Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring food from home to the office to spice up your daily lunch routine. To make eating at work more home-like, I have compiled a list of fifteen pantry items that you should stock in your work kitchen. They compliment many foods well and never go bad.
Honey is one of those items that has magical properties. Synthesized by bees, honey lasts forever. This delicious sweetener has been found in ancient tombs and has a shelf life of several hundred years. Put some honey in your office pantry to go with fruit, yogurt, or tea.
Salt is one of those items that is used in a million different ways. It can, of course, season your food, but it is also used as a preservative in curing meats and other items. Grab a container of salt to add some flavor to every meal.
Every office needs sugar for coffee. Sugar is a delicious natural sweetener that goes well with everything. Put this on your shelf and try to resist the urge to eat spoonfuls on your own.
4. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is often included in aid packages delivered to impoverished countries. Filling and delicious, a jar of peanut butter can solve many breakfast and lunch crises. This is an essential office pantry item.
5. Canned tuna
Canned tuna has a shelf life of forever, and can be very filling. Put this on a sandwich with some mayonnaise, or over a salad, and it can really spice up a meal.
6. Olive oil
Olive oil is great in a lot of ways. It can be used in cooking and baking, but its main purpose in an office setting is to be mixed into salad dressings. Keep some olive oil around the office pantry and you’ll thank me eventually.
Brown rice has a shelf life of about twelve months and can be boiled into a meal quickly. Put some brown rice on your shelf in case of emergencies.
8. Canned beans
A can of baked beans can be the perfect meal in a pinch. Grab a few cans and keep them in the office pantry in case. And when you finally eat them, you’ll thank me. They’re delicious.
9. Almonds and other nuts
Cans of nuts are great for snacking and can last forever. Grab a few cans of assorted nuts but store them nearby to keep them safe—others will try to snack on these if you leave them in a common area.
10. Canned and bottled juice
Apple, cranberry, orange, even tomato—all these juices will last forever when canned, and can be a perfect accompaniment to both breakfast and dinner on the run. My favorite is spicy tomato juice, so I don’t have to worry much about others drinking mine. But you might have to mark your juice if you put it in the office pantry fridge.
Both red and white vinegar are very versatile items. At times used as cleaning products, vinegar can be mixed with the aforementioned olive oil to produce a delicious salad dressing. Also, if you have a stove top and a lot of time at work, slicing up some white onions and caramelizing them in vinegar will lead to a delicious addition to any sandwich.
This childhood staple has a shelf life of about a year and a half. It can be good for breakfast in a pinch or a supplement to a balanced lunch. Bring a jar. It is an essential office pantry item.
The shelf life of broth is between two to five years. Grab some and put it in the office pantry fridge. Broth is great on a cold winter’s day.
14. Maple syrup
The Canadians really know what they are doing with this one. A bottle of maple syrup will last forever, and having this on hand will come in handy on the days your office caters breakfast. Yum!
We all like to have a little fun, right? Spirits such as gin, rum, and whiskey have a tremendous shelf life, so keep some around the office pantry. Just make sure that it is okay with your office policies first.
Featured photo credit: Food aisle / lyzadanger via flickr.com