Time for some spring cleaning? Don’t forget the kitchen! Read on for some super swaps you can make while cleaning out the pantry to boost the nutrient density of your favorite shelf-stable staples:
Use white flour or rice? Wow ’em next time with whole grains
White ﬂour and white rice are reﬁned grains meaning they have had their most nutrient-dense parts (the bran and germ) removed. Reﬁning a grain removes about a quarter of its protein and at least half of its other nutrients. Whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or amaranth are more satiating because the fiber slows down their digestion helping to sustain the energy you gain from them for longer. Here are some of our most popular whole grain recipes:
- Quinoa veggie bowl
- Black bean, sweet potato and kale quesadilla
- Creamy Greek yogurt mac and cheese
- Carrot muffins
Is cereal a morning must-have? Try something more sustaining
When choosing a cereal, look for one that has at least 3 g of fiber and less than 10 g of sugar per serving. Some of our favorites include Kashi Heart to Heart, Barbara’s Puffins and Nature’s Path Smart Bran. Another option for a morning meal is oatmeal, which is a whole grain and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Need oats on the go? Try Bob’s Red Mill’s single-serving classic oatmeal cup.
Keep a boxed dinner on hand for emergencies? Swap it out for a vegetable soup
We love Pacific foods soups for a fast, filling dinner. Look for broth-based vegetable soups, and if you need to add more bulk look to other pantry staples like canned beans (rinse them well!) and whole grains. Then just heat and eat– that’s our kind of fast food!
This is also one of our five fast lunch ideas! Read on for the rest!
Stocked with salty, simple carbohydrate snacks? Swap ’em out for something with fiber and protein
Toss the puffs, potato chips, and fish-shaped crackers. Snacking has come a long way in recent years with tons of more filling (and fueling!) options for eating between meals. Dehydrated vegetable chips like Bare carrot chips, Rhythm beet chips or Jicachips are all lower in fat and higher in fiber than your traditional chip. We also love popcorn (it’s a whole grain!) when you have a craving for something crunchy, or Biena roasted chickpeas, which has that winning combination of fiber and plant-based protein in one. Don’t forget about raw and dry roasted nuts too– just keep it to a 1/4 cup serving.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth at snack time, freeze-dried fruit is your friend. Read more about the differences between freeze-dried, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables here.
Need more help with pantry clean out? FEED dietitians are available for in-home pantry overhaul sessions that include what to stock, but also where to keep things to maintain your healthy habits. Book an appointment for help with your spring cleaning now!