clean eating pantry staples

Quick and Dirty List of Clean Eating Pantry Staples


If you clicked on this post because you’re wondering what the heck clean eating pantry staples are, don’t worry.

These days, Clean Eating has become a bit of a catch phrase. More and more people are realizing that their health is of the utmost importance, and one of the best ways to improve your health is to improve your diet. Plus, doesn’t “clean eating” just sound nice? We generally like things that are clean, and I certainly like thinking about or actually eating, so it sounds good to me!

But what does clean eating actually mean?

clean eating diet

Clean eating, as far as I’m concerned and for the purposes of this post, means simply eating whole foods as much as possible and avoiding highly processed foods as much as possible. Sure, you might recognize a few of the ingredients in a snack food, like cheese or nuts, and they might even be good for you, but what about xantham gum? Dextrose? Carrageenan? High fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrate, aspertame? If I have no idea WTF something is, I generally feel I should be cautious about eating it. These clean eating pantry staples are always on hand in my kitchen, and it makes eating healthy so much easier.

I like to get my pantry staples from Thrive Market. They have a good selection of high quality, organic foods at low prices, and I love that my membership provides a free membership to a low income family in need. Check it out here.

1. Almond Butter

I love to have almond butter on hand to snack on with some apple slices. YUM! It’s a snack that is truly filling, satisfying enough to tide me over, is healthier than accidentally eating a family size bag of cheetos (Ahem, I file as head of my own household for taxes, which means I am a family of one, which means I am entitled to family size snacks guilt free, amiright? – says hangry me), but yummy enough to feel like a treat!

2. Rolled Oats

Man oh man do I love me some overnight oats for breakfast! When it comes to cooking, I can be pretty lazy, especially for breakfast! Breakfast is usually a lighter meal for me, so the thought of dirtying pans to make it is extremely unappealing, even just to make a pot of oatmeal. Imagine my delight when I discovered overnight oats! Just set them in the fridge and forget them until it’s time to eat – just like magic! I usually like to make two servings at a time (add 1 cup rolled oats to 1 cup water), which strikes the perfect balance between convenience and freshness. Come morning, I portion out the oats and add a tsp of maple syrup and cinnamon, top them with some fresh berries, banana, and a small handful of cashews or almonds (raw unsalted) and BOOM. Another delicious breakfast of champions. Sorry, Wheaties!

3. Coconut oil

I love to cook with coconut oil, from eggs to veggies and anything in between. I also sometimes use it to make little chocolates, or use it in my hair to moisturize. Coconut oil is so very versatile, you can use it for practically anything. Yes, even that dirty thing you’re thinking about right now, you little scamp…

4. Maple syrup

I like to have maple syrup on hand for when I make my favorite whole wheat pancakes. I also add a teaspoon to a serving of overnight oats for just a hint of sweetness.

5. Wild rice

This Wild Rice mix from Lundberg is seriously my fave! The rice itself is SUPER flavorful, without anything on it or any spices added. I love to eat it with some sauteed veggies, or in half of an acorn squash during the fall and winter seasons.

6. Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder is a staple in my pantry for use in chocolate banana breakfast smoothies. I found a recipe from Liezl Jayne Strydom that is SO YUMMY. I make it all the time and it has ensured that I never waste bananas. If they start to turn, I just peel ’em and freeze ’em, knowing they’ll be used for these delicious smoothies 🙂

7. Raw sugar

Raw sugar is my go-to for the mornings I decide black coffee just won’t cut it and I deserve cream and sugar 🙂

8. Instant coffee

Instant coffee goes into my chocolate banana breakfast smoothies, and I always keep it handy for when I head out on a camping trip.

9. Coffee

I am a full-blown unashamed coffee addict. It’s an indispensable part of my morning, so I always make sure I have a backup bag on hand.

10. Pasta

Because pasta is cheap, warm, and delicious, especially when J. makes homemade pesto for us!

11. Sauce

Just in case you don’t have someone making fresh pesto for you, or you’re not the type to make it for yourself, you’ll want sauce for your pasta.

12. Quinoa

13. Beans

14. Chia seeds

I always add 2 tsp of these to my overnight oats, since they need to soak in liquid for us to be able to process their nutrients.

15. Olive oil

16. Balsamic vinegar

17. Salt and pepper

18. Raw cashews

19. Tahini

What’s the best way to eat tahini? In a bikini!

Just kidding – sort of. I like to mash tahini with black beans, salt, and pepper, and make a sandwich with the mixture, adding tomatoes, spinach, and lemon juice. This is another recipe I found on Liezl Jayne’s website. She has tons of great, easy recipes, with very engaging how-to videos!

20. Lentils

Lentils are great to add to veggie soups to make them filling!

21. Vegetable stock

That’s all my go-to clean eating pantry staples!

Once you stock your pantry with these essential clean eating staples, all that will be left to do is a quick weekly shop to buy fresh ingredients, like fruits, veggies, and dairy products.

I know it may sound like a pain to go to the grocery store every week, but if you already have these essentials at home, you don’t have to buy very much each time you go, which means your grocery shop can be quick!

Also, by doing a small shop each week rather than one large one each month, you’ll cut down A TON on your food waste – trust me!! Cutting down on food waste has been a major goal of mine for the last year or so, both as an effort to be more eco friendly as well as to save money!

Do you have any pantry staples that I left out? Let me know in the comments!

If you like this post, share it or pin it for later!

You may also be interested in my post 5 Things You Need for the Keto Diet.

That’s all for now. I told you this would be quick! 🙂

Until next time,

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Hey there! I'm Megan.

Hey there! I'm Megan.

I believe in cultivating a happy life with intention, using one small building block at a time.

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