Today we are chatting all about how to stock a nutrient-dense pantry with easy pantry staples for paleo, Whole30, gluten-free and keto/low carb. But also a little spoiler alert for you…. these pantry staples are NOT exclusive to any one nutritional or dietary approach, this pantry list is all about a focus on real food, easy, budget-friendly shelf-stable nutrient-dense proteins, healthy fats, smarter snacks and foods that will support your vibrant well being!
Having a well stocked pantry is the best way to stay ahead, be prepared and have what you need to throw together easy meals, no matter what life throws your way. I’m sharing some of my favorite real food pantry must-haves along with the best and most affordable ways to stay stocked up! So this way your pantry will be full and your wallet won’t be empty.
Keep this list of healthy pantry staples handy, this is the list I share with all my nutrition clients looking to have a well-stocked pantry with the best-of-the-best real food basics!
Most importantly, I want to show you that eating healthy and eating well doesn’t have to bankrupt you. We know the cost of health foods is an investment in our future and our health, but sometimes if feels like we need a second job just to pay for it all. But, by planning ahead and having a system in place to stock your healthy pantry, you can keep these healthy foods on hand, and keep your costs down.
EASY PANTRY STAPLES – A HOW TO GUIDE TO STOCKING A NUTRIENT-DENSE, BUDGET-FRIENDLY PANTRY:
Cooking Oils and Fats
- Grass-fed ghee
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil (and avocado oil spray)
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Coconut butter
- Cocoa butter
- Grass-fed tallow, pasture-raised lard, chicken fat, duck fat and other animal fats
- Almond butter and other nut butters
- Macadamia nut oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, sesame and other nut/seed oils for non-cooking/finishing and salad dressings
As always I highly suggest to avoid refined vegetable and seed oils for cooking. You can read more here about why to avoid them and check out this article to read lots more about healthy fats and why they are important and this article where you can learn more about the various fats and oils and when to choose which one.
Sauces, Flavors and Condiments
- Sea salt or Himalayan salt
- Black pepper
- Dried spices and herbs and spice blends
- Fish sauce
- Coconut aminos
- Avocado oil mayo
- Shelf stable bone broth
- Canned pumpkin
- Salad dressings / marinades (made from avocado oil and other quality oils)
- Apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and other vinegars
- Olive tapenade, olives, capers
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Curry Sauce
- Tomato sauce and paste
- Marinara or other pasta sauces
- Hot sauces
- Lemon juice / lime juice
- Canned coconut milk / coconut cream
- Shelf stable non-dairy milks and creamers (almond, cashew, etc)
These are just some of my favorite ways to bring extra flavor to dishes and meals and many times extra nutrients, too! Having a solid arsenal of condiments and other flavor options are the key to taking any meal from blah to epic!! Sauces and condiments can be a place where some not-so-lovely ingredients hide, vegetable oils, excessive sugar, etc – read your labels.
Pantry Stable Proteins
- Wild caught salmon
- Wild caught tuna
- Wild caught sardines
- Wild caught anchovies
- Smoked oysters and clams
Easy to grab, on the go, no refrigeration needed proteins that are great for lunch at the office, and perfect when you forget to plan ahead or meal prep.
- Cacao / cocoa powder
- Baking powder + soda
- Almond flour and almond meal
- Coconut flour
- Arrowroot flour / tapioca flour*
- Cassava flour*
- Vanilla extract, paste or vanilla bean powder
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts / seeds
- Flax seeds and ground flaxseeds
- Psyllium husk
- Canned pumpkin
- Coconut flakes/shredded coconut
- Dark chocolate (85% or darker)
- Cacao nibs or chocolate chips*
- Coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, date sugar, date syrup*
- Stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, xylitol or other natural sweeteners
* these ingredients may not work for some individual’s keto approach depending on quantity, etc. obviously use your own discretion.
These are some of my favorite ingredients for grain-free baking ingredients. Whole30 generally avoids baking. all sweeteners and “treats” so obviously use your own discretion here.
- Pork rinds
- Kale chips
- Seaweed snacks and nori sheets
- Macadamia nuts, pili nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts and other nuts
- Sprouted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and other seeds
- Dark chocolate (85% or darker)
- Grass-fed beef jerky and beef sticks, turkey sticks, salmon jerky and other jerkies
- Almond butter, pili nut butter and other nut butters (without sugar or added vegetable oils)
- Plantain chips*
- Grain-free tortilla chips*
* these foods may not fit some individual’s ketogenic approach, obviously use your own discretion.
These are just some of my favorite options for snacking instead of those empty calorie, sugar/carb loaded snacks often reached for in moments of desperation. Read more here about smarter snacking and how to choose “healthier” snacks.
Other Great Pantry Foods:
- Gelatin, collagen peptides
- Quality protein powder
- Coconut wraps
- Rice pasta*
- Sprouted rice*
- Dried or canned beans*
*while these ingredients are not technically paleo, Whole30 or keto compliant, depending on your personalized approach these gluten-free foods may play an important role in your personal nutrient-dense diet. If it applies to you, I recommend soaking and sprouting grains and legumes for easier digestion.
Having the right food on hand, the important pantry staples, this is a budget conscious way to make meal planning and meal prep a breeze, it makes it so you have everything you need right at your finger tips, which is KEY for making the healthful food choices that are right for you and your health goals! For more real food resources for meal planning, grocery shopping, to make cooking at eating at home easy, check out this in depth resources.
Ordering my pantry staples online from Thrive Market has been a huge time and money saver for me in keeping our pantry stocked and not having to run to the grocery store, every single time I run low on something we need. I especially love the automatic reorder option for the pantry staples I know we use regularly, cooking oils, avocado oil mayo, my favorite snacks – basically the foods I want to be certain we always have on hand. All their best-selling organic foods and natural products are 25-50% below traditional retail prices and you get free shipping on orders over $49. By using this exclusive link I’m sharing with you all here, you will also save and additional 25% off your first purchase and you get a FREE 30 day trial!
Some of what I absolutely LOVE about Thrive Market and why I recommend it to my nutrition clients:
- their easy to sort and search catalog so you can find the right products for you with an incredible amount of filters, from dietary preferences like keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, but you can also select products that have verified certifications like non-GMO, organic, fair trade, certified vegan, whole30 approved and more. You can shop products via environmental and social values and missions, like recycled packaging, ethically sourced, family-owned business, made in the USA and SO much more.
- easy auto ship options for your favorite products to be automatically delivered to you monthly, so you’re never out.
- quick shipping, I almost always have my orders in about two days.
- efficient, compact recyclable packaging, no styrofoam or packaging peanuts.
My favorite part about Thrive every membership, a free membership is given to someone in need: a low-income family, teacher or veteran.