This is a list of 12 basic ingredients you should always have in your pantry. They can be stored for a longer period of time and they are indispensable ingredients for many delicious dishes.
Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world’s population. It has a neutral taste and can be eaten as a side dish for almost every meal. Rice is even a very popular main dish.
How to prepare rice Japanese style:
wash rice (using a sieve), boil water and then add rice, turn down heat and cover with lid. So it’s just water and rice!
Everybody knows pasta. And almost everybody loves it. The healthiest type is wholewheat pasta, since it is rich in essential nutrients and it also keeps you from getting hungry longer. Not everybody likes wholewheat pasta after their first try.
In the beginning it makes sense to mix both wholewheat and classical pasta. That way you can slowly get used to the taste of wholewheat and after a while you will learn to love it, since it is not only healthier, but also has more taste.
Onions make a dozens of meals tasty by frying them in a little bit of olive oil. They can also be eaten raw, for example in a salad. Like all other vegetables they have very small amount of calories! Store onions in a cool and dry area.
Just one thing you shouldn’t do right after eating them: kissing.
Potatoes are an important food staple. They are neutral in their taste an can be prepared in different ways. There’s one way that you should try to avoid due to health reasons: frying.
Potatoes are pretty cheap and that’s why we’re unsure how to class them: if they were expensive, we would be referring to them as a popular delicacy, because of its fine consistency and its taste.
5. Canned whole tomatoes
Canned tomatoes don’t expire quickly, they’re tasty and you can do a whole bunch of different things with them: tomato soup, tomato sauce or as part of a stew (for example, ratatouille) are just a few examples. And did you know, that canned and frozen vegetables are still extremely healthy, even though they can be kept stored away for a long time?
Make sure that you add the herbs that you like towards the end, or else they might loose their flavour. Popular herbs are, for example, basil, oregano, rosemary, caraway, bell pepper powder, chilli powder, etc. Popular herbal blends are, for example, Herbes de Provence and curry (stir fry curry with meal!).
Vinegar is a good match for salad and the ideal ratio of vinegar and oil is 1:3 (for every spoon of vinegar or lemon add 3 spoons of oil). Just like lemons, vinegar can be used for cooking, especially if you need a little bit of acid, for example when you make a stew. Try the different kinds of vinegar and find your favourite one!
8. Olive oil
Olive oil is a means to refine a lot of meals. Not only is it used as an ingredient of salad dressing, but it is almost indispensable when it comes to stir-frying food in a pan.
9. Rapeseed oil
Rapeseed oil is more neutral than olive oil and can therefore be used for every meal where the taste of olive oil would be too intense.
Since it contains a lot of favourable fatty acids, it is more preferable than other types of oil. But generally speaking you should try to use fat sparingly.
Salt is a universal taste intensifier, as we call it, and can therefore be added to almost any dish. Nevertheless, we should be using it sparingly, due to its unfavourable health effects. Usually there is already a lot of natural salt in many meals and sometimes salt can easily cover up an ingredient’s own taste, by adding too much.
Next to salt, pepper is the most widely used spice and gives a lot of meals the necessary spicy kick. Pepper tastes especially good when it is freshly ground.
Water is not only the most important and the purest drink on the planet, it also quenches your thirst and has 0 calories. It is also an indispensable ingredient when it comes to cooking.
The last 5 (olive oil, rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, water) are so basic that you can find at least two of them in every single one of our recipes.
20 basic ingredients
What? 12 are not enough? Alright, we’ll make it 20 then! The following 8 ingredients will complete your basic-ingredient-stash. Some of them are not that long-lasting, but they are also very essential.
13. Wholewheat bread
Wholewheat bread is an ideal snack, but can also be eaten as a side dish. It is healthy, tasty and keeps you full. Apart from that it also has a longer shelf life than white bread or other types of bread.
14. Frozen mixed vegetables
Frozen mixed vegetables are the ideal side dish for almost everything. They can be easily stored for a longer period of time, they can be cooked quickly, they’re healthy, tasty and barely have any calories.
Did you know that eggs are the ideal mix of all the different amino acids and that’s why they’re so healthy? But you shouldn’t eat more than 2-3 eggs per week, because they contain a lot of cholesterol.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and can give a meal a fresh kick!
Garlic is healthy and can actually save a lot of meals from having no taste. But you shouldn’t let it cook for too long, or else it will become very bitter.
18. Soy sauce
If you enjoy cooking Asian food, soy sauce is definitely a basic ingredient you should have.
19. Chilli sauce
If you like hot, spicy food, then you should definitely have chilli sauce at home. Other good chilli based spices are Sambal or Harrisa.
20. Vegetable stock
Vegetable stock is a good flavour intensifier, if you’re in a hurry. It doesn’t matter whether it’s soup, sauce or couscous – vegetable stock is always a good fit.