Winter may be cold and dreary, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pack on the pounds to keep warm. After all, the Summer quickly reappears and what will you do when you find yourself jet setting to a Caribbean adventure? This is why we are so grateful that Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy gives Markit Loved her top items to stock up on during the Winter Months. Heres what you should have in your Pantry:
1. Coconut water is a great natural water that is lightly flavored, low in calories and contains numerous nutrients including electrolytes like magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. You can drink it on its own and it doesn’t require refrigeration which is perfect for your pantry. I love to use it in smoothies or with oatmeal to add a naturally sweet taste.
2. Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites are my favorite pantry snack staple that not only tastes great but are full of nutrients as well. Containing pistachios, cranberries a touch of sea salt and agave nectar, Pistachio Chewy Bites are naturally gluten and dairy free with no added preservatives or additives. Providing the perfect balance of carbohydrates and protein these snack bites keep your energy sustained throughout the day.
3. Rolled Oats are a naturally gluten free whole grain for anyone who has gluten sensitivities. Rolled Oats have a long shelf life and are filled with fiber to help aid in digestion and keeping you full. They also provide an excellent source of carbohydrates and have been proven to lower cholesterol. Rolled oats do not have to be cooked in order to be eaten. My favorite rolled oat recipe is Overnight Oats- 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 cup of almond milk or coconut water, 1 12 tablespoons chia seeds and a handful of berries or dried fruit with a dash of cinnamon. Leave in your fridge overnight and enjoy.
4. Apple Sauce is one of my favorite pantry staples. With a creamy and sweet texture, this snack comes in handy as a satisfying healthy comfort food during the winter months. Loaded with vitamin C and fiber, apple sauce boosts your immune system and helps to keep you full. I recommend buying the organic individual serving size that you can leave in your pantry and not worry about waste. They come in all sorts of varieties varying from sweet to tart. The choice is yours!
5. Nut Butter- Peanut butter has been known as the go-to nut butter, however now you can find pretty much any of your favorite shelled nuts or seeds made into a butter. Just a small amount (no more than 2 tablespoons per day) packs enough protein, healthy fat and fiber into your meal. With an extended shelf life this is the perfect pantry staple. You can shmear it on a cracker, add it to a smoothie or eat it straight off the spoon. Remember to watch for added sugar and salt and stay clear of low fat versions as they add in fillers to replace the heart healthy fat.
6. Dried Fruit- There are so many varieties of dried fruits to choose from that provide a nutritional punch of vitamins and minerals and fiber. Although my second choice to fresh fruit due to lack of water, dried fruits are nonperishable and serve as a convenient sweet, healthy snack. Make sure to read labels and watch for any added sugar. My top picks are ones loaded with the most fiber such as dried figs, apricots, and peaches. They keep you full and help slow down the absorption of sugar.