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5 Must-Have Healthy Pantry Essentials

By Vega on October 23, 2014, categorized in In the Kitchen, Plant-based Nutrition

5 Must-Have Healthy Pantry Essentials

Your superfood foundation for optimal health

If you need just another reason to pick up Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Energy Cookbook, besides the mouthwatering images and nutrient dense comfort food recipes, let’s go back to where it all starts—in your kitchen! A well-stocked pantry provides you the foundation for optimal health. Brendan shares his top pantry essentials in Thrive Energy Cookbook, but we wanted to give Vega Blog readers a look at five healthy pantry essentials to add to your shopping list today.

1. Coconut Oil

Virgin, organic coconut oil is a versatile cooking oil, with surprising health benefits. Although some people avoid coconut oil because it is high in saturated fat, the type of saturated fat is medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are digested in your body like a carbohydrate, meaning the liver easily converts them into energy, rather than storing them as visceral fat. Coconut oil remains stable up to temperatures of 350-400˚F, so is an excellent choice when cooking stir-fries, like quinoa “fried rice”.

2. Dinosaur Kale

Dark, leafy green vegetables are nutrient dense and alkaline-forming. They are also rich in chlorophyll—a green pigment that helps to oxygenate your blood. Dinosaur kale is delicious in everything from smoothies to chips to hearty raw salads.

Recipe Suggestions

3. Quinoa

Compared to many other grains, quinoa is light and fluffy, and actually not a grain! Technically a pseudograin, quinoa is a gluten-free protein powerhouse.  Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking in water (1:2 quinoa-to-water ratio) for about 15 minutes. Enjoy in the AM or PM!

Recipe Suggestions

4. Seaweed

If you’re already eating plenty of land vegetables, time to head to the sea. Sea vegetables like arame, wakame, nori, kombu, dulse, and kelp are a nutrient dense addition to your diet. Sea vegetables are rich in calcium, iron, iodine, and electrolytes. They are also easily digestible, chlorophyll-rich and alkaline-forming. Try making your own seaweed salad at home, or tossing dried dulse flakes on your next salad. You can also add chlorella (in moderate amounts) to any smoothie without drastically altering the taste.

5. Hemp seeds

Hemp is a superfood by any definition. A complete protein, rich in fiber and Omega-3s, hemp is a great addition to your diet. Look for cold-pressed hemp seed oil for salad dressing and whole hemp seeds to toss onto salads and smoothies.

Recipe Suggestions

For more pantry essentials, and function-focused, delicious, plant-based recipes, check out Thrive Energy Cookbook.

What are YOUR pantry essentials?

Vega

No matter what better means to you, Vega shares the knowledge, nutrition, and inspiration to support your quest to thrive.
Vega