Ever wonder what’s in a dietitian’s pantry?
Of course I can’t speak for all dietitians out there, but on this page, I’ll share with you what’s in mine.
My goal for this page is to give you an idea of what I keep in my pantry and use on a daily basis. This is a very detailed list, but I hope this page inspires you to incorporate some healthy choices in your pantry as well. Maybe try something new! I also have a printable copy of this list. This way, you can use it as a guide when shopping!
Note: Nothing mentioned on this page is sponsored. However, I did include some affiliate links. This means that by buying from these links, you can support this blog. Some aren’t affiliate links, but I added a link to the products I use most. Know that I don’t always use the same products. I do look for sales when shopping and occasionally use other brands. However, these are all brands that I trust and use often. If there’s no link, it either means that I buy it in bulk from Bulk Barn or that I simply don’t use a specific brand. Thank you for your support!
Nuts and Seeds
I buy all of my nuts and seeds raw (or dry roasted unsalted on occasion). You may find other kinds in my pantry once in a while if I’m using them for a recipe, but those listed are the ones I almost always have on hand. I like to use them as snacks or in healthy desserts, such as raw treats and granola bars. Nuts and seeds are wonderful for your health and I eat them every single day.
Storage: Keep whole nuts and seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot. They will last a few months at room temperature this way. If you’re not using them in a few months, consider storing them in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from turning rancid. This way, they can keep fresh for 6 months to one year respectively. I keep ground nuts and seeds in the refrigerator as they turn rancid faster. Hemp hearts should also be kept in the refrigerator.
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
- Hemp hearts
- Chia seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Whole flax seeds (I grind them myself, then keep them in the fridge)
- Natural peanut butter – I buy mine from Bulk Barn, organic and lightly salted
- Sunflower seed butter
- Almond butter
- Sesame seed butter (Tahini) – I use NutSmith, a local company
Don’t be afraid of grains! They’re a good source of fiber and nutrients, so be sure to enjoy a variety every day. Like I said above, this list includes those I always have on hand, but I do try others once in a while in recipes. Note that I always opt for whole grains. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy them are in quinoa salads, oatmeal and of course healthy treats.
Storage: Most whole grains can be kept in an airtight container in a cool dark place for years without becoming rancid. It can also be kept in the refrigerator or freezer if you have the space (but who does?). Bread can be kept at room temperature for a short amount of time, but I keep mine in the freezer as I like to buy it in bulk. It thaws very quickly and can be toasted straight from the freezer.
- Rolled oats
- Steel cut oats
- Brown rice (long or short-grain)
- Buckwheat groats
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat bread (This one from Costco or a fresh loaf)
- Whole wheat tortillas and pitas
- Popcorn kernels*
*We have a popcorn maker and use it a few times a month as an alternative to store-bought popcorn or chips. This way, I can control the amount of fat and salt that’s added, making it a great healthier treat!
My go-to is whole wheat, but I do enjoy using spelt and kamut in my recipes for a change. I then use the others when making gluten-free recipes. My favorite use for flour? Sugar-free muffins or banana bread.
Storage: Whole grain flours can be kept in the refrigerator for 6 months or freezer for 12 months. They can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container until the best before date, which is what i do. Nut and seed flours are more subject to oxidation and rancidity as they have a higher level of oils. They are best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for 6 to 12 months respectively. You should be able to tell if the flour is rancid or not by the smell.
- Whole wheat flour
- Kamut flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Spelt flour
- Brown rice flour
- Oat flour (I make my own by grinding rolled oats in a blender)
- Arrowroot powder (great for thickening sauces and more!)
- Nut and seed flours (I buy whole nuts and seed and make my own as needed)
I eat legumes almost every day. They’re a good source of plant protein, they’re high in fiber and low in fat. I often buy canned chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans (with no added salt) to use in a pinch. However, I do like to buy them dried, then cook them in big batches and freeze them. As for lentils, I almost always buy them dried. Use legumes in Salads, veggie burgers and hummus.
Storage: Keep dried beans in an airtight container in a cool dark place. They can be kept this way for many years, but may dry out over time. Once cooked, they can be kept in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for several months. To use frozen legumes, take out the desired amount, rinse them a few times and let them soak in warm water until thawed (or let them thaw in the fridge). Keep canned legumes at room temperature.
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Green or brown lentils
- French lentils
- Red lentils
- Firm or extra-firm tofu*
*Technically not stored in my pantry. I buy frozen edamame and tofu should be stored in the refrigerator.
Oil and Vinegar
The oil you choose should depend on the way you intend to use it. I use olive oil in most of my recipes. However, it does have a lower smoke point, so I try to use it in salad dressings and low-heat recipes. Avocado oil is another healthy oil that has a higher smoke point. I recently started using it for roasting vegetables and high heat recipes. Choose oils higher in unsaturated fats, such as olive, avocado, hemp, flaxseed, walnut and almond oils, as opposed to coconut oil and butter that’s high in saturated fat. As for the vinegar, I like to use these in salads and sauces.
Storage: Keep olive oil away from heat or light. This means keep it in a dark cool place, away from a window or the stove! Also, look for olive oil from a dark container to protect it from the light. Vinegar can be kept at room temperature.
- Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil
- White wine vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Rice vinegar
*I sometimes buy small amounts of coconut oil, but it’s not something I like to use every day due to it’s saturated fat content. I only use it when other recipes absolutely call for it. Also, I like to use it as a hair mask for my dry frizzy hair – It works wonders!
While I’m not vegan, I do prefer using plant based milks. Large amounts of lactose don’t agree with me and I truly prefer the taste. My go-to is soy milk since it’s the closest to cow’s milk protein-wise. I especially like it in smoothies for some protein. I also use almond milk and cashew milk on occasion, however, it is not a source of protein. When buying plant-based milks, make sure they are fortified in calcium and vitamin D – Not all of them will be. Finally, I like to use canned light coconut milk in curries, smoothies and other recipes.
