Top 10 Items to Stock Your Pantry – Part 3: Flavor

Today’s post continues with my countdown on the top 10 items to have on hand in your pantry. The focus of this post: flavor!

Missed the first part of the Top 10 List?
Part I
Part II

6. Herbs de Provence

One item every pantry needs is a good multi-purpose seasoning. Herbs de Provence is perfect for adding flavor to meat, vegetables, marinades, vinaigrettes, rubs, sauces, soups, and even tomato or fruit salads. Herbs de Provence is a mixture of herbs, originating from a region in southeastern France (Provence), typically containing savory, fennel, basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, chervil, tarragon, marjoram and mint. American mixes often contain lavender as well. Another benefit of Herbs de Provence: it is a sodium-free seasoning!


Most spices and seasonings are not scored by NuValTM as they aren’t nutritionally significant in terms of amounts of nutrients or calories. So choose any Herbs de Provence you find!

5. Tea or Coffee

Most people are fans of either tea or coffee, so I’ll let you decide which is more important in your pantry. I’m not necessarily promoting caffeine consumption, you can choose decaffeinated tea or coffee, too. What I am promoting is fluid consumption! I do like plain water; however,I sometimes just need a little extra flavor to it and find that I’m then more likely to drink more fluids overall than if it was just plain water. As well intentioned as it may seem, there is no use in having a bottle full of water sit on my desk all day. I like to mix up my day with some plain water and some coffee or tea. The key is to DRINK! Unlike other flavored products that can be added to water, tea and coffee have virtually no calories (5 calories or less) and no added sugar. Now if you take your tea and coffee with sugar or creamer, the story is a little different. Just be careful how quickly the calories add up.

NuValTM doesn’t apply to tea and coffee as they are not a significant source of calories or nutrients, so again choose the tea and coffee of your choice.
Do you keep either of these items stocked in your pantry?
Maren is a guest blogger for Market Street. She is a Texas Woman’s University dietetic intern and graduate student in exercise and sports nutrition. Maren is a graduate of Iowa State University and is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska. She enjoys cooking, baking and experimenting in the kitchen! Her first memory of culinary experimentation was around the age of 3, creating a peanut butter and mustard sandwich. Maren’s other hobbies include traveling, tasting new cuisines, grocery shopping, ballroom dancing with her fiancé and walking her puppy, Waltz.

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