A new year calls for a fresh crop of ingredients to add to your cooking – whether you want to experiment in the kitchen, make more plant-based meals or eat a little healthier – and we’ve listed a variety of pantry must-haves to try in your made-from-scratch meals. Get to know just a few of our favourites…

Bone broth
A popular detoxing ingredient is bone broth, a highly nutritious stock that’s packed full of vitamins and minerals. The liquid is rich in collagen and thought to boost the immune system, strengthen bones and promote healthy skin. It’s best used as a base for health-conscious and hearty soup recipes that can’t help but make you feel good.

Flax seeds
If you’re looking to include more fibre, omega-3 and protein in your diet, then flaxseeds are your go-to ingredient. This superfood provides a wealth of nutritional benefits and adds a fresh, nutty flavour to recipes. Try mixing ground flaxseed into any soup or smoothie, or sprinkling whole seeds on top for some crunch.

Farro is a nutrient-packed whole grain and an ideal staple for plant-based meals. Unlike rice, farro is full of minerals and antioxidants, meaning it should be a primary ingredient in your pantry (if it isn’t already). It’s perfect for making risotto-style dishes, salads, soups and stews that make for cheap midweek meals.

Despite being on the foodie scene since the 1980s, sriracha continues to take the culinary world by storm. The wildly versatile hot, tangy sauce has a hint of sweetness which sets it apart from other hot sauces. It’s always good to keep a bottle handy as vegetable and cream-based soups, like chowders, can all benefit from sriracha’s kick.

Ginger’s tangy freshness, light spiciness, warmth and mellow sweetness complement a range of dishes, from sweet to savoury. Ginger is central to Thai, Chinese and Indian recipes, but it also tastes delicious in nutritious smoothies. As well as packing a punch in your recipes, ginger is known to soothe the digestive system and can help fight the common cold.

Turmeric has been used a treasured natural Asian medicine for centuries, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and health-protective properties. Its mild aromatic flavour means it can be used to spice curries, relishes, vegetables and soup. Looking for soup inspiration? This recipe for Roasted Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup never disappoints.

Oat milk
Joining the ranks amongst dairy alternatives, oat milk is a great plant-based ingredient that’s linked to improving immunity and gut health. With its creamy consistency and taste, oat milk is perfect for replacing cow’s milk in recipes – whether you’re doing Veganuary, catering for your lactose-intolerant friends or simply want to try something new.

Ube, aka purple sweet potato, is a healthy carb that’s full of vitamins and fibre as well as being beautiful in colour. Ube contains high levels of antioxidants and, despite being a vegetable, is often used in sweet desserts. When added to soup, it brings nutritious power and vivid colours to your bowl (which is 100% natural, of course). What more could you ask for?

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