image: faring well
Make every bite delicious and nourishing with these pantry must-haves, says nutritionist Nikki Heyder.
Fresh lemon juice and zest can be used in so many diverse dishes, from fish and salads to stews and curries. Lemon and its zest is especially beautiful when heated, as the natural oils are released. I add a squeeze of lemon in place of ready-made salad dressings or when I am sautéing mushrooms, and I love grated zest in soups, stews and curries. Best of all it’s alkalising so very cleansing and good for gut health. A squeeze of lemon means you don’t need to use as much salt either. Always know where your lemon has come from. Local means fresh which is always best.
Basil, parsley, rosemary and coriander are my favourite flavour add-ons. They are super-versatile in salads, soups, and stews. I use coriander roots as a base for my curry bases which always tastes incredible. I love to use fresh herbs straight from my kitchen window box, and sometimes I dry them too. They are cheap to buy, easy to grow yourself, and simple to maintain.
Garlic & Ginger
Garlic and ginger are incredible for flavouring raw or cooked dishes - they impart real depth of flavour. As well as packed with antioxidants, they are antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and a wonderful support for the immune system. They are the base ingredients I use in most of my cooking.
Whether it is meat, fish, or eggs always ask your supplier what the protein’s origin is and how it was raised. You don’t want to consume pesticides, hormones or animal antibiotics. If you are vegan and you eat tempeh or tofu, make sure it is organic and GMO too.
Good quality cooking oils
Locally made, cold-pressed organic olive oils are a mainstay of any healthy well-informed pantry. Olive oil has a low smoke point so I only use it in raw dishes, salads or as a drizzle at the end of cooking. Coconut oil is my go-to for cooking at a high heat. I try and use one that doesn’t taste strongly of coconut – its flavour tends to dominate more subtle ones.