In times such as these, it’s essential we’re smart with our store cupboard essentials. Hoarding is not advised, but eating well is so we want to make sure you can still get the goodness you need from slightly barer cupboards.
Cue: a blog to share with you what’s sitting pretty in our pantry.
Pasta may have been the first to disappear off the supermarket shelves (apart from loo roll), which we know can be gutting as pasta is a sure staple in any good diet! However, it does mean we can turn our attention to some amazing grains that often get overlooked. Most of them are super cheap and offer up a variety of health benefits. They are all good sources of dietary fibre which has been linked to heart health and aiding stable blood sugar levels.
You don’t just have to boil them up solo and serve them bland on the side, they can be boiled in spices or with lemon, be the main component of a risotto-like dish, or blended up to make a crunchy coating on your fish cakes etc.
So go on, pick up that anomally be it wild rice, buckwheat, oats, bulgur wheat, polenta, quinoa, pearl barley orcouscous. Get experimenting with your grains.
Again baked beans are cracking but they were also whipped up in seconds, what’s to stop you from making your own. Give our curried peanut butter baked beans ago and we can guarantee you won’t go back to the beans branded Heinz in a hurry.
There are so many options such as chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans (E’s fave), black beans, black-eyed beans, haricot beans, green lentils, flageolet beans, and more! You can scatter them on salads, blend them into a dip, fold them into curries/stews/chilli, and mash them into bean burgers.
Looking for something a bit meatier but don’t fancy ham in a can? On the tinned fish front tuna is a great source of protein and sardines are packed full of omegas. If you are vegan or looking to reduce your meat intake then try some tinned jackfruit. We will admit it doesn’t look the most inviting jammed into a tin (or sometimes vacuumed packed), but it really takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it in and shreds up much like meat. It doesn’t have a high protein content but it is bursting with vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.
Dried herbs and spices:
I know they don’t bring much in terms of calories but the flavour can really make or break a meal. Even if your cupboard options are pretty samey you can really add a twist with a jar or two of spice.
Our favourite spices: paprika, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin and chilli flakes
Our favourite dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, basil and parsley
Our favourite blends: Mixed dried herbs, curry powder, Piri Piri, and Chinese 5 spice
Pesto is a firm TTH favourite. Many of you many know that pesto pasta with peas and parmesan is our go-to dinner the night before a big race for us. However, it is not just limited to smothering pasta. Try butterflying a chicken breast spreading it in the middle and folding it closed again before roasting it, or spreading it on toast before topping with scrambled egg, or maybe mixing some with butter beans before tossing them into a salad. The world is your oyster!
What are your go-to must-haves for the cupboard?