Storage: Some small cartons that can be kept at room temperature, but they need to be stored in the refrigerator once opened. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days once opened. The same goes for canned coconut milk, but it tends to go bad in less than a week. If you’re worried you can’t use the leftovers fast enough, you can freeze it and use it in smoothies!
- Unsweetened soy milk –This one or this one
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Unsweetened cashew milk
- Canned light coconut milk
Herbs and Spices
They’re a great way to add flavor to recipes without adding salt! I like to experiment with different flavor combinations in my recipes. See my spiced chickpea stew and spiced flatbread. These herbs and spices are the ones I use more often, but I do buy others when needed in new recipes. Also, I like to use fresh herbs in my recipes, especially in summer when we have some in our garden. I usually buy my dried herbs and spices from Bulk Barn so I can buy the desired amounts for less. This way, I don’t have to buy a bigger bag of a spice I rarely use.
Storage: Store in an airtight container, away from heat and light. Don’t store them on top of your oven! While they can safely be kept for a few years, I like to buy small amounts that can be used within 6 months to a year. This way, I know it’s fresh!
- Curry powder
- Chana masala
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Minced onion
- Smoked paprika
- Sweet paprika
- Bay Leaves
- Cayenne pepper
- Mustard powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Fine grain sea salt
Sweets & Baking
You won’t find any refined or liquid sweeteners in my apartment, but I do use some sweet ingredients for baking. My go-to for desserts are Medjool dates (example 1, 2 and 3), but I do enjoy using other dried fruits as oatmeal toppings, for snacking and more. As for chocolate, I use unsweetened baker’s chocolate or cocoa nibs. Since it has a bitter taste, I simply drizzle it on desserts to get that chocolate taste. Cocoa nibs are great in granola bars, raw desserts or as a topping for nice cream or oatmeal!
Storage: I keep all of these ingredients in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Unsweetened chocolate or carob Chips
- Dried fruits (dates, raisins, unsweetened cranberries, mulberries and unsweetened mangoes)
- Jam – I use this one which is sweetened with fruit only!
- Unsweetened shredded coconut and coconut chips
- Cocoa nibs
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pure vanilla extract or artificial
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Sauces & Condiments
Most of these contain added sugar and salt. Like I mentioned a few times on the blog, I don’t stop myself from eating food that has minimal amounts of added sugar (for example, ketchup), as long as it’s not intended to be sweet (desserts, etc.). However, I make sure to use them in moderation. Condiments are a great way to add flavor to your meals, but use them in moderation and watch the sugar, fat and salt content. For sauces, I tend to make my own to control the amount of salt that’s added. For example, I always make my own spaghetti sauce using canned tomatoes with no added salt.
Storage: Keep at room temperature when unopened and in the refrigerator once opened. Condiments can be kept for about 6 months. As for canned tomatoes and tomato paste, transfer them to a glass container once opened (to avoid getting a metallic taste) and try to use them within a week.
- Yellow mustard and Dijon
- Low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- Canned tomatoes (no added salt)
- Tomato paste
Coffee & Tea
I used to drink coffee every morning, but I recently started drinking black tea (or nothing) on the days I work. I found that I didn’t have the time to enjoy my coffee on work days. Instead, I enjoy my cup of coffee at home on the weekend. Either way, I do love coffee! I also use matcha in some recipes, but not regularly.
Storage: Keep ground or whole bean coffee in a cool, dry place. Don’t keep it in the refrigerator or freezer as it can create too much moisture. If you aren’t using your coffee for a while, you can keep it in the freezer for up to a month, as long as you don’t take it out during that period. Store it in the pantry once you start using it.
- Coffee – I love Kicking Horse and Just Us (both Canadian and fair trade)
- Decaf coffee – I’m currently using this one from Just Us
- Tea – My favorite is English breakfast tea, but I do enjoy herbal on occasion (Yogi Tea, Teavana and David’s Tea are my favorites).
*Health Canada recommends limiting caffeine to 400mg/day for adults (3 8oz cups). It’s a good idea to stay under those recommendations, especially if you’re the perfectionist, anxious type like me. Seriously.
Some things that didn’t fit in a specific category.
Notice that there’s very little processed food? There’s a reason for that. First, most processed food (packaged snacks, desserts, pre-prepared meals) contain added sugar. I also avoid them because they tend to be high in salt, saturated or trans fats.
What you will find in my kitchen are whole ingredients. Plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and healthy fats.
Where do I shop?
I buy most things in bulk to save money, usually at Costco. I do shop at our local grocery store and farmer’s market to get other items in smaller quantities. I go to Bulk Barn for spices and certain flours, nut butters, nuts and seeds.
I recently came across Thrive Market, which is an online health food store in the U.S. Unfortunately, they don’t ship to Canada yet, but for those from the U.S, I think it’s worth checking out! They do have great deals. You can sign up here.
Jars & Containers
I keep most of my pantry ingredients in mason jars and large glass containers. Here are my favorites:
It’s no secret that my two favorite cookbooks are the ones from Oh She Glows. I use them every single week and I can’t get enough of Angela Liddon’s recipes! As you can see, I don’t own a big variety of cookbooks, but I tend to make almost every recipe from the ones I have.
- Deliciously Ella – Ella Woodward
- Vegan – Food 52
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook – Angela Liddon
- Oh She Glows Every Day – Angela Liddon
- Coming Soon: Half Baked Harvest Cookbook
Page last updated: August 21 2017
Coming soon: My favorite kitchen equipment. As always, let me know if you’d like to see other similar pages or posts on the blog!