10 Items to Always Stock in Your Pantry

29 Jul

Delicious dishes aren’t truly inspired without a few trusty sidekicks—those staple ingredients responsible for enhancing flavor, adding texture and taking a meal to the next level.  This list of Ten Items to Stock in Your Pantry is your all-access pass to fabulous food!

1.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Whether Spanish or Italian, opt for high quality.  The sweet, fruity taste is perfect for almost anything from dressings and dipping oils to prepping roasted veggies.  Just don’t use it for baked goods (the flavor’s too intense) or high-heat cooking, as its smoke point is very low.

2.  Truffle Oil.  Say hello to savory!  A little bit of this flavorful oil goes a long, long way so investing in high quality is the way to go.  Perfect for pastas, risotto, meats and potatoes.

3.  Balsamic Vinegar.  Go gourmet and invest in high quality vinegar from Modena, Italy. So multi-functional, balsamic can be added to dressings, reduced and drizzled, or created into a glaze.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar.  This tangy vinegar is great with salads, roasted meats and pickled veggies.  It also works wonders for your hair and skin, so shower with it every once in awhile. Food poisoning?  Add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to warm water to help to clear out foodborne pathogens from your digestive system.

5. Spices.  To add character to a dish, there’s always a need for a pinch or dash of cracked pepper, red pepper flakes, ground cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, yellow curry powder, garlic powder and onion powder. Stock ‘em all.

6. Sea Salt.  Naturally procured, sea salt contains essential vitamins and minerals making it a healthier sodium source than common iodized salts. Its coarser texture also makes a great DIY food scrub.

7. Baking Soda. From baked goods to household chores, baking soda is a must-have in your pantry. Read up on 5 Ways to Use Baking Soda in the Kitchen.

8.  Honey.  Go raw and go local to reap the most nutritional benefits of honey and combat local allergies.  Use honey to naturally sweeten drinks like coffee and tea, plain yogurt and baked goods.

9.  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.  Packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, cocoa combats free radicals.  Add a tablespoon to plain milk with a dash of cinnamon or use as a dry rub with chili powder and cayenne pepper on meats.

10. Vanilla Extract.  Cookies, ice creams and sweet breads wouldn’t be the same without this pantry staple.  Spend the extra cash for pure, high quality vanilla extract like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract that can be found at Williams Sonoma and other specialty stores.  Although pricey, you’ll notice a distinct difference in the aroma and flavor of your baked goodies.

Food, I Love You! has you covered.  Consider this list your arsenal for successful cooking experiences, day-in and day-out.

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