Pantry Essentials: Foods for Eating Healthy, Homemade Meals

Want to make cooking at home the easy choice?
Stock your house with these items

What you have in your house determines what you eat. If you have food in the pantry, you’ll probably eat a home-cooked meal. If you don’t, delivery or take out is most likely in your future.

Interestingly, most people I talk to want to eat more home-cooked meals. They feel like they go out a little too much and are a bit concerned that they don’t always know what’s in their meal. I have the same concern when I go out, which is why I try to eat at home more often than not and always encourage others to do the same. Eating home-cooked meals regularly has major benefits. Not only do you know exactly what’s on your plate, but you also reduce your sugar and processed food intake. You’re more likely to live longer. And you reduce your carbon foot print. All wonderful things.

To help those of you wanting to make more meals at home, I’m sharing my must-haves for the pantry and fridge. These items will allow you to throw together a healthy plate that tastes good in no time. I know this to be true because every item on this list is in my house at all times. And I have them there because, when my week gets crazy (and it always does), I can eat healthy despite the chaos.

General Breakfast Dinner
• Coconut oil • Chia seeds • Fish
• EVOO • Nut butter • Quinoa
• Lemons • Frozen berries • Avocados
• Dijon mustard • Greens (e.g. kale) • Sweet potatoes
• Nuts or seeds • Cacao • Greens
• Eggs • Protein powder • Canned beans
• Gluten-free or whole grain bread • Cinnamon • Canned tomatoes
 • Hummus  • Steel cut or rolled oats (not instant) • Salsa
 • Artisan sauerkraut • Tofu
• Coconut milk


If you’re looking to cook at home more often, consider adding these staples to your list next time you’re shopping. Most are just a click away through Green Bean Delivery. And if you’re wondering what to make with these items, check out a few of my favorite recipes.

About Erica Ballard, MS, CHC

Healthy Living Expert, Erica Ballard thought she knew what “healthy” meant. She exercised six times a week. Followed the healthy food trends. And even worked in health care. But on her journey to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, she realized she was wrong. Healthy living isn’t about numbers – number of work outs, numbers on the scale or number of calories per meal. Healthy living means engaging in habits that allow your body and mind thrive. That realization changed her life. Erica is now the happiest and healthiest she’s ever been and is now on a mission to help others discover their healthiest and happiest selves. Erica has a MS from Tufts University School of Medicine and is a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Before opening Erica Ballard Health, she worked in the health care industry for almost a decade. To learn more about her,

Download her free Pantry Essentials Playbook PDF.