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Stock a Healthy Pantry

The end of the year is the perfect time to do a pantry reset. In addition to stocking the refrigerator with all the veggies and fruit you can manage, filling your pantry with feel-good food will help you double down on your New Year’s resolutions.

Beans, Beans!

Beans are a hearty addition to just about anything, but can also be blended to add creaminess to dressings, sauces and soups.

Creamy Tahini and Broccoli Pasta Simple Black Bean Soup


Alternative “Sweet Things”

If you’re streamlining your pantry for health, choose honey and dried fruit for natural sweetness in baked goods and sauces. Bonus points for using extra-ripe bananas and unsweetened applesauce, too.

Banana Nice Cream Double Chocolate Cake


Seeds and Nuts

Seeds like flax and chia can be added to smoothies and baked goods to give a little heft, which will keep you feeling full longer, plus chia seeds plump up nicely for easy dairy-free pudding. And a little handful of nuts is the perfect mid-morning snack.

Chia Pudding Whole Grain and Pumpkin Seed Granola



Tahini (sesame seeds ground to a paste) deserves its own section. Just a touch of tahini adds a savory creaminess to sauces or dressings, making it easy to reduce the use of salt and oil. I love to blend a drizzle of tahini into vinegar (my favorite is sherry vinegar at the moment) for the simplest salad dressing on the planet.

Butternut Hummus Creamy Sesame Greens


Whole Grain Everything

Now’s the time to swap your spaghetti-night noodles for the whole wheat variety and cook up a batch of wheat berries or brown rice for meals all week long.

Lemon-Coriander Quinoa Chicken and Brown Rice Soup


How do you stock your pantry for health? Share your shopping suggestions and tips in the comments section below.

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Jillian says …

I often use quinoa in place of rice, whether it be in soups or as a side dish with a meal. It cooks quickly, and being a seed instead of merely a grain, it carries more protein and less starch than rice. :)

jewell jackson says …

Loving this list! and Thanks!! to Jillian for the quinoa tip. I've been resistant to using it full force due to my initial experiences which left a bad taste in my mouth...literally. Alas, as I read the list, I wondered about alternatives for those folks who couldn't eat grains. I will revisit quinoa AND put these tips to use.

Debbie says …

I too enjoy making dishes with quinoa. Today a co-worker brought in quinoa cakes with a side of horseradish sauce (horseradish and plain greek yogurt) for us to try. The quinoa cake had black eyed peas, jalepeno, green onion, red pepper, egg white, pepper, fresh garlic, bread crumbs. I may have to add crab for a version of crab cakes. It was very yummy!