7 pantry staples for athletes...
Fueling athletes is challenging. Trying to fuel them last minute is downright stressful. Even during our most hectic days, a stocked pantry can make energizing meal and snack prep a breeze... and it'll help you save money by not depending on restaurants or the drive-thru.
Another bonus? Each of these seven pantry staples are ready in less than 15 minutes.
Quinoa. I know, quinoa doesn't have much taste or texture. But... it's an easy way to get all nine essential amino acids that the body has to get from food. As one of the few plant source complete proteins, it's also an inexpensive way to consume needed protein (plus carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, and iron) without relying on expensive meat. Need more texture or flavor? Cook in stock/bone broth instead of water or combine with rice or farro.
Chickpea Pasta. It's pasta night taken to the next level! The cooking time and texture is the same as traditional dried pasta except chickpea pasta brings protein, fiber, healthy fats, iron, and potassium to the table.
Chia Seeds. Possibly the easiest way to boost nutrients in any snack. Add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, and baked good for additional fiber, healthy fat, protein, magnesium, and calcium.
Steel Cut Oatmeal. Technically they take overnight to "cook" but a five minutes of prep at night means waking up to a breakfast balanced with carbohydrates, protein, and fat. (let me know if you need my favorite overnight oats recipe!).
Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas. You don't have to wait for fall for these nutritional benefits. Add shelled pumpkin seeds or pepitas to salads, trail mix, oatmeal, or baked goods for an immunity boost, blood health, and reduced inflammation,
Nuts. Almonds, cashews, and walnuts not only provide protein and healthy fats, they support brain health and contain folic acid and B vitamins for strengthening immunity.
Black Beans. Whether dried or canned, black beans are a simple way to add carbohydrates, healthy fats, endurance building iron, and immunity support to salads, tacos, soups, and quesadillas. Combine with rice for another inexpensive complete protein option.
While we can't make sports schedules less hectic, a few pantry staples can minimize the stress of ensuring athletes are showing up fueled and ready for the work and recovery ahead.