Raw Organic Almond Butter on a Background

8 Must-Have Staple Foods to Always Keep in Your Kitchen

If you find yourself guessing what to eat throughout the day, or spending way too much time on meal planning, chances are you may be missing some staple foods which could make food prep much easier on you.

I find it that having certain foods readily available in your kitchen can not only prevent you from grabbing unhealthy foods on the go, but also save time in the kitchen and boost nutrition.

Here are my 8 staple foods that I always make sure I have readily available:

1. Almond Butter 

I personally don’t like the taste of peanut butter, but almond butter on the other hand I find a LOT tastier. Whether you eat it right out of the jar, or pair it with some apple slices, it will make for a great midday snack. If you’re on-the-go, try Justin’s portable squeeze packs. If you want try something new for dinner, make a healthy almond sauce (add garlic & coconut liquid aminos) which goes well with chicken stir-frys and noodles. Mmmmm mmmm…

2. Avocado

Ah, the good ol' avocado. I'm kind of obsessed with it. Probably because I didn't have my first one until I was a teenager! I now put it on my breakfast eggs, sandwiches, flatbreads, and make the best guacamole on Earth (lots of garlic and ground cumin seeds are my secret weapons). Not to mention the fact that avocados are an excellent source of good fats, and numerous other vitamins & minerals.
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3. Chia Seeds 

If it wasn't for Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run", chia seeds may have never gained as much popularity as they have today. The story goes that the indigenous ultra-marathoners of the Tarahumara tribe use these nutritious chia seeds as fuel during their training. It's also considered a superfood because of it's high Omega-3 content (17x more than salmon). I like it sprinkled on top of my green smoothies or as a chia breakfast pudding.

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4. Eggs 

I have thought about what it would be like to be vegan, and the funny thing is that for me I'd be the hardest to give up eggs, not meat. It's such a great staple food to keep in your fridge, especially if you enjoy hard boiled eggs. You can pair them with some grapes, or chop on top of veggie salads. Plus, the Vitamin A in the yolk can help keep your eye sight sharp.

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5. Hummus 

Hummus is another one of these super versatile foods that you can use as spread on wraps and sandwiches, simply scoop a spoonful on top of a salad or use as dip with raw veggies. If you own a high-speed blender like the Vitamix, you can make your own in just minutes in any flavor you like. I've made everything from cilantro to jalapeño to beet hummus (which I feature in the 21 Day Real Food Meal Plan) so you can get creative in this department.

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6. Quinoa 

Quinoa is just a great substitute for people who are trying to avoid gluten and get all their essential amino acids from a plant-source. I suggest you make a large batch that will last you through the week. This way, all you have to do when preparing dinner is to quickly sauté a nice variety of veggies and toss them over the cooked quinoa. And voilà, healthy stir-fry!

Fun fact: Quinoa is referred to be "the mother of all grains" and is believed to be sacred.

Raw Quinoa Grains in Jute Sack

7. Kale 

It took some time for me to warm up to kale. But we are working on our relationship. I find it that if I massage it with some olive oil, Himalayan pink sea salt and lemon juice, it becomes a lot more tasty and softer. If you toss in some avocado, beans, and peppers, you'll have yourself a nice nutritional powerhouse salad. That's of course if you're not already drinking your kale green smoothie 😉

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8. Sweet Potatoes 

So many ways to go here. I like sweet potato wedges baked with some cayenne powder, chili powder and Himalayan pink sea salt. Other times when I crave comfort food, I mesh them with some virgin coconut oil and cinnamon powder. And when I'm feeling super creative, I stuff a whole baked potato with black beans, salsa, and fresh cilantro. Decisions….decisions...

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2 Comments

  • Agnes

    Reply Reply September 19, 2014

    Great post!! I LOVE Kale, eggs, and sweet potatoes. I like quinoa too but anytime I cook it, it never tastes good. Quinoa has a bitter taste to it no matter how many times I rinse it before cooking it. Although, whenever I buy Quinoa somewhere else, it tastes delicious!!

    • Aleks Kadzielawski

      Reply Reply September 22, 2014

      Thanks Agnes. Try toasting the quinoa in a pan with some olive oil for 1-2 minutes before you cook it. It helps take out the bitterness.

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