Store cupboard supplies

10 Top Items For Your Healthy Store Cupboard

Eating healthily isn’t about eating just lettuce leaves. It is about enjoying real food every single day. You don’t need to have lots of fancy ingredients in your store cupboard. If your cupboards are stocked with a base of ‘essential’ items then it is always possible to make a healthy meal even if the fridge is bare! Here is my top ten that I always have in my cupboards. From these I can make a variety of delicious meals or use them as a base for meat, fish, eggs and fresh vegetables.


1) Red Onions and Garlic

Not strictly store cupboard items but they can be stored and kept for a significant time. They form the base of almost all savoury dishes that I make and are the aromatics on which the flavor of a dish is made. I always use red onions rather than white as their deep purple colour is due to flavonoids that are supportive of cardiovascular health. The flavonoids actions result in the relaxation of blood vessels and a lowering of blood pressure.


2) Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

The only two oils I use for cooking. The reasons for this is worthy of a whole separate article, but in short they contain very little of the omega 6 fatty acid that is a metabolic precursor to inflammatory compounds. Olive oil may also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure. I use olive oil for most stove top cooking and coconut oil for higher temperature roasting as it stable at higher temperatures.


3) Sea Salt, Turmeric, Cumin, Chilli Flakes, Curry Powder, Cinnamon and other spices

Seasoning your aromatics at the early stages of cooking ensures the flavours of a will come though into the finished dish. I always use sea salt rather than table salt that is highly processed and lacks any of the essential minerals that are vital for health. Keep a good selection of spices so that you can make a variety of different dishes.


 4) Oats

Oats can be used for porridge, granola, muesli, snacks, toppings for bakes and desserts. High in the soluble fibre beta-glucan they are supportive of digestive and cardiovascular health. Fibre adds bulk to the stool assisting in the transit through the bowel. Beta-glucan produces a gel like substance that binds to cholesterol in the gut hence reducing its absorption into the blood stream. Being a complex carbohydrate, energy is released slowly and they are great food for keeping blood sugars balanced.


5) Wholegrain Rice

Rice can accompany many meals. Always choose wholegrain/brown rice which is dense in fibre, B vitamins and many minerals such as manganese which is important in energy production as well as providing antioxidant protection.


6) Lentils

Use lentils to make delicious dahls, curries soups and bakes. Like oats they are high in soluble fibre and so aid in removing cholesterol from the gut.


7) Quinoa

Quinoa can accompany many meals as an alternative to rice, form the basis of salads or be used to make treats and snacks. It is high in protein and lower in carbohydrate than rice. It has a low glycaemic load and releases energy slowly helping keep blood sugar levels balanced.


8) Chickpeas, Black Beans and other tinned beans and pulses

Used to make hummus, stews, bakes and curries keep a selection of tins in the cupboard. They are good sources of protein, high in fibre and make a quick easy meal.


9) Nuts and Seeds

Keep an assortment of nuts and seeds and nut butters in your store cupboard. They are great source of protein and minerals can easily be sprinkled onto dishes or added to smoothies and porridge


10) Passata and Tinned Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good base for many dishes and rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene protects blood vessels from damage of dietary fats and is more bioavailable by the body when tomatoes are cooked.



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