My Kitchen Essentials Part I – Stocking Up a Paleo Pantry

I’ve been asked many times now about the contents of my pantry and fridge… I figured it was about time I opened them up to you guys. And I really mean, open them up!

I’ve made an extensive list of every item that you would be most likely to find if you came to my place and opened the cupboards at ANY GIVEN TIME.

Of course, there are other items that I haven’t listed here… if I’d included every item that I buy on a more occasional basis, this post would just never end.

Even now, I’ve decided to split it into 2 and possibly even 3 different posts. Tonight, I give you the contents of my cupboards only; all the non perishable items.

Next time, I’ll cover the fridge and possibly freezer.

Now, I would’ve loved to make this post all fancy shmancy with nice colors and patterns and pretty fonts, but unfortunately, I have no idea how to do that… maybe some day I can edit this page and make it more pleasing to the eye, but for now, I’m afraid this is the best I can do.

So here goes, without further ado, I give you the most intimate tour of my pantry anyone has ever had!

And by all means, if you have questions or comments, I would be more than happy to hear them!

My Paleo Pantry | www.thehealthyfoodie.com

FLOURS

Because, well, I’m a baker at heart and one can’t bake without flour, can they? These are the only flours that I use on a regular basis.

 

CANNED GOODS

This is something that I try and keep at a real minimum, but some products are just hard to find in a different container. Here are the few that you can be certain to find in my cupboards at any given time!

When purchasing canned goods, make sure to read your labels very carefully. Avoid any and all kinds of additives, added sugar or chemicals.

  • Coconut Milk (I will get out of my way to get Savoy but will use AroyD as a fallback option)
  • Coconut Water (I generally use Coco Libre or Blue Monkey)
  • Organic Diced Tomatoes (I generally use Eden Organic)
  • Pumpkin Puree (NOT pie filling! Make sure you get pure pumpkin puree!)
  • Olives (Green, Black, Sliced, Whole, Pitted… name it, I always keep ALL KINDS)
  • Salmon (Wild Caught, Sustainably Sourced. Wild Planet preferred)
  • Tuna (Wild Caught, Sustainably Sourced. Wild Planet preferred)
  • Sardines (Wild Caught, Sustainably Sourced. Wild Planet preferred)

 

OILS AND FATS

NON-COOKING

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Walnut Oil

COOKING

VINEGARS

  • Balsamic Vinegar (both White and Red varieties)
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar

Olive Oil and White Wine Vinegar | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

SPICES AND SEASONINGS

I’m not gonna list ALL of the spices that I have in my cupboards, for I have and use A LOT of them. I’ll only list the ones that I use at least once a week, if not once a day!

 

FRESH HERBS

I keep these on my window sill, so I always have fresh herbs on hand…

  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

 My Paleo Pantry | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

NUTS AND SEEDS

Although I *ahem* consume them in moderation, I still like to keep a wide variety of nuts on hand at all times to use in various dishes as well as to make flours and nut butters!  I strongly recommend that you purchase these in bulk, which will save you tons of money. I get most of mine at Costco and go to various “Bulk Food Stores” for those that I can’t find there. Nuts.com is another incredibly good source if you want to order online.

Of course, you want to buy the raw, unsalted variety, and go for organic as much as possible.

DRIED COCONUT

Be real careful when purchasing dried coconut, as it very often contains sulfites or other preservatives. Make sure there’s nothing in that bag but plain coconut! 

Hazelnuts | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

WHEY PROTEIN POWDER

While I no longer consume Whey Protein Powder on a regular basis anymore, I still like to keep some in my cupboard for those situations where I’m in a pinch, or totally lack inspiration.

There are so many different protein powders out there, it’s hard to decide which one to go with. Make sure you select the purest, cleanest protein powder you can find. Read the labels carefully and look for one that has no artificial flavors or sweeteners added. I myself have been using Ergogenics’ New Zealand Whey exclusively for a great while now and couldn’t be happier with it.

I always buy the unflavored variety and make my own flavor mixes at home.

NUT BUTTERS

Of course, all of my nut butters are home made and entirely natural. In fact, I think I might have some kind of an addiction to nut butter, in a sense that I LOVE making my own at home and create all sorts of delicious combinationsI like to keep at least a few varieties varieties on hand, mainly the following: 

Toasted Almond Hazelnut Butter | www.thehealthyfoodie.com

Toasted Hazelnut & Almond Butter

BAKING SUPPLIES AND SWEETENERS

DRIED FRUITS

Here’s another thing that I recommend you buy in bulk to save tons of money. Again, Costco is a good source for some of them, but make sure you read the label and don’t get the ones with added sugar or preservatives! Most “Bulk Food Stores” offer a good selection of all natural, organic dried fruit. 

