Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sarah's Top 10 Kitchen Staples

10. Peanut Oil and Popcorn
My favorite night time snack is a small bowl of home popped popcorn. I've found that peanut oil imparts the best flavor, or perhaps I'm just biased towards peanuts!

9. Avocados
I love avocados. I put them on my eggs. I put them in my taco salad. I mash them up into a simple guacamole. My favorite sushi roll is an avocado roll. They're creamy, healthy fat goodness.

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey, 12-Count Bars (Pack of 12)

8. Nature Valley Oats and Honey Granola Bars
I tuck one of these into my purse when I'm going out shopping and don't want to buy a snack at the mall. I also brought three boxes worth of these to Norway with me in June of '10. They're my favorite granola bars!

7. Dole Frozen Strawberries and Bananas
I recently came upon these in the local grocery store and as you might imagine, I put them to good use. The frozen yogurt smoothie recipe I came up with is an excellent post hot run recovery drink. Full of electrolytes and cold!

6. Kashi Granola: Summer Berry and Cocoa Beach
When I moved earlier this year, the local grocery stores in my new town didn't have these two granola flavors anymore. I was stricken with grief. What was I going to do? I love granola and yogurt as my morning snack and sometimes as a dinner before yoga! I solved the problem by ordering 6 boxes of each off the Kashi website. Gotta keep my pantry supplied!

5. Thomas' Light Multi-Grain English Muffins 
I should buy stock with Thomas', I eat so many of these muffins.  They work for breakfast, they work for lunch and I've been known to eat them at dinner. They're tasty, fiber-filled and who doesn't love nooks and crannies? I find them heartier and more filling than the Sandwich Thins and at only 100 calories a muffin, they are basically my traditional sandwich bread replacement
4. Eggland's Best Large Eggs
Lately, I've been in love with egg based dishes. After doing much research on the old egg/cholesterol levels myth, I stopped worrying about eating them and just started cooking with them. My second favorite breakfast is now two sunny side up( henceforth known as s.s.u.) eggs with an ounce of cubed avocado on a toasted English muffin. I've tried other brands of eggs but Eggland's have the best tasting yolks hands down.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Creamy Valencia Peanut Butter -- 16 oz 
3. Arrowhead Mills Organic Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter
I'm a peanut butter purist. I don't want anything but peanuts in my peanut butter and I cannot abide the addition of sugar or salt. Unfortunately, finding a peanut butter that matches my particular desires was a bit difficult. Most natural creamy peanut butters are gritty and taste like dirt, whereas I prefer smooth creamy peanuty goodness. Which is why when I first stumbled upon Arrowhead Mills Organic Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter at my local grocery store, it was love at first taste. It's pricier than the other peanut butters, but the quality is top notch, making it worth every penny.

2. Stonyfield Farm Organic Fat-Free Yogurt
I've tried a lot of different yogurts. A lot. Most of them contain artificial sweeteners which upset my stomach. Stonyfield Farm Organic Fat-Free Yogurts (all flavors!) don't and they're tasty to boot. Granted, they do have quite a lot of sugar grams but I just can't eat Fage 0% straight up.  I often combine the French Vanilla flavor with some Kashi Granola as a mid-morning snack.  They also contain a good chunk of the RDA for calcium!

Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Groats -- 1.75 lbs
1. Arrowhead Mills Oat Groats
This is my absolutely cannot live without staple.  It can be eaten in a variety of ways: bananas and peanut butter, honey and peanut butter, raspberries and almonds, strawberries and hazelnuts, the list goes on. Arrowhead Mills' Oat Groats are the least processed type of oat you can buy, but that also means it takes the longest to cook. Fortunately, I've already solved that problem.

What are your top 5 pantry must haves? Lemme know in a comment below!