As the pandemic continues to change lives around the world, we’re all cooking more. January is always a good time to take stock of your pantry and food storage. As food security — a growing issue worldwide — is perhaps more important than ever now, we turned to our own experts and other expert sources to help us plan an Indian-food-ready, plant-based pantry.
The Indian Express is an English-language Indian daily newspaper published in Mumbai, which has become a foodie mecca. We’re sharing some stock-up tips from Mumbai food and travel writer, Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi. And as winter moves on — so will we, sharing more tips on pantry picks to help us get through the winter!
Protein-Packed Pulses and Legumes
Lentils, chickpeas and beans are staples in any plant-based pantry. And for good reason: Seeds, grains and legumes are a rich source of protein, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. Lentils contain the third highest levels of protein — 30% of their calories. Some international guidelines recommend around 45g of protein per day for women; 55 for men. Chickpeas are an ultra-versatile, protein-rich essential. Use them in recipes like this.
Masalas or Spices Really Are the Spice of Life
According to Mumbai Food Writer Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, “Given the diversity of India, every community will stock their own spices and masalas,”. We created our Indianlife Signature Spices with our own pantries in mind and are delighted to share them with you! Roshni recommends keeping a Tandoori Masala on hand for quick cooking; our Tandoori Masala is a richly flavored delight. “You can cut potatoes, onions, tomatoes and coat it with tandoori masala,” she says. Other basic spices (masalas) chefs and food writers recommend as “essential” include: Turmeric, Cumin, and Chili Powder. And our own family experts heartily recommend Indianlife Chai Masala for winter mornings! A treasured recipe handed down for generations, our Chai spice is delicious in coffee or traditional tea chai!
Healthy cooking oils (such as Olive, Coconut and Avocado Oil) are pantry essentials. Ghee has roughly the same number of calories and fat as olive oil. Indianlife Ghee is a smart pantry pick that’s shelf-stable (needs no refrigeration). Ghee, believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, can substitute for butter or cooking oil in virtually any vegetarian or non-vegan recipe. Known as “clarified butter,” Ghee is made by separating melted butter into liquid fats and milk solids. Once separated, the solids are removed.
Veggies and Vitamin-Rich Fruits: Fresh & Frozen
Fruits and vegetables are winners for taste and nutrition. Onions are essentials in any pantry. Onions with skins on can store for up to 2 months in a ventilated container placed in a dry, dark spot. Potatoes store for months in a cool, dry place or dry bag in the refrigerator. Freeze tomatoes whole after coring, or as puree. For dessert roll banana pieces in nuts or chocolate chips and freeze. Oranges, apples, carrots, cauliflower and more have fairly long refrigerator lives. Frozen peas and spinach are important freezer friends used in countless recipes.
Healthy Snacks For Kids of All Ages
We all love snacks! And the good news is, many experts recommend having a store of healthy snacks. Indianlife Snacks are spiced-just right, contain protein-packed legumes and are favorites of kids of all ages.