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!
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.
- Almond Flour *(I always grind this one from blanched sliced almonds when I need it – I use my food processor or coffee grinder)
- Coconut Flour
- Arrowroot Flour
- Tapioca Starch
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
- Ghee (I either make my own or buy Purity Farm’s.)
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (reserve for low heat cooking)
- Balsamic Vinegar (both White and Red varieties)
- Cider Vinegar
- Rice Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
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!
- Black Peppercorns
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chinese Five Spice
- Dried Ginger (I also keep fresh in the fridge)
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Thyme
- Garam Masala
- Ground Ancho Chile
- Ground Ceylon Cinnamon
- Ground Clove
- Himalayan Salt
- Hot Pepper Flakes
- Smoked Paprika
- Spicy Curry Powder
- Whole Nutmeg
I keep these on my window sill, so I always have fresh herbs on hand…
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.
- Almonds (whole and sliced) *I usually grind my own almond flour or meal from sliced almonds
- Brazil Nuts
- Cashews (whole and pieces)
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!
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.
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 combinations. I like to keep at least a few varieties varieties on hand, mainly the following:
BAKING SUPPLIES AND SWEETENERS
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.
- Dates (I usually keep Medjool and the standard pitted variety)
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Cranberries (naturally sweetened with apple juice or unsweetened)
- Dried Plums
- Raisins (I like to use Thompson)
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (finely shredded and large shavings)
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’!
- Date Paste
- Raw Honey
- Pure Maple Syrup – Grade B or Canada Medium
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Pure Vanilla Extract (I make my own at home, it’s so much better!)
- Pure Almond Extract
- Sweet Apple Cider (or all natural unsweetened apple juice)
- Unsweetened Applesauce (I use homemade when I can)
These add TONS of flavor and really help create the illusion of sweetness, too! Don’t be afraid to use them…
- 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.
Oh yeah! It does deserve its own category!
- Cacao Paste (aka Cacao Liquor)
- 85% Dark Chocolate (mostly used as occasional treat, my favorite, what can I say?)
- Cacao Nibs
- Cacao Powder
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? 😉