A Peek Inside a Dietitian’s Pantry

So, if you’re a nosy beaver like me (let’s be real this is why we love watching vlogs on YouTube), then this post is for you! I’m taking you through what’s in my pantry, however, it’s not everything that I eat, as my parents and I share the pantry, so many things in there I wouldn’t ever have but I’ll let you know when that’s the case!

Anything I don’t really have will be marked with a *

I really want to just clean everything out, buy jars and labels and decant everything to get it looking nice, so it looks something like this.

But for now, this is the Non-Instagram/Pinterest reality of my pantry…

Disclaimer: This isn’t a “this is what SHOULD be in your pantry” post, take what you will from it.

Cereals

No carb-hating here, we pretty much have a half a shelf dedicated to cereals of different varieties.

  • Toasted muesli (I make my own, recipe here)
  • Quick oat sachets – for busy mornings
  • Rolled oats to make said muesli
  • Steel-cut oats – pre-soak overnight before cooking (too hard for me at the moment)
  • Store bought raw muesli*
  • Freedom Foods Rice & Corn Flakes

We’re often trying new breakfast cereals, I always look for high fibre, low fat, low sugar and low sodium. Then I up the nutritional power by adding nuts & seeds, a serve of dairy and a piece of fruit.

Grains & Grain Foods

We have a variety of different grains that live in our pantry:

  • Rice: basmati, arborio (for risotto), brown, doongara (another low GI rice like Basmati) plus I have microwave cups to take with me to work
  • Dry pasta: spelt & wholegrain varieties, plus lasagne sheets
  • Quinoa: multi-coloured
  • Pearl barley: we add this to soups
  • Popcorn kernels: snacks!
  • Rice noodles: for stir-fries
  • Rice paper: for rice paper rolls
  • Pappadums: bought these for an assignment, can be microwaved and added for a low calorie carb addition to a curry
  • Cous Cous: wholemeal,another assignment purchase that doesn’t get a frequent appearance on the menu
  • Protein Pancake Mix: not a grain but, this is what I use to make pancakes in a hurry!

Bread in our house, gets eaten pretty slowly, so that lives in the fridge and not included in the “pantry” section. However, a bakery bought sourdough (especially olive!) features weekly in our house, and it does NOT last long at all!

We only really buy wholegrain sourdough or sourdough breads.

Canned Goods

So. Many. Cans.

Common features in the pantry are:

  • Canned tuna
  • Canned sardines*
  • Anchovies*
  • Canned 4 bean mix
  • Chickpeas: for hummus, obviously
  • Red kidney beans: for Mexican

Legumes

In addition to the beans & pulses mentioned above, we keep dried brown lentils in large quantities at home, with the occasional red lentil feature. Lentils are used weekly in soups during winter and summer salads during the warmer months.

Spreads & Syrups

  • Peanut butter: I ALWAYS recommend 100% peanut butter (a little bit of salt is cool too), but the added oils you just don’t need!
  • Honey: lots of different kinds, each have a unique flavour, I use this for baking & honey mustard dressings on my Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Maple syrup: generally lives in the fridge so it gets thicker
  • Golden syrup: exclusively for baking like Anzac Biscuits

Nuts & Seeds

A million different kinds of these plus mixes! These are our staples:

  • Walnuts
  • Pepitas
  • Almonds or Cashews
  • Roasted mixed nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pine nuts: goes so well with pumpkin! And also for pesto.
  • Slivered almonds: for my lentil, sweet potato salad
  • LSA: Linseed Sunflower Almond meal for additions to smoothies & baked goods to up the fibre and good fats!
  • Almond meal: for baking & pancakes
  • Occasionally we get: pistachios or macadamias, trail mix

What I use them for: snacks on their own, added to toasted muesli mixes or added to porridge, pancakes, breakfast cereal and salads!

Crackers

Can’t say I eat loads of crackers, we probably eat 1 pack over 3 weeks between all of us. Choose wholegrain where you can, and look out for sodium (salt) and saturated fats in the label.

Oils, Dressings & Condiments

I have a pretty extensive range of different oils and dressings and sauces! To be honest, this is the secret to a delicious salad that many people neglect for fear of the calories. But, it can help absorb fat-soluble vitamins AND if you’re making your own at home you can control the quantities much better than a store-bought bottle dressing.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: we use Cobram Estate, just make sure it’s extra virgin it keeps the nutrients that protect the oil intact meaning it performs well when heated and you reap the nutritional benefits!
  • Avocado Oil: I think this was for one of my Mum’s hair mask concoctions, we occasionally use it on salads
  • Grapeseed Oil: exclusively reserved for rubbing my chopping board, we don’t consume it
  • Rice Bran Oil: although, we’re using this less and less and olive oil more now. Just needed sometimes when you need a neutral flavoured oil for Asian dishes or when baking.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Every. Single. Salad.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: called for in specific recipes, nobody is skulling apple cider vinegar (anymore…) in this house!
  • Caramelised/Flavoured Balsamic Vinegars: I use these to add a bit of sweetness and acidity to a dish
  • Tomato sauce: back-ups, open ones live in the fridge – for when we eat meat pies or sausage rolls from a bakery (some Friday nights)
  • Collection of other sauces my Dad likes to eat: coriander sauce, Tobasco, chilli sauce, Worcestershire*

Baking Goods

I like to bake, and the worst is when you open up your pantry and you’re missing what you need to make something amazing, so I pretty much have most things I need ready to go.

  • Flour: wholemeal plain, white plain, wholemeal spelt, white spelt, self-raising, cornflour
  • Almond meal
  • Sugars: raw, caster, brown, muscavado, icing sugar
  • Cacao: powder & nibs
  • Coconut: flakes & dessicated
  • Baking supplies: baking powder, baking soda
  • Cinnamon (also in the spice drawer, excluded for the purpose of this post)
  • Vanilla Extract: I put this in EVERYTHING! (porridge, pancakes, baking, toasted muesli) It just makes things taste better!

Coffee & Tea

I don’t drink tea but we have a range of herbal teas:

  • Peppermint*
  • Chai*
  • Chocolate (yes, I know, it smells Ah-mazing!)*
  • Herbal mixes*
  • Coffee: beans live at our little coffee station & instant – I like to get takeaway coffee because there’s something so “treat yoself” about it.

Pantry Essentials

My favourite (but often the messiest) part of the pantry, that isn’t food:

  • Re-usable plastic containers of all different shapes & sizes
  • Clips from IKEA which keep open packages fresh (these have transformed our pantry!)
  • Cling wrap: really want to transition off this and use beeswax wraps once it runs out
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking paper
  • Freezer bags: again, another thing I’d ideally like to get rid of for the environment but it’s easy to use when portioning out quantities of meat to be frozen
  • Kitchen scales & measuring cups: #dietitianlife

Other/Difficult to Categorise Items

  • Uplift Food: a prebiotic, probiotic supplement powder providing 50% vitamin D and calcium (two nutrients most people don’t get enough of) AND 10 g protein per serve.
  • Dried fruit for my toasted muesli: sultanas, dried banana, cranberries or dried apple (changes everytime)
  • Dried mushrooms for risotto: adds so much depth of flavour, you MUST try it next time!
  • Salt: for the grinder
  • Passata: or tomato puree, a staple in every red sauce

I think… that’s it! So as you can see, a dietitian uses canned foods (they’re not scary or “bad for you”), enjoys a variety of grains, has an extensive stash of baking supplies and almost every nut or seed you can think of!

This post has really inspired me to actually get it together and empty everything out and organise using jars or plastic containers and labels! If you’ve got any tips for pantry re-organisation – let me know!