Setting Up Your Kitchen

Give your kitchen a healthy uplift by adding delicious staples of the African Heritage Diet. It’s not necessary to have everything on this list to be healthy. Use it to help you keep a variety of items on hand so you can always make a healthy meal:

In the Pantry

  • Beans (low-sodium canned or dried): Black eyed peas, kidney beans, pigeon peas, fava or broad beans, butter beans, black beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Whole Grains & Flour: Barley, millet, oats, sorghum, brown rice, wild rice, cornmeal, teff and whole-grain flours
  • Breads: Flatbreads and other breads (mostly whole grain)
  • Light Coconut Milk (canned)
  • Canned Seafood: Dried shrimp, saltfish, anchovies, clams, salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Cereals: Oatmeal, plus other hot or cold cereals using rice, Kamut®, corn, and other whole grains. The best choices list the first ingredient as “whole grain”
  • Preserves & Pickles: Jams and pickled fruits (like mango), and pickled vegetables
  • Garlic & Onions: Keep a garlic bulb or two within easy reach. Red, yellow & Vidalia onions keep best in a cool, dark pantry.
  • Coffee & Tea (for iced or hot)
  • Herbs & Spices: Berbere, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, crushed red pepper, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic powder, ginger, harissa, oregano, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme, turmeric, dried peppers, or blends like Caribbean seasonings
  • Low-Sodium Soups & Stocks: Lentil, vegetable, tomato, potato and leek, red bean and rice
  • Nuts: Peanuts, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, almonds
  • Honey, Molasses, &/or Brown Sugar
  • Oil: Coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, or red palm oil
  • Pastas: Whole wheat couscous and pastas; rice, quinoa and corn pastas and macaroni are also available
  • Tubers & Plantains: Sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, cassava, breadfruit, potatoes
  • Seeds: Sesame, pumpkin, sunflower seeds
  • Tomatoes: Canned, paste, sauce

On The Counter or Your Table

  • Fresh Fruit: Select favorites from the African Heritage fruit list, including: avocados, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, melons, bananas, mangos, apples, peaches, or papayas. These fruits keep best at room temperature
  • Squashes & Tomatoes: Squashes are healthy and filling, and best stored at room temperature too (like butternut squash and pumpkin), as are tomatoes

In The Refrigerator

  • Certain Fruits (berries, watermelon)
  • Hot Sauces and Salsa
  • Hummus
  • Pickles
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Cooking Greens and Salad Greens
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Dried Herbs and Spices
  • Natural Peanut or Almond Butter
  • Fresh Seafood
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
 (soy, rice or lactose-free milk are available alternatives)
  • Water and Sparkling Water 

  • Leftovers!

In The Freezer

  • Frozen Fruit
  • Frozen Poultry
  • Frozen Seafood
  • Frozen Beans & Peas
  • Frozen Vegetables

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