Welcome to the Health Check Cafe

Your Place for Optimal Health...Naturally!

Healthy Cupboard

What's in your cupboard? Is is full of healthy, nutritious ingredients or is it chocked full of items that are full of preservatives, aritifcial flavors and colors or perhaps even the dreaded GMO items?

If like me you like to make sure that you have a well stocked pantry, so that you can create masterpiece meals even when you haven't been to the grocery store.  If you are unsure about what to stock... then read on.

Now before we continue, I will mention that there will be a list of items to stock in your cupboards (dry goods etc.) as well items that you will keep in your freezer to make sure that you have the best of both worlds.  Dry goods and canned foods tend to have a good shelf life so you will be able to keep them for a long time.  And the reason that we have chosen to add a section on frozen goods is because many of us live in climates where a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables may not always be available.  Frozen fruits and vegetables are also important since they don't lose any of their nutritional value by being frozen so we believe that they are an essential part of maintaining a good and easy

Here is what we believe is a well stocked pantry:

  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Nectar (This is a great choice for diabetics as it has a low glycemic index. It tastes great and measures 1:1 with other liquid sugars.)
  • Stevia (A natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia plant.)


  • Enriched White Flour
  • Wholewheat Flour
  • Wholegrain Flour
  • Brown Rice Flour
  •  Quinoa Flour
  • Buckwheat Flour
  • Corn Flour

Misc. Baking Goods:
  • Real Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Extract
  • Lemon Extract
  • Peppermint Extract 
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Cornmeal
  • Flax (make sure that you by one that is already ground as flax is hard to digest when left whole)
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Dried Fruit (raisins, cherries, apricots, pineapple, banana chips, coconut, cranberries, black currants, dates)
  • Nuts - We suggest: almonds, walnuts, pecans but you can add your favorites here too.
  • Jams and Jellies - There are so many recipes that you can make using different jams and jellies.
  • Nut Butters (almond, peanut, cashew, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed)

Dry Grains & Legumes:

  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • White Rice (Jasmine, Basmati, Sushi)
  • Brown Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Dried Beans: Kidney, White Beans, Black Beans, Chick Peas, Lima Beans.
  • Lentils
  • Green Peas
  • Barley


  • Rotini
  • Penne
  • Spaghetti
  • Linguini
  • Fettuccini
  • Spaghettini
  • Macaroni
  • Pasta For Soups: Orzo, Stars, Alphabet Pasta or whichever you prefer.

Canned Goods:

  • Whole Tomatoes
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Beans: You can add any of your favorite beans as a canned alternative to dry if you prefer.
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Coconut Milk
  • Pumpkin
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Apple Sauce
  • Artichokes
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Pickled Onions
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Sardines
  • Canned Vegetables: I prefer to use frozen veggies but you can also choose a variety of canned.

Herbs & Spices:
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Chives
  • Saffron
  • Chilis
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Garam Masala
  • Curry
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Sea Salt
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • White Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Paprika
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Powder
  • Tarragon
  • Zest (lemon, orange)
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Steak Spice

  • Bread Crumbs (Panko is a great super crisp Japanese bread crumb that is truly versatile.)
  • Shake 'N Bake
  • Soy Sauce
  • Louisiana Style Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Gravy Packets
  • Curry Paste
  • Crockpot Seasoning Packets

Other Healthy Additions:

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Goji Berries
  • Nutritional Yeast: This is excellent on just about anything including popcorn, if you can believe it!

And here is a list of frozen foods that you can keep to let you make healthful and delicious meals at any time of the year:


  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • MIxed Vegetables


  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Any other fruit that you like. We just chose things that freeze particularly well. In fact, you can always add things like bananas, blackberries, raspberries,  peaches etc. *Make sure that you peel the bananas before freezing.

Other Great Things To Have In The Freezer:

  • Prepared Pizza Dough
  • Pastry Dough
  • Fillo
  • A selection of meats if you are a meat eater. Leftover, ham, roasts, turkey and chicken are also great to store in the freezer. But remember, meats won't last too long in the freezer so don't overdue it.