5 Pantry Items I Can’t Live Without

I really believe that a well-stocked pantry is the key to making home-cooked meals a breeze.

I have lots of favourites in my pantry but here are five items that I can’t live without. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I buy Cobram Estate and I also love Nolan’s Road.

I use it to saute, drizzle over pasta and salads, and use as a base for my moisturiser, adding essential oils to it. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps us to absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E) in our vegetables. These are vitamins our bodies can’t actually absorb or utilise, unless there is a fat present. The fat stimulates the production of bile which is what helps to absorb those fat soluble vitamins.

My Garlic Prawn and Pea Spaghetti has a generous lug of extra virgin olive oil as does this delicious Lunchbox Friendly Pesto and Roast Pumpkin Dip and this beautiful Super Cleanse Salad.

Dark Chocolate

This is less about being an ingredient which makes cooking effortless and more about making being a mum more effortless 🤣 I particularly love a square of dark chocolate after lunch and I always go for 70% + dark chocolate. My current faves are Lindt , Greens & Black, and Alter Eco. My daughter makes a batch of Choc-Chip Cookies every week so we’ve always got a good stash of Enjoy Life or Lotus brand dark choc-chips in the cupboard too. 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain healthy, unsaturated fats and they pack a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals and fats. They protect against heart disease, manage inflammation, reduce LDL cholesterol and maintain brain function.

I always buy them organic because once they are picked and shelled, they are sprayed with pesticides and fungicides, and because they have a high oil content, these chemicals are easily absorbed.  

Each day I throw nuts and seeds into smoothies, lightly roast them and sprinkle over soups, add to homemade granola, mix into bliss balls, pop onto yoghurt parfaits or grab handfuls on the run.

Passata

A jar of passatta can help turn most ingredients into a meal.

The tomatoes are full of vitamins and antioxidants and fibre. Remembering that the health benefits of tomatoes actually increase with cooking.

Passata ads rich flavour to Italian dishes, pasta sauces as well as casseroles, slow cooker meals, soups, Mexican, curries and pizza sauce. I also spoon it on top of chicken, veal or fish, shake on some herbs and grate on some Parmesan cheese for a quick, tasty little dinner.  

Peanut Butter

My blog is littered with sweet recipes which include peanut butter, from my No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, to my Peanut Butter Slice, because I darn well love the stuff!

It’s a great source of protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. My kids love it on sourdough toast with a scraping of raw honey, slices of banana and a shake of cinnamon and sometimes late at night you can find me eating it right out of the jar.   

There you have it. What pantry staples can’t you live without?

How about healthy fats. Want to know more about my faves? Find out about three of my faves here.

Bren x

 

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