 

ALL NATURAL SWEETENERS

One thing that you will never ever see me use is refined sugar (well, except for making Kombucha, that is). These are the ONLY sweeteners that I use and I try to use as little as possible when I do call upon them. Wondering what vanilla and almond extract are doing here? Well, they really help create an illusion of sweetness, you would be very surprised! I use them in my smoothies all the time. Oh, and cinnamon is very good for that, too… just sayin’! 

Home Made Pure Vanilla Extract | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Home Made Pure Vanilla Extract

“SWEET” SPICES

These add TONS of flavor and really help create the illusion of sweetness, too! Don’t be afraid to use them…

 

BAKING “POWDERS”

  • Baking Powder*
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Guar Gum

*Did you know that baking powder contains corn starch? Make your own grain free version using one part baking soda, two parts cream of tartar and two parts arrowroot.

 

CHOCOLATE

Oh yeah! It does deserve its own category!

Date Paste in the making | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Date Paste – My Sweetener of Choice

So here you are,guys…

I think that’s it for pantry! Phew… Hope you liked!

Next, I’ll tackle the fridge…

Just give me a couple of days, alright? ;)

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Comments

  1. Jane says

    Those bottles that you use for the vanilla extract are just beautiful! I have searched high and low trying to find them – unsuccessfully. Any chance you could provide the name of the store you got them? Thanks much!

  2. says

    I am always interested to hear what’s in someone else’s pantry. Especially food bloggers because it is like a peek inside your world. I would be afraid of realizing just how much is in my pantry- kind of like if you were to dump out my huge bottomless purse… Perhaps I need to do a little organizing ;).

    • says

      Heather- it’s a good question and one I probably need to tackle as well. My poor pantry is a disaster! I should do some reorganizing!

  3. says

    Holy cow! Yours is so organized. I’ll take a picture of mine tomorrow so you can feel super amazingly proud of yourself, if you aren’t already. :) It was fun to get a look at your cupboard. We want to see the rest of the place now! :)

    • says

      LOL! Now I’m curious, I want to see your cupboards too! Slowly but surely, you guys are getting to see more and more of my place. Maybe I should open up my kitchen to you guys and show you where I cook my meals!

  4. says

    Wow, great post. I wish I was that organized. Actually, I wish I had a pantry – everything is just kind of fit into my kitchen along with all my kitchen tools too. Love seeing the kind of things you keep in your pantry. I really need to go organize now, haha!

    • says

      You don’t have a pantry Heidi? OMG, I would just go nuts. I have PLENTY of cupboard space, yet, I really don’t have enough. Being a foodie and a food blogger, I tend to buy way too much kitchen supplies and props… of course, the more I own, the less room I have for food. I need a second kitchen! Or a much bigger one…

  5. Bonnie says

    Hi! I read your blog nearly every day, I am a very good cook and passionate foodie, so I love to see what you’re making at any given moment. I was interested to see what you had in your pantry, and even more interested to see that it closely mirrors my own… with one exception: all those nuts!! I love them all, to eat plain, or use in recipes (my latest favs are pignoli, cashews and pistachios), but they cost a fortune!! I buy them in small quantities only as an indulgence. Good god, what is your weekly food bill like??

    • says

      LOL, like I said Bonnie, buying nuts in bulk will save you tons of money, especially if you buy them at Costco. For example, a 2 pound bag of raw almonds only costs like 15 bucks if memory serves, and that is enough to make close to 10 liters of almond milk, or 4 cups of almond butter! Much cheaper than buying “ready made”. Granted, some of these nuts are more expensive, like pistachio, but a 2 pound bag will last you a long time, and you are much more likely to use them in recipes if you have a large quantity on hand than if you have to buy as needed. At least, that’s how it goes for me… Just make sure you keep them in an airtight container!

  6. Amanda says

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog and your recipes are exactly what I’ve been looking for…low fat and low-glycemic recipes that use simple whole foods like fruits & vegetables instead of artificial sweeteners and dozens of hard-to-find flours. So thank you! :)

    Anyway, quick question…what kind of food processor do you use to make your flour and homemade nut butters? I’m not sure mine would be strong enough! One day I’d love to get a VitaMix blender…once I save up a small fortune. I tried to find those vanilla bottles on the Canadian Tire website, but no luck…they are beautiful!

