10 Healthy Pantry Must-Haves

By Leslie Goldman

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Scott Little

2. Beans

Stock your pantry with pintos, kidneys, garbanzos, black beans, and more. Canned may seem easier, but Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, argues that dried beans are cheaper, tastier, and save space. He suggests preparing for the week ahead by cooking a pound of white beans: On Monday, mix some with freshly chopped sage, garlic, and good olive oil for a satisfying dinner side dish. On Wednesday, combine some with a can of tomatoes; chopped celery, carrots, and onions; cooked pasta; and cheese for a quick and hearty minestrone. On Friday, sprinkle some over your favorite salad for lunch, and freeze any leftovers. (Small amounts of beans can be frozen indefinitely.)

An added bonus: One study showed that people who eat 3/4 cup of the magical fruit daily weigh 6.6 pounds less than those who don't.

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