Foodie Friday: 5 Pantry Must-Haves

Having a cupboard full of healthful staples is one of the best ways to ensure your family gets the nutrition it needs. Plus, it will help you get dinner on the table in a hurry. Here are five top picks for your pantry, plus why you should eat them more often and how to incorporate them into a healthy meal. Remember to choose low-sodium or sodium-free options when available.

Canned Tomatoes

Why? Packed with lycopene, tomatoes are a powerful antioxidant.
Use them in: Pasta and rice dishes, soups and sauces

Canned Beans (any kind)

Why? Beans are a great protein and fiber source that add depth and hearty flavor to any dish.
Use them in: Soups, stews, salads and rice dishes

Dry Herbs and Spices

Why? Using these in lieu of salt adds great flavor while curbing sodium.
Use them in: Stir-fries, sautés, soups, and fish and chicken dishes

Whole-Grain Pastas

Why? These offer heart-healthy fiber and nutrition. Look for whole grain as the first ingredient.
Use them in: Casseroles, pasta dishes, stir-fries, salads and side dishes

Canned Vegetables (that go beyond the norm)

Why? Roasted red peppers, artichokes and hearts of palm lend gourmet zest to salads, sides and even pizzas, while water chestnuts, baby corn and bamboo shoots give an ethnic flair to salads and stir-fries.
Use them in: Salads, stir-fries, pizzas and pastas

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