Top 5 Pantry Staples for Healthy Recipes

Top 5 Pantry Staples for Healthy Recipes

We sat down with Steph McDonald also known as @betterbeingsteph on Instagram, to get the inside scoop on her top 5 pantry staples she keeps in her cupboard all year round for those healthy recipes! 

Natural Peanut or Almond Butter

Nut Butters are so versatile — you can use them as toppings on oats, yoghurt or cereals, in your smoothies for some healthy fats and protein or as a really effective ’binder’ in recipes — meaning they’ll easily hold ingredients together. Nut butters are also a great dairy-free alternative to butter, providing a similar profile of fats to give a creamy, buttery taste and consistency. You can use either smooth or crunchy depending on which texture you prefer - and remember, peanut butter, in particular, can be used for savoury recipes too, such as satays!


I love using oats as the ‘base’ for so many of my meals and recipes. You can use oats straight from the packet in things like no-bake cookies or smoothies, or blend them into a flour to use for muffins, cakes, loaves of bread (banana bread) etc. Not only are oats super affordable and neutral taste-wise (unlike something like coconut flour), but they’re an easy way to add some fibre to your meals so that they keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you’re gluten intolerant, try to find GF-certified oats, or use quinoa or rice flakes instead.

Beforeyouspeak Coffee

It’s a no-brainer. BYS coffee sachets aren’t just for milk and water! They’re the ultimate addition to your oats, smoothies and treats.  Because it’s instant coffee, the Beforeyouspeak sachets add extra depth and richness of flavour to recipes instantly, are easily dissolvable with other ingredients, and are a simple way to add all natural ingredients such as; turmeric, ginseng and MCT oil to your recipes. I also love using the Creamers for the same purpose –to instantly add flavour, healthy fats and a creamy consistency to any recipe.

Dark/Milk Chocolate

Let’s be real; the minute you add chocolate to anything, it’s going to be good. I always keep blocks of chocolate on hand for recipes — whether I cut them into chunks to use as choc chips in cookies or bars, melt them down for a tasty topping on a slice, or use them like a nut butter to bind ingredients together in a no-bake recipe. 

Sticky Sweetener

This could be honey, agave nectar or rice malt syrup. I use these as a natural sweetener and sugar replacement in recipes, as well as a binder to hold ingredients together. Typically a little goes a long way, so you only need a small amount to really enhance the sweetness. I normally use honey, and either drizzle it on oats, cereal, pancakes or toast, add it to smoothies for a sweet and easily-digestible carb source, or use it to stick ingredients together for granola, muesli bars, no-bake cookies etc! 


To give you some inspiration here are a few recipes that rely on the above staples and not much else!

No-Bake Brekky Cookies


  • 30g vanilla pea protein powder or almond meal
  • 100g banana, mashed
  • 80g traditional or steel-cut oats or quinoa flakes
  • 50g runny nut butter
  • 30g honey or sticky sweetener of choice
  • 20g chocolate chips
  • 50g peanut butter - softened
  • 2 sachets Beforeyouspeak Coffee (flavour of choice — we are currently crushing on Unsweetened)

Optional add-ins:


  1. To a large mixing bowl, add pea protein, oats and coffee, and stir to combine.
  2. Fold through the mashed banana, honey and nut butter until thoroughly combined into a dough.
  3. Fold through any additional inclusions - e.g. chocolate chunks and/or nuts.
  4. Using your hands, mould the dough into 6 even-sized cookies.
  5. Serve immediately, or keep stored in the fridge.



    Loaded Breakfast Smoothie


    • 30g vanilla or chocolate protein powder
    • 100g/1 small frozen banana
    • 20g oats
    • 15g peanut butter 
    • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup 
    • 300ml water/milk
    • 1 sachet Beforeyouspeak OG Coffee 
    • Ice 


    1. Blend all ingredients together in a Nutribullet or equivalent, and serve!