75+ Real Food Pantry Essentials {what we stock in our kitchen!}

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Today, we’ll look a little closer at items for the pantry.  In case you’ve missed the previous posts:

I went through my shelves as I wrote this post, and jotted down what all we stock. You certainly don’t need everything here, and your family probably stocks completely different foods as well!

**Next week, I’ll offer a few online resources for some of the items below, so stay tuned.**


I consider the foods below essentials in our kitchen…

Grains & Flours

  • variety of flours* –  unbleached white flour & whole-wheat flour mix
  • brown rice
  • basmati or jasmine rice (sometimes the brown varieties)
  • wild rice
  • quinoa
  • couscous
  • cornmeal
  • whole-wheat crackers or pretzels
  • whole grain cereals such as oats
  • whole grain (or a mix of white/wheat) pastas
  • soba noodles (which we’ve only tried once, but I want to use it more).

*I’ll touch on gluten-free flours next week!


I keep both dried and canned beans on hand:  black beans, pinto, garbanzo, great northern beans, kidney, lentils

Nuts, Seeds, Nut Butters, Dried Fruit

My kids would eat dried apricots all day if I let them!  We also snack on:

  • raisins
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • pistachios
  • pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • popcorn

For baking we use pecans and walnuts, and in our smoothies chia seeds or flaxseeds.  Our favorite nut butters are peanut and almond.


  • raw apple cider vinegar
  • red wine and balsamic vinegars
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • unrefined cold-pressed coconut oil

Other Bottled Liquids/Items

worcestershire sauce, mirin, sesame oil, cooking wines, mustard, ketchup, salad dressings, Bragg’s liquid aminos, mayonnaise

To make your own salad dressings or teriyaki sauce, take a peek at my friend Lindsay’s recipes!


  • agave nectar (not much)
  • maple syrup
  • raw honey
  • turbinado sugar
  • molasses
  • brown rice syrup (substitute for corn syrup)
  • other choices could include rapadura, sucanat

Canned Products

tomatoes (diced, sauce, whole), coconut milk, canned beans, salmon, sardines (yes, some of us actually eat these!)

Baking Goods

Culinary Herbs & Seasonings

unrefined sea salt (since receiving a sample, I’ve been faithfully using Redmond’s Real Salt – full of healthy minerals!), right now I use these herbs for cooking:  thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, savory, chives, garlic (powder, minced, salt), cayenne peppper, chili powder, bay leaf, pepper (whole & I grind as needed).

Medicinal Herbs

Last year I began stocking a few of these to make teas.

  • lemon balm
  • red clover blossoms
  • St. John’s Wort
  • nettle leaf
  • echinacea leaves
  • licorice root
  • chamomile flowers
  • peppermint
  • plantain leaves
  • raspberry leaves

All our herbs are Mountain Rose Herbs brand, which I find at my local natural health food store; I’ve ordered from the site before with no issues.


Again, you don’t have to have everything here.  I find when these pantry items are on hand, along with a few fridge/freezer items, meals are SO much easier to bring together!  *Update: see what my blogger friend Kelly stores in her pantry!

What other pantry items do you stock?

Note:  I am not a physician or medical professional in any field; all posts are for educational purposes alone and not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, or treat any illness, disease or health concern.  Please read full disclaimer here.

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Thanks so much for sharing my pantry post – what a helpful post this is! I love all these great ideas! Blessings, sweet friend, Kelly 🙂

I try to do as many whole foods as possible. My list is smaller than yours (I tried to simplify a year or so ago!). I do buy Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (fair trade) because it’s fair trade and because it’s SO much cheaper than Sucanat. I can get 10 lbs. for $11. I try not to use a ton of it. We also use a lot of raw honey and pure maple from a local farm.

We don’t use brown rice. I read that it has higher arsenic levels (even organic brown) than white rice. I decided that we get plenty of fiber in our beans/other whole grains/veggies/fruits, and that I would just go with white rice. Do you have thoughts on this? Am I way off base?

Everything else looks about the same! Well, your chocolate chips are a lot more special than mine. 🙂

Wow Ami, that’s a great deal on the cane juice! To answer about the brown rice, I had recently heard of the ‘debate’ on this, and really…I’m not sure. An article I read said the same thing, stick with white rice. We primarily do jasmine or basmati, and little brown rice here & there.

Worth checking out, so thanks for bringing it up!

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