The first step to cooking more delicious and healthy meals at home is a fully stocked food cupboard. Especially on days when you aren’t able to get to the shops, it’s important to have plenty of ingredients on hand that can easily turn into a satisfying meal. Here, we round up some of the best staples to always have in your food cupboard to make cooking at home easier than ever.
Rice cooks quickly and easily, and can be paired with most things for a satisfying meal. Rice can be used in soups or stews, turned into a stir-fry, or just eaten alongside some protein. Whether your favourite is white or brown, rice is an essential for any kitchen.
It lasts for absolutely ages and is most people’s ultimate comfort food. Pasta can make for a ridiculously simple meal when paired with just a tomato sauce, can turn into a bake or a casserole, and even be used cold in pasta salads.
Flour is an important ingredient for a majority of baked goods, as well as being essential for thickening soups and sauces. On top of this, flour is used to batter fried chicken or fish, to make white sauce for mac & cheese, and in breakfast staples like waffles and pancakes, meaning that it’s important to always have a bag on hand.
Yes, we know that many people are trying to cut down on their sugar consumption. However, sugar is still important for balancing flavours in cooking, for use in baking (both white and brown sugar!), and to have on hand when guests with a sweet-tooth come over.
Tomatoes form the base of countless recipes, like soups, stews, casseroles, curries and pastas. Keeping them on hand in their tinned form means that you will always have this versatile ingredient available should a recipe call for it.
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Tinned beans and pulses
Chickpeas, lentils, butter beans, kidney beans, green peas and more, beans and pulses are great to have in your food cupboard as an easy, ready-to-eat source of plant-based protein. They are good for bulking up any dish, and will last for a long time in your cupboard.
Tinned fruit is a good way to make sure that you always have fruit around, even when you can’t get your hands on the fresh stuff. On top of this, tinned fruits make for a delicious dessert when a sweet craving strikes, like tinned peaches and cream, or apple crumble made with pie apples.
For adding creaminess to curries and soups, coconut milk is a great vegan option that will last longer in your cupboard than even long-life cream.
This is important, as most recipes that you cook at home will call for some kind of oil. We would suggest keeping an unsaturated oil like olive oil or sunflower oil, as unsaturated fats are generally agreed to be healthier for you.
Soy sauce is a great flavour-enhancer and will help to add depth and umami to your cooking. This makes it an important food cupboard staple.
Dried herbs and spices
Herbs and spices are the key to flavourful food that you will be excited to eat, and keeping them in their dried form means they will always be readily available. For those of you who grow your own fresh herbs, read our guide to drying your own herbs so that you can avoid having to stock up at the shops.
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