10 Kitchen Staples Every Meal Prepper Should Keep In Stock
Meal prepping has quickly become a popular way for young professionals, families, students, etc., to save time, money and to minimise stress throughout the week.
Using ingredients you already have adds a whole new dimension to prepping your meals for the week ahead.
Whether you're just starting out with meal prepping or already a pro, stocking up on certain ingredients can make all the difference when it comes to creating nutrient-dense dishes quickly and efficiently.
Let's take a look:
1. Versatile Ingredients
Keeping your cupboards stocked with multi-use ingredients is one of the best ways to not only keep your diet varied but also to save money on your grocery shopping.
Staples such as canned and dry goods can provide an array of nutritious options to choose from when creating meals.
You can do a great deal with salt and pepper, however, a whole new world opens up when you begin to explore the vast array of herbs and spices available.
From cumin to turmeric, these flavoursome ingredients help to bring meals alive with unique aromas and tastes.
Some will pack quite the punch, others are more subtle, and together they become the perfect combination.
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- smoked paprika
- ground cinnamon
- ground cumin,
- chilli flakes
(this is not an exhaustive list - just some to get started on).
3. Frozen Vegetables
For years, we were told that frozen vegetables were nowhere near as good as the fresh produce.
But what we now know is that frozen vegetables can actually be superior in terms of nutrient content and convenience.
Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of their freshness, blanched, and quickly frozen to lock in their nutritional goodness.
This preserves them for weeks or even months and makes for an easy addition to any meal.
4. Healthy Proteins
Protein is essential for providing energy, repairing cells and helping to build strong muscles.
From canned tuna and salmon to frozen fish fillets, quinoa, tofu and legumes - there is no shortage of healthy protein options available out there.
It's all about experimenting with different ingredients and finding what works best for you.
5. Fats & Oils
In years gone by, mention the word "fat", and it was automatically associated with being "unhealthy".
We now know that there are healthy fats and oils that we should be eating regularly.
Healthy options include:
- avocado oil
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- nut butters
- nuts & seeds
Healthy fats and oils are essential for any balanced diet - healthy oils not only provide energy to the body but also assist with the absorption of other key nutrients, such as vitamins A, D and E, as well as antioxidants.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a fantastic addition to any diet because they offer many health benefits and thus making them great pantry staples.
They provide complex carbohydrates which release energy slowly over a period of time, as well as rich sources of dietary fibre.
Regularly including whole grains in your meals is an excellent way to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need.
7. International Cuisine
Sometimes, it can be easy to get stuck in a food rut and end up eating the same thing week on week.
To prevent culinary ennui, why not switch things up with some international cuisine?
Having a few simple recipes on hand means you'll never run out of ideas for meal prep-friendly meals.
Look for dishes such as curries, stir-fries and soups that use easily accessible ingredients.
8. Snack Foods
Snacks are an essential part of any meal prep plan.
Having pre-prepared snacks in the fridge or pantry just means you have something nutritious on hand when hunger strikes.
Look for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit - these provide energy, vitamins and minerals that will help keep you going throughout your day.
9. Produce Seasonings
Adding seasoning to your produce is an excellent way for meal preppers to add flavour and variety to their dishes.
Seasoning adds an extra dimension of taste and can help liven up everyday basics like roasted vegetables, grains or salads.
Popular seasonings include herbs such as basil, oregano and thyme; spices such as cumin, coriander or turmeric; or even citrus zest.
Experimenting with different flavour combinations is a fantastic way to keep your meals exciting and delicious!
Not many meals will be eaten without making use of some form of condiment, whether that's as part of the dish or on the side.
Condiments are a great way to add flavour and texture to a dish, so have some on hand in your pantry.
Popular condiments include mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, tabasco and soy sauce - these can be used to jazz up any meal in no time at all.
Ketchup and honey are great for sweetening a dish, whereas vinegar (balsamic) works wonders for adding either a sharp, tangy flavour or breaking up a sauce.
Making sure these pantry staples are always stocked in your home means you'll never be short of ideas when it comes to meal prepping.
With these tips, you'll be able to create delicious, healthy and cost-effective meals with ease!
BONUS: Superfood Powders
Superfood powders are becoming increasingly popular and offer a variety of health benefits that make them great additions to any meal-prepping plan.
Examples of superfood powders include matcha powder, spirulina powder, chia seed powder and acai powder - all of which boast impressive nutritional profiles.
They can be added to smoothies, porridge or yoghurt for a nutrient boost and make your meals look and taste great!
Meal prepping is a great way to save time and money while still eating nutritious meals.
Stocking your pantry with the right ingredients will ensure you have plenty of options when it comes to meal planning.
Healthy fats, whole grains, international cuisine, snack foods, produce seasonings, and condiments are all staples that should be included in any well-stocked kitchen.
And if you're looking for something extra special - superfood powders can add an added boost of nutrition as well as flavour!
With these simple tips, you'll never run out of ideas or miss out on essential nutrients ever again.
Anything you'd like to add? Leave us a comment below!