I’ve put together a list of all the things that I have stocked in my kitchen at all times. Most of the recipes on this site will utilise some of these items at some point. Even if you don’t make any of the recipes here they are still some essential things to have in your kitchen collection for everyday cooking. There is also a section on kitchen equipment that may be helpful, again, most of which you will probably already have in your kitchen.
Olive Oil – One of the most obvious items on the list. I usually have a few different type in the kitchen, a light oil for roasting and baking, a nice finishing oil with a strong flavour for drizzling and salads and a general olive oil for everything else.
Coconut Oil – A great alternate to other oils that everyne seems to think is automatically good for you. Remember whilst it is better for you than other oils, it is still an oil, so use it sparingly! I tend to use it a lot in stir fries as I love the coconut flavour that it adds to everything.
Vegetable Oil – A lot of people automatically assume that vegetable oil and frying in it is automatically unhealthy. Whilst its not always the best for you there are always ways to stay on the “healthier side”. When looking for a good vegetable oil you want to find one with a high smoke point. Sunflower oil and canola oil are good but the best is avocado oil, although a little tricky to find.
Red Wine Vinegar – Another great full flavoured vinegar that is great in salads and dressings. Also its not as acidic as white wine and sherry vinegar.
Cider Vinegar – Cider vinegar is great and has a beautiful flavour compared to normal vinegar. Its perfect for pickling and salad dressings alongside carrying some great health benefits!
Vanilla Extract – An awesome flavour booster for overnight oats, baking and almost any dessert. Its always good to not grab the cheapest. Spend that extra pound and get the nice one. It’ll last you and the flavour will be amazing.
Flour – Its one of the essentials you need for any kind of baking, be it breads or cakes. There are so many different types out there to use especially once you tart looking into the speciality artisan flours. But really if you are new to bread and baking then a good plain flour and a good self raising flour will keep you going for now.
Sugar – Sticking with the backing theme there are a few different sugars for you to use. You can bu white granulated sugar in bulk quite cheaply for backing although when you but your brown sugar its essential to store it in an airtight container to stop it going rock solid.
Yeast – Not only used in baking and bread it can also come in handy for a few vegan dishes as well. You can usually pick up individual use packages in the supermarkets.
Herbs and Spices
Salt – A kitchen staple. I usually have a few types on hand. Kosher salt is my main go to salt for seasoning and I keep a bowl of it next to my hobs for seasoning whilst I cook. Its also the perfect salt for brining and pickling. Finding your preferred flake salt is also a perfect addition to baking and finishing your recipes. There are many other salts that people swear by such as Himalayan and pink salt but these are just personal preferences.
Pepper – With pepper you really want to concentrate on your grinder more than the peppercorns themselves. Most peppercorns are the same and you can’t tell much difference between them unless you are paying top top dollar. Make sure to get yourself a good grinder that you can adjust the coarseness of the grind.
Herbs and spices – There are too many out there for me to go into each in detail, but the following are the must haves in my opinion!
Basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chilli powder and cayenne pepper.
Honey – A great natural sweetener. Try to stay away from the cheep supermarket honey and try to get something local. Head to the market or local farm shops to find the best quality. Combine it with some smashed garlic to make a perfect allergy tonic!
Maple Syrup – Perfect for baking, overnight oats and as a sweetener with a slightly different taste.
Corn Syrup – This is not as essential as the previous but its needed if you’re baking and trying to relevant boiling sugar from crystallising (caramels, marshmallows, banoffe etc). An alternative from corn syrup would be golden syrup.
Tinned and Dried
Chickpeas – I love adding these into salads and vegetarian burgers to act as a binder. There are also a huge source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein as well as helping with digestion.
Tinned Tomatos – A great base for making casseroles, and sauces for pasta. They are also a good source of vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
Beans – Another pantry item where there are so many different choices. A lot of the time it’ll come down to personal preference as too which you stock up on, but as a general rule i’ll always have black, white, garbanzo and kidney beans in the cupboards. Canned beans are fine but if you can buy dried and have the time to soak the overnight before use then you’ll get much more of the goodness from them.
Rice – Again, another item on the list with so many varieties. Stick with always having basmatti or jasmine rice alongside a good brown rice in your kitchen. If you want to branch out there are thousands of other rice varieties available to try.
Pasta – Any type, shelled, twirled, bowed, tubed. Each is good with different type of meals but they mostly work the same for a good quick meal. Wholegrain pasta will be packed with more fibre and lower calories and carbs.
Quinoaa – Something that I only had for the first time a few years ago and instantly fell in love with. A great alternative to pasta and can be matched with lots of dishes, and amazing in salads!
Oats – The best breakfast fibre. I almost always have overnight oats for breakfast or porridge in the winter months. A great source of slow releasing energy to keep you going throughout the day.
Cranberries – A great immune boosting fruit that I love having around for snacking. Perfect in cakes, desserts, trail mix and granola bars.
Coconut – Personally, i’m not a big fan of the big coconut flakes although i’ll always have some powdered and small flaked coconut in the house for breakfast bowls and baking.
Chia Seeds – These tiny seeds are packed full of nutrients and fibre. They are perfect for adding onto porridge and breakfast bowls and when soaked in milk and honey, make a beautiful pudding for dessert!
Nut Selection – Different nuts have different levels of nutrients in, but having a bag of mixed nuts around is a perfect way to stop you snaking on biscuits or give you a boost during a workout.
Mixed Seeds – Just like nuts, seeds contain different levels of nutrients and oils depending on the type. Having a good selection around the house to add into breakfasts and baking is a perfect way to top up your nutrient levels.
Fruit Selection – This comes down to persona preference, but I always keep on hand a large selection off bananas as they are great for smoothies, oats and a million combinations of breakfast items. Keep your fruit bowl stocked with lots of different colours and types of fruit as every kind will have different health benefits.
Onions – Red, white, yellow, sweet and spring, there are many varieties that are good for different recipes. Reds are beautiful to add some sharpness to salads, whites for cooking and spring onions add a bite to cold dishes.
Garlic – Its used in almost every recipe out there and you can never be without it. Garlic is packed full of nutrients, improves cholesterol levels and can help combat sickness and colds.
Potatoes – An obvious must have in your pantry, and its nice to mix them up. Baking, New Jersey, Sweet and even purple are nice to have around. Did you know that all potatoes and carrots were originally purple, but the colour put people off eating them so it was modified out of them!
Are there any essentials that I have missed off my list? Let me know in the comments and i’ll add them in!