Stocking a Clean Food Pantry: The Basics

By Terry Walters | February 16, 2015
Terry Walters shares her tips on stocking a clean food pantry.
Photo by Julie Bidwell

Eating clean is about nourishing yourself with food grown from the earth, in harmony with the seasons and environment, and minimally processed for maximum nutrition.

For every truth we know about nutrition, another truth is challenged every day. Inherently, we know that good health will not come from a promise on a label or a trend that does not honor our unique constitution. Rather, it will come from filling our plates with a variety of whole foods, all cooked with love. Here’s how.

The Clean Food Pantry
Set yourself up for success by stocking up on the foods you’ll need to make a variety of clean food recipes. Plan in advance, make a shopping list and pick one new clean recipe to try each week. Each time you make a new recipe you’ll likely purchase one or two ingredients that will be new to your pantry, as well. In just a couple of months, you’ll have your own clean food pantry and will have made a slow and successful transition to clean foods that are perfectly suited to your tastes and health, not to mention your budget! Focus on bringing in healthy new foods and over time, the unhealthy foods that weren’t serving you will be reduced, or fall by the wayside completely.

The following list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather a good place to start. Keep a rotating supply of grains, legumes, nuts and seeds in mason jars in your pantry so that you’ll be ready to make a variety of healthy meals and menus

sea salt (fine and coarse), pepper, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, mirin (brown rice cooking wine), apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, ume plum vinegar

Whole Grains
brown rice, millet, quinoa, rolled oats (gluten-free)

black beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, split peas

Nuts, Seeds and Butters
almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds

Herbs and Spices
cayenne, chile, cinnamon, cumin, curry, mustard seeds, oregano, paprika, thyme, turmeric

For Baking
baking powder, baking soda, almond meal, teff flour, millet flour, arrowroot, coconut milk, applesauce, maple syrup 

dried mushrooms, dried sea vegetables (kombu, nori, wakame, arame), grapeseed oil mayonnaise, miso, sundried tomatoes, tamari, vegetable stock 

A selection of seasonal fresh produce, plus garlic, onions, carrots, celery, kale, salad greens, lemons (lemon juice), ginger root and turmeric root

Reprinted with permission from Eat Clean Live Well © 2014 by Terry Walters, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Julie Bidwell