How to Stock Your Pantry for Snacking Emergencies, According to a Health Coach

Bookmark this for the next time you're hangry.

It happens to the best of us: You’re hanging out at home, and all of the sudden you're hit with a “Must. Have. Food. Now!” moment—but when you raid your pantry, all you find is some flour and a half-full bag of quinoa.

Arielle Haspel feels you. “I get so hangry,” says the health coach behind Be Well With Arielle. “If I don’t eat every three hours, my blood sugar totally dips.”

But Haspel—a busy mom to seven-month-old Gemma—has hacked the common pantry conundrum. Instead, she stocks her Manhattan apartment with ingredients full of protein and healthy fats to fuel her through even the craziest of days. “I need to snack on something really nourishing that’s not only going to fill me up, but also give me energy,” she explains.

Her go-to snack hack?  MaraNatha almond and peanut butters. Haspel loves spreading the organic raw almond butter on apple slices or dipping celery in the creamy peanut butter. Plus, MaraNatha also comes in no salt and no sugar varieties to help you reach your health #goals.

But the smart solutions don't stop at what she's eating. Clever storage and strategic organization for snacks (and other must-have ingredients) are part of the equation, too—especially for anyone used to small-space living. “I am a city girl," Haspel says. "I was born and bred in Manhattan and I don’t have any time to waste!”

Scroll down to find out how Haspel expertly stocks her pantry—and find out more about her genius snack recommendations.

What’s your food philosophy?

I call it ‘healthified eating.’ It’s creating healthified versions of your favorite foods, so you never have to feel guilty or deprived.

How does that affect what you put in your pantry?

Perfect question! That’s exactly what my whole food philosophy is about. It’s really based on being able to indulge in your favorite foods without feeling gross after—so, it’s swapping out unhealthy ingredients for better versions. So in my pantry, I don’t have any refined’s all either maple syrup, honey, or coconut palm sugar. The flours I have in my pantry are almond flour, coconut, and brown rice flours. I typically don’t have a lot of gluten, either. So, for example, when I’m healthifying an Asian recipe, I’ll use tamari which is wheat-free.

What are your pantry essentials?

Sea salt because it adds so much flavor to a dish without making you feel thirsty after. It also adds a lot of minerals to the food, which helps you feel good, too.

It looks like your pantry has separate sections?

Yes, it’s divided into three different categories. We have cooking items on the bottom, snacking in the middle, and baking on top. The cooking materials are on the bottom so they’re closer to the stove, which makes them easily accessible.

I spy some cookbooks, too.

Yeah, I actually don’t really use cookbooks, but I have them there just in case. A lot of these are actually baby food books. I’m getting inspiration from those because I’m just starting to feed my baby solid foods.

Let’s talk about your snacks shelf.

Yes, it’s all about snacks and on-the-go items. I’m pretty busy, and as a new mom I need to nourish myself super fast. So I’ll grab a protein bar or a rice cake and spread some organic raw, unsweetened almond butter on it, and I’ll literally run out of the door. I also keep super easy snacks like almonds, pistachios, and unsweetened coconut. I really love making my own trail mix, and I’ll use those items along with a little unsweetened cacao nibs and sea salt. It’s so delicious!

Speaking of the MaraNatha nut butters, what are your favorite ways to use them?

I cook with them, as well as snack with them. For snacks, I’ll spread the organic raw, unsweetened almond butter onto a pear or an apple and I’ll sprinkle on a little bit of cinnamon. And when I cook, I love making almond butter sauces. I love making Asian dishes, and I’m planning to open a restaurant next year with those recipes. Mixing the raw, unsweetened creamy almond butter with tamari and sesame oil makes some really great sauces.

What are those packets on the right?

Those are actually individually-portioned chia seed and collagen protein powder packets, which are really convenient. I’ll sprinkle them onto my snacks, or sometimes I’ll take them to the juice shop and add them to my smoothie so I won’t have to pay extra for that topping.

Your pantry is so efficient.

It has to be! New York is so hectic that I need to keep my home and my pantry as clean and zen as possible, which helps keep me focused. It’s not this clean all the time, I will admit. But when it is, I can take a deep breath and focus on the things that matter to me like creating a delicious meal for me and my family.

In partnership with MaraNatha

Photos: Molly O'Brien for Well+Good

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