I’ve just moved countries and started building up my pantry from scratch. In this post I share with you the first 15 healthy foods I bought for my kitchen. Versatile, simple whole food basics!
If you’ve been following my Instagram (I’m @nourish_everyday) and the last couple of my blog posts on here, you’ll know I very recently moved back home to Sydney after living in London for three years. Yep – a pretty damn big move! I’m still adjusting to my new normal. But it’s so wonderful being close to family and old friends again.
Now of course, this move has meant I’ve had to start my kitchen all over again when it comes to groceries. A big empty kitchen is kind of exciting… but also kind of overwhelming. Where to start?!
Luckily, I kinda had my own back with this one, as ages ago when I first launched Nourish Every Day, I made a complete Healthy Grocery List. My relocation inspired me to update it a little. You can find a downloadable/printable PDF version here –> Nourish Every Day Healthy Grocery List.
Though I love experimenting with different foods and the various “super food” powders etc. out there, at the core of my eating philosophy is that the key foods we need to focus on aren’t fancy ones. It’s fresh produce, maybe some meat, some simple grains and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil. My grocery list reflects that.
When you’re starting up your pantry from scratch though, I totally understand that a long grocery list can be daunting! I’m building up my own pantry bit-by-bit. So, I thought it might also be useful to share with you the first 15 healthy foods I bought for my kitchen cupboards. I’ve tried to give a short explanation of how I use them together, too.
- Eggs – a complete, nourishing protein, eggs are easy to cook and versatile. Make a sweet omelette for breakfast topped with yoghurt, berries and a drizzle of honey. Scramble them with feta and baby spinach for a savoury option for any time of day. Hard boil a few and have handy for snacks and salad toppers.
- Greek Yoghurt – a thick protein-rich yoghurt is perfect for brekky or a snack, topped with sliced banana, berries and seeds. Drizzle with honey for dessert! Make sure you get an unsweetened yoghurt.
- Sardines – I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea; you could do tinned tuna/salmon instead if you can’t deal with them! Purchase in olive oil or springwater. With some green veggies and a side of buckwheat or toast, you have a speedy balanced meal.
- Green Vegetables – spinach, broccoli, kale, swiss chard, zucchini, rocket…I love my greens! They work for you in so many ways; as a salad base, steamed or sautéed, cooked into an omelette, whizzed in a big green veggie smoothie bowl.
- Bread (gluten free for me) – a slice or two of quality bread can make the base of a healthy meal. Top with greens + scrambled eggs, or sliced banana + tahini, or a thick dollop of Greek yoghurt + smashed berries.
- Tahini – full of healthy fats, protein and minerals including calcium, iron and magnesium. It works on savoury food as a dressing, or enjoy it as a sweet spread (you can mix with just a little honey). It’s also good in smoothies – try tahini and banana together!
- Berries – natures candy, berries are great for snacking, topping your breakfast or throwing in to smoothies. A sweet hit with lots of nutrients and minimal sugar. Fresh and frozen are both good options.
- Bananas – yummy, energising and convenient. Have one as a snack or work them into breakfast; sliced with yoghurt, on toast or in a smoothie. Also really yummy for dessert, try them pan fried and drizzled with tahini and honey!
- Nuts & Seeds – pick your favourites; I love almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Add crunch to your meals and also keep some with you in a zip lock bag for snacking.
- Feta – a really versatile cheese, I love the salty, creamy flavour of feta and usually buy a Greek-style one made with sheeps’ milk. It dresses up eggs (cook into omelettes or scrambled eggs) and is also yummy crumbled over veggies/salads.
- Almond Milk – essential for blending up a quick smoothie, and I also use it to make buckwheat porridge. Of course you don’t have to buy almond milk; you could get dairy milk, rice, coconut, oat, etc.
- Buckwheat – this is my favourite grain; it’s gluten free! I buy raw buckwheat groats/kernels and cook a batch for meal prep. Perfect for buddha bowls or cooked into a porridge for breakfast (heat up some cooked buckwheat with your fave milk for a quick GF porridge, and then add toppings e.g. banana and honey).
- Apple Cider Vinegar – a very low-sugar vinegar with a crisp, tangy taste. I use it to make salad dressing (ACV + olive oil + honey, sometimes with tahini too) or I just splash a little over cooked greens, like you would lemon juice. 1-2 tsp in hot water also seems to help my digestion when I’m feeling sluggish.
- Honey – though I don’t advocate consuming lots of sugar, a little honey is totally fine and just completes the flavour of a meal sometimes. It turns Greek yoghurt into dessert, balances out a salad dressing and makes fried banana taste SO heavenly for dessert.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – my favourite healthy fat, I can’t live without this in the house! I cook with it, dress my veggies with it, and make it into salad dressings (together with honey, I even use it to make olive oil granola).
I’ve built up past these initial 15 items pretty quickly – items that followed soon after were sweet potatoes, avocado, more fresh veggies, hummus and dark chocolate. Oh, dark chocolate!
But I really think this initial bundle of 15 healthy foods are just so wonderfully versatile, healthy and delicious, without any more additions other than perhaps a shake of salt & pepper. And I hope my notes have inspired you to see how you can mix and match these simple, real food ingredients to make wholesome meals. How many of these 15 healthy foods do you have already?
In addition to my own grocery haul, I’d also like to give a little shoutout to a few lovely Aussie companies who gifted me care packs of some great food when I arrived back in Sydney. They’ve helped fill my belly and keep me going while we set up house again! (*This is NOT a sponsored blog post, I’m just saying thank you)
- Bare Blends – a generous bundle of my favourite organic protein plus a few other goodies. I was straight into my smoothies again!
- Zero.Bites – a lovely big bag of natural oat-based snacks for me to share with family. They’d be great in kid’s lunch boxes.
- Red Island Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I’m so stocked up on quality extra virgin olive oil now; it’s so amazing! Drizzling on everything.
- Teff Tribe – easy breakfasts have been sorted with a range of Teff Tribe’s new porridge sachets; they have been SO handy and loved! 90 seconds in the microwave and you’re done.
So there you have it guys, my first 15 healthy foods and hopefully inspiration for your kitchen too. What ingredients can’t you live without?!