It’s that time of year again. The weather gets warmer, the flowers start to bloom and we can feel change on the horizon. It’s spring! Every once & a while we give our lives a complete overhaul. We get rid of the old and bring in the new. We cleanse and make space for more possibilities. There is no better time than now, than to take advantage of this time of year and clean out the kitchen pantry to make way for the new season.
Go ahead, fill up your pantry with these culinary staples and when someone asks “What’s for dinner tonight?” your possibilities will be endless! With a few simple spices, herbs and oils you can take your taste buds to the farthest regions of France, Spain & Greece! Turn a piece of fish, beef or chicken into something truly incredible with just the essentials in your cupboard. Doing this not only feels & tastes good but also is extremely handy when you’re looking for something different every night.
In this guide I’ll inform you on some necessary kitchen staples, a few great tips and advice on what to stock up on for your spring collection.
Here are 20 kitchen cupboard staples that are a must have:
1. KOSHER SEA SALT + HIMALAYAN PINK SALT + PEPPER
Pink sea salt fosters healthy PH balance, boosts bone strength, and helps lower blood pressure. Quite frankly it’s a must have – enough said!
Whether it is olive oil for salads, vegetable oil for shallow frying or coconut oil for a stir-fry, these are the fundamentals in the pantry.
Balsamic, white balsamic and red wine vinegar are a few to brighten up a salad. Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar and white wine vinegar are all great for dressings, sauces and pickling.
Garlic, potatoes and brown onions can be used for soups and stir-fry’s. Everything tastes better with garlic, onions are versatile and potatoes add substance.
TIP: Just thinly slice potato, add some rosemary and cheese, throw it on a pizza base then bake till cooked. There you’ll have a perfect and simple potato pizza.
5. HOT SAUCE
Whatever your poison, you can’t go wrong with a little extra spice in your life. Sriracha and Cholula hot sauce are my favourites. I like to add them in tacos, soups and even breakfast burritos!
6. QUINOA + RICE + LENTILS
What do all of these have in common? They cook quickly and are good bases to start with. They’re cheap, filling, healthy and go with everything.
TIP: Create a healthy spring lunch bowl with Quinoa, avocado, trout, grapefruit and herbs.
7. PASTA + PASTA SAUCE
Who doesn’t love pasta? A simple sauce, cooked with some sliced garlic, onion and fresh basil will even have the most basic sauces singing with flavor.
8. STOCK CUBES / LIQUID
Vegetable/chicken broths are great for light, healthy soups, broths with noodles or even used to flavor a sauce.
TIP: Heat some stock, add your favourite noodles and some cooked chicken. Then flavor with some mushrooms and herbs for a light chicken broth.
9. ROLLED OATS
These little gems can be eaten morning, noon and night. It can be made into porridge or cookies or just a simple smoothie bowl of blueberry compote, oats, chia and berries.
TIP: Toast the rolled oats in the oven to get them crisp first. Can store for weeks.
A small handful goes a long way. Chop them in salads, add them to your breakfast cereal or eat as a healthy snack.
There are a lot of choices out there to choose from. To be safe all-purpose flour is generally straightforward. It can be used for batters, coatings, and thickening agents and even for baking simple banana cakes.
12. HERBS + SPICES
Favourites to be kept are; dried oregano, paprika, chilli flakes, cinnamon and ground cumin. Perfect for spring lamb, Greek salads, marinades and sweet tarts.
Perfect for a fresh squeeze over fresh fish, your best vegetables or even detox with some warm water in the morning. It’s refreshingly tart and goes well with just about anything. Lemons can add up so try investing in a lemon tree if possible.
14. SOY SAUCE
This Asian staple is great if your fried rice is a little flat or if your stir-fry needs a little kick. I love adding this to my curry if it needs a bit of salt.
TIP: If you add soy sauce to your fried rice, I recommend adding some at the end. If it’s added too early it could reduce and become quite salty. Alternatively you could use tamari, which is less salty and also gluten free!
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just good enough for a great casserole or adding to a steak for a simple sauce. Wine can add sophistication to your cooking; it’s also nice to enjoy a glass or two!
16. BAKED BEANS
These little babies are great for digestion, full of fiber, antioxidants and protein. A vegetarian staple must.
17. WOODY HERBS
This changes things; it takes your cooking to the next level. Grow your rosemary outside or nurture thyme on your window seal. Adding these strong bold herbs guarantees freshness and flavor.
18. DARK CHOCOLATE
A little bit goes a long way. Add to your stews; grate over tacos or use on your Sunday morning French toast. It has multiple uses and is extremely indulgent.
Smeared on toast, spooned in tea or drizzled on pancakes, this healthy condiment is a nice compliment (and also great for your immune & skin!)
TIP: You can add honey, honeycomb or bee pollen to fruit to lift/enhance your breakfast for a little extra morning sweetness.
I think this is a no brainer and the perfect match for potatoes!
TIP: These fries need the sauce!!