    • says

      Thanks a lot Amanda, glad you were able to find a couple of recipes that are to your liking on here… I really like to keep it simple and try and use ingredients that are relatively common and easy to find. And I don’t care much for “substitutes” or “artificial” stuff. I prefer to stick to the real deal.

      As for my food processor, I have a good ‘ole faithful Kitchenaid. Been using it for years and it never failed me. To make flour, I use a coffee grinder, as I usually only make a very small quantity at a time. Works wonders! Oh, my coffee grinder also happens to be a Kitchenaid!

      I tried to locate the bottles on the Canadian Tire website, but couldn’t find them either. Guess you’ll have to get to an actual store to find them! ;)

  7. Shannon says

    Hi just wanted to say I really like how well put together your page is! Im actually not paleo at all , in fact I typically follow a plant based, gluten free,low sugar, and almost oil free diet.Your site and recipes have been a great resource for grain free,dairy free,healthy, and have been easy to modify for plant based as well!Just wanted to say thanks! Changing the way I eat has been a challenge but finding pages like yours help out, even though its not the same eating style its still a great resource to me :)

    • says

      Awww, thank you so much for your kind words, Shannon, and most of all, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such amazing feedback. You have no idea how good it felt to read this just now. You are one true gem, my friend, and thanks again so very much. You totally made my day! :D

  8. Louise says

    Sonja – I am so pleased to be able to use your web site for recipes. I have a question –
    did you at any point mention that xanthan gum had “flour” in it? Please let me know as I’m a bit confused about it. Thanks for being here, Louise

  9. Samantha says

    Thank you for showing us your “stash”. I’m a paleo newbie making the transition from vegetarian-okay-I’ll-make-an-exception-for-sushi. So, you know, pretty much doing a 180° and all. LOVE tahini and nut butters (and I get to keep them, yay!) and I’ve tried making my own… never realized I just wasn’t processing them long enough!

    I’m looking forward to the tour of your fridge and freezer to see what other paleo noms I can add to mine. Great blog! Thanks again for all your hard work!

    • says

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Paleo, Samantha… or should I say paleo-okay-I’ll-make-an-exception-for-sushi? I’m real happy to hear that the content of my blog is helping, hopefully you’ll find many a recipe on here that will inspire you and make you fall in love with the lifestyle! :)

  10. LindaRose says

    What can I store my 25lb bag of coconut flour in???? I don’t like plastic. Should almond flour be stored in feezer??? What about other nuts???? Freezer? Fridge? In a jar in the pantry?? I also purchased a case of organic medgool dates how should I store them to keep them fresh…freezer, fridge, or just in a jar??

    • says

      25lb bag of coconut flour?! Oh my, now that is a LOT of coconut flour! If you don’t like plastic, glass jars are always a good alternative, either the mason type of flip top. I tend to keep my nuts and nut flour in the cupboard, except for macadamia, which I keep in the freezer. However, if you want them to keep for longer, it’s always a good idea to keep them in the fridge or even freezer. As for the dates, they will keep for months in the cupboards, so I wouldn’t worry about them. Just make sure you keep them in an airtight container.

      Hope this helps!

  11. Bonnie Rush says

    Hi Sonia! I also enjoy your blog very much! I was wondering about how to determine if cashew butter or cashews are still fresh. I bought some cashews at our local grocery store and the date says good till Jan 2015, but they smell kind of “fishy” So does the butter I made from some I bought from the same store. By fishy I mean smells a bit like fish. Is this because of the omega 3 content or maybe just rancid?
    Thanks, Bonnie

    • says

      Ooof… I definitely wouldn’t eat them, Bonnie. They most probably have gone rancid, and I’ guessing the oil that they used to roast the cashews is not helping… they tend to use the cheap canola or sunflower to do that. That’s why I always buy raw cashews, or dry roasted.

      I say you should bring them back to the store and get your money back!

  12. Bonnie Rush says

    So more on the fishyews (cashews) I haven’t taken the others back yet but the last time I went shopping I sort of did a bad thing. I opened the pull tab on a store packaged
    bucket of cashews and took a whiff! And guess what? fishy. So I went over to the bulk bins which is where they package them from in-store(I think, or a nearby store) anyway I scooped a container full of those cashews and NO SMELL, actually pleasant cashew smell. So I bought me three containers of those and took them home to where my new Breville food processor was waiting for me on the door step! Hope the Breville can do the job as I burned out my old one trying to make nut butters. In the mean time I’m keeping all of my nuts in the freezer (except my husband’s and the ones on the funny goat my daughter got me for the garden! Ha Ha) If you don’t like my humor I maybe should have saved that one for Julie Bauer(There’s a NUT!)

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