How to Stock your pantry to eat healthy when you can’t get to the store

veggie platter revised
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

One of the questions people ask me is how to buy fruits and vegetables and not have them spoil before you use them.  There are some vegetables that have a longer shelf life than others — carrots and winter squash, for example. They can be kept for one to two weeks under proper refrigeration.

Frozen is also a choice

It is also possible to buy many of these vegetables as frozen foods. Research has shown that the nutritional value can be higher in the frozen version of certain vegetables because the fresh may have been in storage or traveling great distances over a long period of time to reach your local market.

Fruits and vegetables are important for your health

Fruits and vegetables are an essential ingredient for healthy eating. They are full of vitamins and minerals, a good source of fiber, and can turn your meals into a healthy flavorful adventure in a matter of moments.  Here is a list (in no particular order) of items that I keep in my kitchen to make healthy meal preparation easy and nutritious. Let me know if you have others which are your favorites:

Foods to have on hand

Suggested Vegetables: broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, garlic, Italian parsley, leafy green lettuce, red and green cabbage, beets, radicchio, tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, acorn and butternut squash,  fresh asparagus, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms.

Beans and Legumes: canned or dried beans and legumes such as black beans, northern white beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas.

Grains, Breads, and Pasta:  Brown rice, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, and baking powder, cornstarch, vanilla, curry powder and other spices you enjoy.   Breads, Hamburger buns, tortillas, and pita bread. A variety of pastas, jars of sauce and parmesan cheese.

Proteins: Pasteurized cheeses, pasteurized yogurts, pasteurized milk (lactose-free milk generally  has a longer shelf life than regular milk.because it is super pasteurized)

More proteins: frozen fish, chicken and ground beef, tofu (if you eat soy), whey powder, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pepita, almonds,

Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, blueberries, peaches non-GMO (and not overripe)

Remember that you are strong and resilient

Stay healthy by eating well, staying hydrated, and doing some light exercise.


Here’s a few recipes to get you started! 


Veggie Burgers for the Grill

French Lentil and Feta Salad

Beet and Citrus Salad

Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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Breast Cancer Wonderland

Are you or a loved one experience Breast Cancer. Find encouragement, tips and recipes to support the journey.

FREE DOWNLOAD Set up the best Basic Pantry!

Learn how to build a well stocked pantry from Culinary Dietitian, Barbara Spalding. When you have these ingredients on hand you can always make a meal even when you haven’t been to the store.

FREE DOWNLOAD Set up the best Basic Pantry!


Also get your pantry items checklist for INTERNATIONAL CUISINES.

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