My Pantry Essentials

Posted on: July 27, 2012 Category: Health & Wellness

Thought I’d do something different this week’s Foodie Friday and show you all my pantry staples + essentials!

Last weekend my mom came over and helped me sort out our pantry. We organized (sorting and labeling) all my herbs and spices + pantry items, and everything looks great right now! Health is one of my non-negotiables in life, along with a good night’s sleep among other things. And a well-stocked kitchen and pantry is one of my priorities!

If you are looking to take responsibility for your health, I truly believe that it is crucial to address the kinds of food you have in your home. If your goal is to have radiant health and no dis-eases at all, then the most important thing you can do is to remove food-like substances from your kitchen, as these will drain you and will not contribute to your long-term health and wellness.

An easy step by step guide to a healthy pantry:

  1. Remove all food-like substances. If the ingredient list contains ingredients with numbers, or words you can’t pronounce, or has more than 6 ingredients, then it is not a real food.
  2. Remove highly processed, refined, inflammatory foods, including white sugar, table salt, gluten and dairy.
  3. Add more wholefoods, and foods that will nourish you! (The fun part)

Herbs and Spices 

I love using a combination of herbs and spices to flavour food, and doing so you can limit your use of salt, although I do use a little Himalayan/Celtic sea salt at times! Baked sweet potatoes with some salt is just divine.. I also get my herbs in bulk from Kakula’s in Perth city because I go through them SO quickly – and if I had to pay a few dollars for each jar I got from the supermarket, I would be probably be broke by now…

  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chives (I put chives on everything..)
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry Powder
  • Italian herbs
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Tumeric

Oils and Sweeteners

To cook at high temperatures, I love using coconut oil and grapeseed oil. Don’t use olive oil to cook, as it will turn rancid, instead – use it as a delicious dressing.

  • Raw, unrefined apple cider vinegar
  • Unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil


  • Himalayan/Celtic sea salt
  • Gluten-free low-sodium tamari
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Raw tahini (tastes like peanut butter and is amazing)
  • Nut butters (almond butter – my fave; organic 100% peanut butter – my sister’s fave)

Sweeteners & Baking Needs

I’m a huge treat/dessert person with an huger sweet tooth so I like to add sweetness with dried dates, honey or stevia (avoid agave) instead of using highly refined, blood-sugar spiking regular sugar.
  • Stevia (great substitute for sugar in drinks)
  • Raw honey
  • Dried dates and figs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened rice milk/almond milk/coconut milk
  • Coconut water
  • Raw cacao powder
  • Aluminium-free baking soda
  • Dessicated coconut
  • Oats


  • Amaranth
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Gluten-free pasta

Sea vegetables

  • Nori wrappers
  • Wakame
  • Kelp

Raw seeds and nuts

I keep most of the nuts in the freezer (if there is space) to keep fresh; and I keep my flaxseeds in the refrigerator.
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds/Pepitas
  • Sunflower seeds

Beans and legumes

  • Chickpeas
  • Mung beans
  • Dahl


  • Raw organic chocolate!!! (LovingEarth’s coconut mylk chocolate is my personal favourite, it is the bomb diggity)
  • Brown rice crackers
  • Superfoods (goji berries, green powders, maca, and the newest addition of hemp protein)
  • Tea (rooibos tea)
  • Fresh bread/cookies depending on what I was inspired to do :)
This is my pantry + what my pantry looks like! It’s time to share yours! Do you have a few pantry staples as well? 

I also wanted to note that transitioning into a healthy pantry can be hard at first – you might find yourself at the grocery aisles reading labels and making sure everything is a real food and not filled with nasty chemicals! But after awhile, trust me, it gets very effortless. And the health benefits will be worth it.

Think about it this way: the investment you make into a healthy lifestyle will offset those medical bills of the future.

Don’t forget that the best investment you will ever make is in YOURSELF! Invest on your health and wellness – eat healthy, stay active and always do the things that make you happy. Be healthy and strong and happy, then you can pursue your passions and your dreams with ease, and live the amazing life you were always meant to live.

Jia Ni x


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  1. YUM. Your pantry makes me want to move in!

    I too am a big spice fan, and you’re inspiring me to start buying in bulk – my weekly farmers market just got a spice vendor, so perhaps I’ll start there!

    I put turmeric and cayenne in everything cooked, and love dried dill in my homemade salad dressings (olive oil, balsamic, and a few hearty shakes of dill!).

    • Jia Ni says:

      Aww thank you darling!! I put cayenne in everything (and I put a lot of it) – I just love spicy food so much… Bulk buying is definitely the way to go, you save up on SO much money in the long run!

      I have yet to try dill!! Thanks for this Sabrina, will get some dill next time to put in my dressings! :D

      Much love,
      Jia Ni

  2. Love the labeled containers! I am a serious foodie and keep all my grains and everything in plastic ziplocks (I know it’s a a no-no plus it looks super messy). I like the feeling of being organized so thanks for the inspiration. I’m buying some glass jars this week :) Great lists too! Need to add some of that raw organic chocolate in the mix :))

    • Jia Ni says:

      HAHA! You can’t miss out the raw organic chocolate!! It is the best part of the grocery shopping list. :D

      And thanks Brittany! Glad I inspired you to do some organizing and decluttering!

      Lots of love,
      Jia Ni

  3. Jia Ni,

    What an interesting post! – Thanks for sharing :)

    You’ve inspired me to do a “look into my pantry” post in the future too!

    Have a great weekend :)


  4. Cathy Sykora says:

    I enjoyed your pantry info. My pantry cleanups evolve with my dietary changes. You have some very helpful suggestions. One of the best being to get rid of the processed foods. ~Cathy

    • Jia Ni says:

      Thank you Cathy! No space for processed foods in a healthy, healing diet. :) Thank you for dropping by, hope to see you again! xoxo

  5. Annabelle says:

    Hiya. Thanks for a great post – I love reorganizing my pantry! May I ask why you have said to avoid agave? Love and thanks, Annabelle

    • Jia Ni says:

      Heya Annabelle!

      It’s because agave is highly processed, and really high in fructose – it has a fructose content even higher than HFCS. (We all know how HFCS affects our health, so imagine what it will do if agave has an even higher amount of fructose)

      Hope this helps! xx

  6. Dani says:

    Love it Jia Ni! My pantry is really similar – except I actually have a tea cupboard! It’s a small cupboard but even so – I’m a bit obsessed! I love your advice about getting rid of processed foods. It’s one of the easiest ways to clean up your diet and its super empowering. Love your work, Dani x

  7. says:

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