After a conversation with someone I thought I’d share some of the kitchen staples I keep on hand at all or most times! With these basic ingredients and added fresh ingredients I can make delicious and affordable meals. 

Dried Beans and Legumes

  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy Beans
  • Split Peas

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds (whole or sliced)
  • Flax Seeds
  • Peanut  Butter (and various other nut butters)
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Tahini
  • Walnuts


  • Brown Rice 
  • Barley 
  • Basmati 
  • Cornmeal 
  • CousCous
  • Flour (all purpose, whole wheat, pastry) 
  • Millet 
  • Oats 
  • Quinoa
  • Rice Noodles


  • Demerara Sugar (not just brown which is usually only white with added colours etc)
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molassas (Blackstrap)
  • White Sugar


  • Canola (non gmo)
  • Flax
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin)
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Walnut


  • Apple Cider 
  • Balsamic
  • Red Wine
  • Rice Wine
  • White 

Seasonings and Condiments

  • Chili Paste
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ketchup (I’m going to make my own soon…)
  • Lemon Juice (real and not from concentrate)
  • Miso
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Tamari
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Spices and Dried Herbs

  • Amchur
  • Asafoetida
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Candied Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne 
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander (ground and seed)
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Cumin (ground and seed)
  • Curry Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Garlic Powder
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard (ground and seed)
  • Nutmeg (whole)
  • Oregano (ground and leaves)
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Tamarind
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric


  • Butter (salted and unsalted)
  • Bread Crumbs (in the freezer)
  • Canned Corn
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Canned Tomato Paste
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cooking Sherry
  • Dark Chocolate (a brick)
  • Frozen Peas
  • Lard
  • Rice/Hemp/Soy Milk
  • Vanilla (real)

What do you keep in your kitchen?

13 Responses to Kitchen Food Staples

  1. That’s quite the inventory! I’d say ours is probably quite similar too except for the vinegars and other. We’ve been heavy on the beans, canned tom’s and whatever veggies are in the fridge type of meals lately. I’m so glad you and Cam introduced me to root soup. Before that a non-tomato lentil soup was the only kind I would eat. Amazing how the world opens up when you leave home.

    Have a great week!

  2. peggy says:

    These kinds of lists are really helpful to me. We have a pantry list but its always evolving – thanks for posting this!

  3. paxye says:

    My list is pretty simular… though I don’t have as many oils or beans/legumes since we are not the biggest fans…

  4. Judy Roberts says:

    Annie, I don’t know how old you are. I’m 56 (soon to be 57), and I’m probably close to double your age. Yet I am learning so much from you.

    Something I am curious to know, if you have time to address the question, is which kitchen utensils and appliances you consider to be essential, which you consider to be non-essential but nice-to-have, and which you consider to be useless / a waste of money.

    This issue is relevant to me because I am transitioning towards a more natural / sustainable way of eating at a time when I have separated and soon will be setting up a kitchen largely from scratch.

    I saw your brilliant blog entries on useful / useless baby equipment, so it occurred to me that you might be willing to post similar entries regarding kitchen equipment.

    In any event, what you already have published on your blog is enormously useful, and I appreciate it a lot.


  5. Lucy says:


    Lentils, orange and green
    Beans, kidney and others
    All manner of spices too many to mention!
    Curry paste eg balti or rogan josh
    Barrel fermented soy sauce
    Baking soda
    Spelt flour wholemeal organic
    Oatmeal or porridge oats
    Ex virgin olive oil
    Cider vinegar
    Unrefined cane sugar, golden and dark
    Malt syrup
    Maple syrup
    Org very dk cooking choc
    Cocoa nibs
    Nuts all kinds
    Pine nuts
    Dried fruits – raisins, sultanas, cherries

  6. Lucy says:

    Oh what a good question Judy.

    I use:

    – good quality steel and cast iron pans (essential)
    – slow cooker (essential low energy / eco cooking for soup and stews)
    – juicer (not essential)
    – liquidiser (not essential)
    – heavy duty food mixer (for baking, I guess not essential but helps!)
    – pancake griddle (cast iron – brilliant but not essential)
    – grill pan (cast iron with ridges for healthy grilling, brilliant but not essential)
    – weighing scales (essential)
    – varioius storage vessels mostly heatable glass (essential)
    – good quality baking tins without non-stick surfaces (essential)
    – silicone spatula, seive, cutlery (essential)
    – mortar and pestle (useful but not essential)
    – water filter (not essential)

    I think that’s about it! I use all the above regularly, but I do also love to cook a lot.

  7. Annie says:

    Oh I’m glad this wasn’t just some reference post. I was thinking most wouldn’t find it worth reading but I wanted to get it down.

    Judy- I’m 30 and enjoying growing and learning more about keeping things simple. I love food and love to eat!

    What a great idea about a kitchen gadgets post. I laugh a bit because I’m sure others are laughing at the prospect of me writing about this topic. I’m notorious for balking at what I think are useless gadgets, especially in the kitchen. I’ve been moving as much away from electric powered kitchen tools as possible but still have a few I currently wouldn’t want to live without.

    Lucy! I love your lists! You remind me of a few things I haven’t added to my list and just reading the words “weighing scales” gets me excited to share. I’ll even have a category for the items I’d like to have but haven’t found just the *right* version yet.

  8. ruralmamma says:

    I would love also to hear about equipment..I have been for the last 3 years reading alot about metals in our bodies etc etc and have left almost all metals behind except for cast iron and stoneware is it. What are our thoughts regard. pots and pans etc? xx ps. My only kitchen gadget and metal item (mix bowl) is my kitchenaid other plug ins

  9. Annie says:

    I’ve almost finished a post with the must haves in my kitchen!

    I always thought that in using cast iron (not enamel covered) you were always adding a bit of iron (and other?) metal to your food. I happen to own one lead pot for the purposes of making beeswax candles in but I do find it disturbing that I bought it at the thrift store and no one told me not to use it for food. That’s a bit freaky. How many people out there are using these dangerous containers for cooking?! I stopped using anything non stick (teflon) a long while back. As soon as I was hearing about how it off gassed when it was heated, I was turned OFF and gave away my non stick wok! As you’ll see in my post, I only use cast iron and stainless steel cookware.

    I can’t get over that the mixer is your only plug in. Kudos to you! I don’t have a mixer (don’t say it Paxye!) but I do have a food processor and immersion blender. I would not want to live without that immersion blender. I do a lot by hand.

  10. ruralmamma says:

    I’ve never used a food processer, am I weird? I forgot that we have an immersion blender, thats a stick blender right? and we only use it for making soap.. otherwise it would take forever to trace but thats it…what do you use yours for in cooking??

  11. Annie says:

    I use my stick/immersion blender all the time for soups… the enchilada sauce I made last night… I use that darn thing all the time. I love it! Soap- that’s something I haven’t made before. Interesting that you have the immersion blender for that!

  12. Sarah says:

    Items to add to my pantry: Dark chocolate (1 brick) lol

    Thanks for the link to the China Study. I can’t wait to look that over.

  13. Lucy Dolan says:

    I could live without any gadgets and cook on an open fire, no problem! But lately I have found my slow cooker (crockpot) invaluable. Just chuck the stuff in, switch it on and leave it all day. Very eco and very healthy.

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