A well-stockedhealthy pantry can enhance your wellbeing, writes dietitian Emma Stirling
Did you resort to cheese and biscuits last night for dinner because youwere too tired to shop and cook? Now is time to give your pantry a makeover. Awell-stocked supply of healthy, long-shelf-life ingredients will see you sailthrough those days until the next big grocery shopping trip, cut down on thehigh-kilojoule, dial-out dinners and help you a live longer and healthier.
Get energy-giving, nutritious carbs from basmati and arboriorice, spice-infused couscous, dried wholemeal pasta, rice noodles, flat breadsand more. As well as traditional items, there are now, quick-cook and flavouredversions ready to enjoy in minutes. Just keep an eye on salt levels.
Best for wrapping anddipping
Tortillas and other flat breads such as mountain and lavashcan be used to wrap an easy dinner in minutes using leftovers or canned fishand salad. Burritos and fajitas are popular and you can keep standby fillings,such as Mexican-style chicken, in the freezer. Crisp bread in the oven andserve in place of crackers with dip.
Best for curries andcrockpots
Brown rice’s nutty flavour is perfect for dishes such aslentil curries and one-pot meals thrown together in a slow cooker. Brown riceis a great way to boost your wholegrain intake and a latest review has foundthat eating two to four serves of wholegrains a day can reduce the risk ofheart disease by as much as 40 per cent, equal to the effect of cholesterollowering drugs.
Best for burgers andbaking
Rich in special soluble fibre, beta-glucan, eating oats havebeen shown to be a powerful way to help reduce cholesterol reabsorption. Aswell as the basis of a heart-warming breakfast, rolled oats, cinnamon and alittle brown sugar make a great crumble topping for canned apples, pears orpeaches. You can also use oats as binder and fibre booster in meatballs andburgers.