First off, I made the most delicious VOO (vegan overnight oats) last night! I cannot wait to share the recipe! Here’s a little spoiler: strawberries ;).
After having one of my most feared nightmares come true (aka lack of oats) I knew I had to host a kitchen rehab, as in, go to the grocery store. I’m sure you wonder what I keep stocked in my pantry especially since I’m a vegetarian so here ya go!
Here’s a few things I make sure I keep in the forefront of my mind:
- Always shop the perimeter of the grocery store, this is where you’ll find the most nutritious and wholesome foods. I usually spend most of my time shopping in the produce and grains section. I also only buy produce I’ll be using up quickly (within a week) so I buy sparingly. You can always go back for a few items here and there!
- Shop down the nutrition/health aisle (if you have one) of your food store. You’ll usually find the least processed and most wholesome foods as possible. I don’t even venture to any other aisle (except baking) when shopping for grains, snacks, etc.
- Check ALL labels. I don’t care if I’m down the natural foods aisle, I’m still going to check all the labels of the foods I eat. I don’t ever buy anything that I can’t pronounce/recognize. I especially look out for hydrogenated oils, fake sugars (I never buy sugar-free), added salt, and how much sugar a product has. I like to stay below 7g of sugar per serving.
- Save money where you can by buying the store brand. Usually you’ll save a few cents here and there which adds up to dollars in the long run!
- Go organic when you can. Sometimes buying organic foods can get really expensive. I try to buy organic apples, strawberries, peppers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc. when they’re offered in organic. I don’t buy organic bananas or usually anything you have to peel.
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags. Most grocery stores will compensate you 5 or 10 cents per bag so make it a habit to always bring your own bags.
It can be quite simple to shop for wholesome foods and still save money but you always have to keep your eye peeled for any deals on organic and natural foods. I still don’t understand why so many wholesome foods are overpriced. If they were priced a little cheaper more people would buy them and therefore people would develop healthier eating habits and no more artificial orange snacks would be going into young children’s bodies.
Regardless, I do think it is worth the extra money to purchase a higher quality of ingredients. I’d rather spend a few extra bucks on natural foods than a couple hundred on hospital bills later on in life. Ya kno?
Without further ado, check out what I stocked up on at the grocery store yesterday after realizing my pantry looked like this.
From left to right:
- 2 bags of Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats (we’re reunited and it feels sooooooo good!)
- Bob’s Red Mill soft white wheat berries (officially obsessed).
- Organic wide udon noodles. This is my first time buying these and I can’t wait to experiment with them!
- Brown rice pasta shells.
- Active dry yeast (for future bread making).
- Ezekiel sprouted grain pasta in linguine.
- Ezekiel sesame bread. I love this brand, it’s the only brand that I buy.
- Banana Nut VitaTops. This is my first time buying these, I’ve heard a lot about them so I wanted to try them out. So far, I’d give them a thumbs up. I have many recipe ideas with them… ;).
- Bob’s Red Mill bulgur.
- Eden organic whole grain red quinoa.
- Snyder’s honey wheat pretzel twists. I’m a pretzel addict so I try to buy the wheat kind so I’m not mindlessly snacking on white processed flour. I enjoy these in moderation whenever the craving hits.
- King Arthur all-purpose flour. This brand has whole wheat and malted barley in it and I usually use it for baking/pancake recipes.
- Maple Grove Farms pure maple syrup. I love this stuff. I can never get enough.
- Blue agave. I usually use this for baking purposes.
- Tamari. I bought this because I used it in a recipe for my lunches this week.
- Nature’s Promise grape jelly. I love jams and this is also an organic store brand so it works for me :).
- Cannellini beans. This tower ‘o beans is one of my main sources of protein (and they’re store brand!).
- Chick peas (store brand).
- Spectrum organic coconut oil. I finally found coconut oil! I can’t wait to experiment with this.
- My beloved and handsome unsulfured black strap molasses is back in my life! He’s great for ginger cookies and gingerbread oatmeal (I love how I personify my foods. That’s normal right? Right?!)
- Four cartons of unsweetened Almond Breeze in original. You never know when a tornado may hit my tiny urban town…you just never know ;)!
- Earth Balance butter for baking and putting on toast.
- Chobani tower: 2 in the pineapple flavor and one in the lemon flavor.
- Pumpkin!!! I am a pumpkin lover. Although, I was angry when I realized I bought two jumbo pumpkin pie mixes. Doh. But I did get two mini 100% pumpkin cans so I’ll use them until I can go back and get more pumpkin.
- Bunch of bananas.
- 4 bruised bananas. The store sells these cheap because they’re the ones no one wants because they don’t look perfect (poor bananas, I still love you!). I chop them and freeze them for smoothies.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 tomato
- Bunch of parsley
- Bundle of scallions
- 1 english cucumber
- Huge container of strawberries
- Box of basil. I would never leave the grocery store without basil, I love it too much. I put it on everything. Basil oatmeal anyone? Kidding …maybe.
- Lettuce (arugula, mixed greens, spinach). This is only a snap shot of what we have. We probably have 3 or so more boxes of lettuce in the fridge. That stuff’s gold!
- Granny Smith apples. I only took one out for the picture. You really think I’m gonna show you how many apples we hoard in our fridge?
- Grape tomatoes (store brand).
- Baby carrots.
So there you have it! Those are all my essentials that I keep stocked in my pantry and fridge at all times. As you can see, I try to buy organic where I can and save money by buying store brand items. Also, don’t be afraid of the damaged fruit that the store puts on sale. Buy it, cut it up, and freeze it! Learn to be versitle with your foods by freezing them and using them later on. Act like a ninja in the grocery store and sneak around for the best deals while still keeping your health in mind.
Remember, just because a bag of Doritos is on sale for $1.50 doesn’t justify you buying it. Save that $1.50 and instead, buy some wholesome natural foods. The bag of Doritos will always be there (I’m not kidding, those things probably don’t deteriorate) but, to be honest, your health won’t. Be selfish by choosing foods that are going to power you through your days and help you become a stronger, healthier person!
Nothing’s sexier than a healthy you.