When I think of the foods that many of the health experts I know keep as pantry staples, there’s a common theme – these foods are nutritionally dense, rich in natural flavour, and are beautiful wholefoods that can be used in multiple ways! Consider stocking up your pantry with these new-tritious foods in 2018.
SEA VEGETABLES & SEAWEED
Karengo, Nori, and Wakame are just a few of the sea vegetables easy to purchase in NZ and are a simple, tasty and nutritious addition to meals. Add soft karengo to the top of salads, or into a nut mix. Create wraps with nori sheets, and add tougher wakame into soups and stews.
Miso, an ancient superfood, is a tasty, salty fermented paste made from soybeans, consumed usually as a soup. Soybeans are a complete source of protein and because they are fermented they provide support to our digestive health. As well as soup, miso can be used as a base in salad dressings, or as a spread on sandwiches.
Sauerkraut is another fermented food to support a healthy digestive system. Fermented foods also provide essential nutrients like vitamins C and K, and minerals like calcium.
Buckwheat, despite its name, isn’t related to wheat and is a gluten-free seed. Buckwheat can be sprouted, toasted, boiled, or just eaten raw as part of savoury or sweet dishes. A fibre rich plant that offers about 13% protein, and abundant minerals like magnesium and potassium, buckwheat is a great replacement for gluten containing grains.
A powerhouse of minerals and B vitamins, nutritional yeast can be easily sprinkled to any savoury dish, or mixed with a bit of olive oil and tamari to make your own homemade ‘vegemite’. A source of chromium and magnesium, nutritional yeast can also support healthy blood sugar levels.
Made from sesame seeds, tahini is a great natural source of calcium and has also been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. Mix it into homemade hummus, or use as a dip with vegetable sticks for an afternoon snack.
Utilise the fresh herbs that are popping up in the garden. Parsley, mint, oregano, basil and sage are aromatic wonders, making even a basic meal come alive. These and many other fresh herbs provide phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.