A well-stocked pantry means a nourishing meal is never more than a cupboard (or freezer!) away. Short on shelf space? We asked cookbook authors and nutrition experts to help us narrow down our list of the most versatile veg ingredients. Here are 10 must-haves—in no particular order—for your kitchen.
Not just for hummus, these protein-packed beans also make satisfying scrambles and can be mashed and used in place of canned tuna for chickpea salad sandwiches. Joni Marie Newman, author of Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen, loves roasting chickpeas with olive oil, spices, and salt for a snack. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until crispy.
Rolled oats are great for making your own granola or blending into DIY oat flour for cookies and scones. Save chewier steel-cut oats for oatmeal: “Oats contain soluble fiber and beta-glucans, which may lower total cholesterol and control blood pressure,” says Matthew Ruscigno, MPH, RD, author of Superfoods for Life: Cacao. “They are one of the best breakfast foods for keeping you feeling fuller longer.”