Friday Five: 5 Things I Keep Stocked In My Pantry

For this week’s Friday Five, I’m sharing with you 5 things that I always keep stocked in my pantry. By keeping a pantry filled with healthy essentials, it makes it easy to whip up healthy dishes and snacks!

I keep my pantry well-stocked with lots of ingredients, but here are 5 of my favorite staples, the reasons I love them and how I incorporate them into my meals.

Tip: Buy these ingredients at your local bulk food store to save money, and store them in recycled glass jars to save space!

1. Hemp Hearts

I LOVE hemp hearts and recommend them all the time. They are super versatile and add an easy source of protein to any recipe!

Key health benefits:

  • High in Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Good for heart and brain function

  • Promote metabolism and a healthy immune system

  • A complete protein

  • Easy for your body to digest and absorb

  • Promote healthy skin and hair

  • High in fiber

  • Anti-inflammatory

My favorite way to eat them:

I use hemp hearts in my smoothies in place of protein powder! I haven't found a clean protein powder that I enjoy, so substituting hemp hearts is a great alternative. Plus, all of the added health benefits listed above make it that much better. I usually add 2-3 tbsp. in a single-serve smoothie. You can also add them to oatmeal, salads or yogurt!

Here's my go-to smoothie recipe:

  • 1/2 banana

  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries (cherries, raspberries, blueberries)

  • 1 cup spinach or kale

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 2-3 tbsp. hemp hearts

  • 1 tbsp. ground flax

  • 3/4 cup almond milk

  • Water to fill

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed.

2. Almond Flour

Almond flour is a great baking substitute and you get the health benefits of almonds. It's an easy substitute for processed white flour in recipes like muffins, cookies or other treats and is also gluten-free for those that need it!

Key health benefits:

  • Good source of protein

  • High in fiber

  • A source of calcium

  • High in important vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium and Vitamin E

My favorite way to eat it:

I use almond flour in almost all of my muffin recipes. I typically make a batch of muffins each week to have on hand as an easy snack, so I love using almond flour in place of wheat flour to increase the health benefits in my recipes!

3. Quinoa

The thing I love most about quinoa is that it can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It cooks up quickly and you can make a big batch ahead of time to add to meals throughout the week! Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino-acids that your body needs.

Key health benefits:

  • Packed with protein

  • Naturally gluten-free

  • High in fiber

  • Contains iron, magnesium, vitamin B2 and manganese

My favorite way to eat it:

It's hard to choose a favorite for this one, but I love using quinoa in my easy Breakfast Bake! Try it for quick breakfasts during the work week!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 2 eggs, beaten well

  • 2 cups almond milk

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey

  • 1 ¼ cups fruit of choice (my favorites are berries, bananas or apples!)

  • Sprinkle with walnuts or pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease a casserole dish with organic butter or coconut oil

  1. Rinse quinoa

  2. In a small bowl, combine the quinoa, cinnamon and nutmeg

  3. Spread it out over the bottom of the baking dish

  4. Cover the quinoa with your fruit

  5. When using bananas, I usually put extra cinnamon on top of the slices

  6. Add nuts here too if using

  7. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and syrup or honey

  8. Pour it on top of the fruit

  9. Bake for 50 min – 1 hour

  10. It should be mostly set, with a tiny amount of liquid still on top (will set completely while cooling)

This usually makes enough for me for 1 week worth of breakfasts. Just keep it in the fridge and reheat as needed!

4. Oats

There are so many great ways to use oats. They are inexpensive and are an under-rated health powerhouse (in my opinion!) I like the buy the large-flake version. You can also grind oats in a food processor to make oat flour - another great wheat flour substitution when baking!

Key health benefits:

  • High in complex carbohydrates

  • Contain twice as much protein as brown rice

  • Help to balance blood sugar

  • High in fiber

  • Helpful in lowering cholesterol

  • Contain iron and important B-vitamins

  • Good for digestion when soaked overnight

My favorite way to eat them:

Another quick breakfast that I love is overnight oats! Eating cold oats sounds strange to most people when I suggest it, but trust me - it's SO delicious!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1/3 cup oats, soaked in water overnight

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup raspberries (defrosted overnight if using frozen)

  • Maple syrup to taste

Soak the oats overnight. In the morning, drain them in the sink and mix in the remaining ingredients.

5. Chia Seeds

This one probably doesn't come as a surprise! Chia seeds have been known as a "super-food" for a while now. Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating them! :)

Key health benefits:

  • Contain the ideal balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids

  • Helpful in enhancing hydration - absorb large amounts of water

  • Help to balance blood sugars

  • High in protein, fiber and calcium, magnesium and iron

  • Anti-inflammatory

My favorite way to eat them:

Chia seeds are so easy to incorporate into any recipe. I throw them in smoothies, granola bars, cookies or salad dressings!

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A year ago, I decided it’s time to change my lifestyle. This meant taking control of my life and making important decisions..

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