I love being in the kitchen and cooking up new dishes for my loved ones to enjoy!
But, sometimes I put on my apron, open up my Pinterest app, and am disheartened to see that I don’t have ___ that the recipe calls for. I immediately go searching like a mad woman for substitutes; this hardly ever works out for me. The solution to this problem is to stock up and make sure I always have these 10 ingredients on deck. >>>>
1.) Vanilla Extract – This is something you will use in SO many different recipes and need to always have on hand. I find myself using this in cookies, cakes, pie, and much more! It might seem kind of silly, but trust me, you’ll thank me later.
2.) Olive Oil/Canola Oil – Oil type is really a personal preference. Some have better nutritional values than others, but at the end of that day, the choice is up to you. I just recommend keeping some kind of cooking oil on hand. You’ll use this for baking, cooking, frying, whipping up salad dressings, and much more!
3.) Peanut Butter/Nut Butter – Of course you can skip this if you don’t like nut butters or have an allergy. But, if you’re like me and go crazy for the nutty spread, you’ll find yourself using it in much more than you thought. Not only will you use this for baked goods, but for smoothies and several Asian dishes too!
4.) Rice – This is a staple for people all over the world! Rice is delicious on its own, but can be a great “binder” for meatballs and burgers. It also goes great in soups and stews!
5.) Garlic Powder – Good thing I’m not a vampire because garlic is one of my go-to spices. Whether I’m making pasta sauce, garlic bread, or need to add a little flavor to a new slow cooker dish I’m trying, I add a dash of garlic.
6.) Oats – Similar to rice, oats make a great binder. Also, they are kind of essential for oatmeal raisin cookies and go great in homemade granola!
7.) Honey/Agave Nectar – Using a more natural sweetener that’s not packed with added sugar is always a good choice. So, I recommend using honey or agave nectar to add a little bit of sweetness to your cookies, teas, and even biscuits! If you don’t like the flavor, Stevia is a great alternative!
8.) Vegetable Broth – As a vegetarian I opt for the plant based broth, but if you prefer beef or chicken broth, go for it! Stocks are essential to so many soup, casserole, and slow cooker recipes (to name a few). The great thing about most stocks is they only have to be refrigerated once opened.
9.) Apple Sauce – Technically this could either go in the fridge or the pantry, but since it only has to be refrigerated after it’s opened, I thought I’d add it to the list. If you’re looking to make a recipe vegan or just lower the calorie content in your favorite dish, apple sauce is a great filler. You can find so many recipes online featuring apple sauce!
10.) Flour – You’re probably rolling your eyes at the explicitness of this one, haha! But, flour is really essential to every kitchen. It’s used in batters for both cooking and baking; plus it makes a great base for gravies, and all sorts of other odd jobs.
I hope this post was a little helpful to you! So next time you’re going grocery shopping maybe add one (or ten) of these things to your list! I promise you’ll need them soon or later. As my mom always says, “Better safe then sorry.”
What item(s) do you always have in your pantry?
What item(s) do you always run out of?