time, some white pasta and ready-made pasta sauce was my go-to for an effortless pantry meal, but as my interest in nutrition has grown, I have ditched the white pasta and replaced it with these 10 essentials.

1. Oats

I absolutely love oats and in winter I have them for breakfast almost every day. Oats also serve as my go-to dinner on days I am so tired that cooking a proper meal just seems to much of a chore. By adding some zucchini or grated carrot, I can take the humble oat and turn it into a dinner-worthy meal.

2. Brown rice

I have written a blog post about why brown rice is so much healthier than white rice, but it really should come as no surprise. Because brown rice naturally has a nutty flavour, all it really needs is some steamed veggies on the side and a bit of seasoning to make a killer quick dinner.

3. Quinoa

Another essential grain for me is quinoa. This grain is quick to boil, full of fiber and protein and makes for the perfect filler in a ‘toss in whatever is left in the fridge’ salad. I tend to buy organic three-colour quinoa, as it adds some colour and dimension to my dish.

4. Brown and Red Lentils

Although I love many legumes, brown and red lentils are definitely my pantry essentials. They cook a lot quicker than most beans and work great in an earthy winter soup or as a light dahl in summer.

5. Miso

Besides salt and pepper, miso is my favourite condiment to use in cooking. It offers saltiness and has a similar flavour to soy sauce. However, as it is packed with loads of probiotics, miso is always my preferred healthy choice for any Asian dishes.

6. Tahini

I am so obsessed with this stuff that I put it on almost everything. I add it to salad dressings, oatmeal, homemade hummus, bread spreads, curries and anything else that I can think off. I justify this to myself with the fact that (unhulled) tahini is full of calcium, making it a perfect food to add to my vegan diet.

7. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are my essential salad/soup/oatmeal toppers, as they add the perfect crunch. The seeds are particularly high in magnesium, iron and zinc, which again make them a perfect staple food for any vegan.

8. Flaxseed

The king of all seeds! Flaxseed is exceptionally high in omega 3s. Since our food culture is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, balancing those out with some omega 3 is crucial for your health. I must admit that I don’t use flax seeds as much of a flavour addition, but because their health benefits are so important, I do aim to eat 3 tablespoons of flax every day.

9. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is known as having a cheesy flavour and although I am not convinced on that, I do think it is absolutely delicious. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on all types of dishes, from pasta dishes and stir-fries to salads and oven-fried potato chips. The high amounts of B vitamins make it another nutritional powerhouse.

10.Cacao nibs

Sprinkling cacao nibs over a bowl of oats takes care of any chocolate cravings I might have, so I make sure to always stock up on a jar of cacao nibs. These little bits of cacao beans are clearly more nutritious than their processed counterparts, so keeping them in my pantry at all times ensures I don’t have chocolate on a regular basis anymore.

These are my 10 favourite pantry essentials and together with fresh fruits and veggies daily, they make eating healthy eating that much easier. I still keep loads of other good stuff in my pantry, but without these 10 foods my kitchen definitely feels empty.


  1. February 3, 2019 / 3:37 pm

    Woeee, ik heb vier van dit rijtje ook altijd in huis: oats, zilvervliesrijst, lijnzaad en quinoa. Linzen eet ik vrij weinig, maar ik lust ze wel graag. Misschien binnenkort maar weer eens een receptje zoeken met linzen, mmm. Miso ken ik eigenlijk niet, alleen van het recept ‘miso soup’ (geloof ik). Geen idee wat het is, maar als er zoveel goeds in zit moet ik toch maar eens gaan kijken of ik daar ook iets mee kan. Liefs!

    • Lizzyfied
      February 3, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Miso lijkt qua smaak op soyasaus, dus ik gebruik het altijd als zout of smaakmaker in aziatische gerechten. Misschien kan ik weleens een een receptje delen met miso. 🙂

  2. February 6, 2019 / 1:20 am

    Pumpkin seeds are the best. I really love them on salads and in my granola for yogurt. Love all these staples!

    • Lizzyfied
      February 8, 2019 / 7:02 am

      Oh, I’ve never tried pumpkin seeds in my breakfast. I will have to give that a try some time. xx

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