Kitchen Essentials


I believe there are certain items that are essential for a healthy kitchen. The categorized lists below highlight those essential items in green. A properly stocked kitchen with all of these essential items make it easy to quickly create a healthy meal. The items that are not highlighted may not be essential, but I have them in my kitchen most of the time so I can be creative with my cooking.
Some items may be difficult to find in your area, so I have provided links to purchase the items on-line through Amazon. Items with images are available for purchase through Amazon, just click on the image to view the price.


Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Frozen Fruit and Veggies
Canned Legumes, Fruit and Veggies
Dried pantry items such as legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.
Sweeteners, Herbs, and Spices
Helpful hand tools for cooking
Electric kitchen tools such as blenders, food processors, and spice grinders.
Fun to have items that make cooking easy and enjoyable.

ItemNotes
Broccoli
 
Cabbage
Purple, green, napa
Carrots
 
Cauliflower
 
Celery
 
Flaxseed - Ground
Ground flaxseed, or flaxseed meal should be kept refrigerated. I suggest using a blade-type coffee grinder and grinding your own flaxseed as needed to maintain a higher nutrient content.
Fruit - Berries
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries when in season
Fruit - Citrus
Oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines. I prefer fresh lemon and lime juice in all recipes, but you can substitute bottle lemon and lime juice if it is more convenient.
Fruit - Other
In season fruit and berries (mango, papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.)
Fruit - Standard
Apples, bananas, plantains, grapes, pears, other in-season fruits
Garlic - Fresh
 
Ginger - Fresh
 
Greens (Non-Lettuce)
Aurgula, spinach, kale, brussles sprouts, bok choy…
Herbs
Basil, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme
Hummus
Homemade preferred. If purchased, check the ingredients and nutrition label for fat, sodium, and added sugar.
Milk, Non-Dairy
 
Mushrooms
Cremini, oyster, shitake
Onions
Sweet yellow, red, and yellow onions, with at least one type on-hand at all times.
Potatoes - Standard
Gold, russet, and purple if you can find them
Potatoes - Sweet
Standard jersey sweet potatoes, red garnet yams, and purple sweet potatoes if you can find them.
Salad Dressings
I prefer to make my own salad dressings, but if you find a low-fat, low-sugar, low-sodium salad dressing that you enjoy, it makes it much easier to have a quick salad for lunch or dinner.
Squash (Winter Varieties)
Butternut, spaghetti, acorn, pumpkin, carnival, delicata, kabocha
Tofu - Extra Firm
 
Tomatoes
 
Tortillas
Corn and 100% whole grain. Avoid brands with the first ingredient listed as enriched flour.
Brussels Sprouts
Beets
 
Eggplant
 
Greens (Lettuce)
Romaine, bib, red leaf, or anything but iceburg
Hemp Seed - Hulled
 
Jams or Jelly
Low sugar, whole fruit brands whenever possible.
Meat Substitutes
Homemade preferred - commercial brands can be high in sodium, sugar and preservatives.
Miso Paste
White or yellow, and red
Parsnips
Parsnips are like a sweet white carrot, they work well in raw salads or cooked dishes.
Peppers
Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, pasilla peppers, jalapeno and other hotter chili peppers as desired
Rutabagas
 
Sprouts
Mung bean, soy bean, brocolli, radish, alfalfa, and pea sprouts are available in many grocery stores.
Squash (Summer Varities)
Zucchini, yellow, crookneck, pattypan
Tempeh
Tempeh can be high in sodium, so check nutrition labels for the best option. Benefits of fermented soy (brenda davis)
Thai chili paste/sauce
There are a variety of chili paste options in the grocery store. I prefer Sambal Oelek and Gochujang styles. Be careful and read labels because some of the chili sauces have high amounts of sugar, so read the labels.
Thai curry pastes
Thai curry paste is available in red and green varities. Although it is high in sodium, a small amount provides a great deal of flavor.
Tofu - Silken
 
Turmeric Root - Fresh
Many grocery stores are starting to carry fresh turmeric root. Be careful when using fresh turmeric, as it can stain clothing yellow. The yellow pigment in turmeric is curcumin, which as great health benefits.
Vegetables - Other
Asparagus (in season), cucumber, green onion, jicama, etc.
Avocados
Although avocados are high in fat, they offer some health benefits and can act as the fat replacement for eggs is many dishes such as ice cream and puddings.

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