You know when you get really excited about a song, and you think it’s so good that you just have to share it with everyone you know? This post is my personal version of that.
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and my kitchen staples are my treasures. I love these ingredients so much, and I think you’ll love them too – which is why I’m so eager to share them with you!
I’ve split this list into 3 categories – Pantry, Fridge, and Snacks. I’m leaving out produce because to me, preference for that is so individualized.
Here’s what I will be sharing: the staple itself, why I choose it, and even my preferred brand or flavour. I hope this inspires you to branch out and try something new, or get excited about being in the kitchen today!
Almond flour is a great high-protein, high-fat flour. I love it in baked goods because it produces a nice crumb, and is an easy substitute in most recipes. Almond flour is naturally gluten-free and easy to digest. Also great for paleo recipes too! I love having this on hand – but I don’t use it every day because it can be quite pricey. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill.
Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is something I’ve used in so many of my recipes! It’s gluten-free and very affordable. Great for coating your cauliflower in to make buffalo wings, or making my oh-so-good Chickpea Burgers with. I also use it for sauce bases too, like with my Creamy Garlic Sage Pasta. Keep in mind when baking with this, it can be a bit dry (no gluten, no stretch), so I like to use almond flour instead for baking, or half and half with the sprouted spelt flour coming up next. Like with the almond flour, I prefer Bob’s Red Mill.
Sprouted Spelt Flour
I eat mostly gluten-free, but I can tolerate gluten in smaller quantities. I know some recipes will turn out better (or be made easier) with a flour that does contain gluten, so I choose spelt flour which is known to be easier to digest. What’s especially important here is the sprouted part. This sprouting further enhances digestion by pre-breaking down some of those hard to digest nutrients – definitely go for sprouted! Great for flatbreads and pizza crusts. My favourite brand is Anita’s Organic.
If you haven’t tried coconut sugar yet, you must! Coconut sugar, compared to other sugars, is lower on the glycemic index. This means that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much when consumed. It has a bit of that mapley-brown sugar taste, which I think is phenomenal. My favourite brand is Wholesome.
For a while, I debated changing the name of my business to “mostly chickpeas” because let’s face it – I cook with them a lot! They are packed with fiber and so versatile. You can make Breakfast Cookies, Chickpea Curry, Chickpea Burgers – your options really are endless. I don’t think that all brands are created equal. I usually buy the No Salt Added Compliments Brand, and I always soak for at least an hour before cooking.
Brown Rice Pasta
I know fancy pastas are all the rage right now, but I can’t be bothered to spent $10 on a box of lentil pasta. I love the texture of Brown Rice Pasta and it’s always affordable. We have pasta just about every week – I buy the compliments brand in spaghetti or penne.
I like to use these as a sneaky way too add extra iron and magnesium to any dish, mostly on soups and salads. I buy the Compliments Brand, and go for organic and raw. Cooking the pumpkin seeds can compromise some of those nutrients, so get’em green!
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
What pantry would be complete without a little bit of chocolate? I love making chocolate chip cookies and homemade trail mixes. Sometimes we just grab a small handful when we need to! Enjoy Life makes dairy-free chocolate chips – regular, dark, and mini.
When choosing a probiotic, quality is really important to me. The Cultured Coconut offers a liquid coconut probiotics which has 4+ TRILLION CFU / TBSP , which is basically unheard of. If you compare to the brand in your cupboard, you’ll be blown away. Because this one comes as a liquid, you will want to keep it in the fridge. I take 1-2 TBSP every night, and it makes a huge difference for me!
When I was younger, we used to go to this sushi place that had a “sweet soy sauce” offered with or in place of the regular just-salty stuff. I loved the addition of the sort-of sweet taste, and the Coconut Nectar tastes just like it. I use this in place of soy sauce in my fridge. I use it in sauces, salad dressings, and of course stirfrys! I have tried a few that were just okay, but I love Braggs.
Are we sending a trend here? I guess it’s clear I love all things coconut. Plain Coconut Yogurt is a great snack with fruit, or I sometimes pair it with oatmeal for breakfast. The plain one is quite tart, so I’ve also added vinegar, cucumber, and dill before for a quick cucumber salad. I buy the Silk brand because it’s available almost everywhere I shop. The vanilla is good too!
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are a lot of myths about ACV – so I want to make it known why I use this vinegar in particular. First, it has been shown to be helpful with digestion. Secondly, it is known to be antimicrobial, and can minimize the spread of bad bacteria. I use apple cider vinegar a lot in baking, and also to make vegan buttermilk, which is basically plant milk + ACV. I also use this vinegar in my homemade dressings. I go for the ever-popular Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.
Regular pop can keep it’s artificial sweetners and added corn syrups – I’ll take a Zevia. Zevia is a pop that’s sweetened with stevia. I love that Zevia is naturally sweetened with a very low glycemic sweetener. They also never use any dyes. Since discovering Zevia, I’ve had pop only once – maaaaaybe twice in the last 4 years. My favourite is Root Beer – the Cola is also really good!
High Fat Bars
Fat is the slowest digesting micronutrient, so eating food that contains fat will keep you feeling fuller for longer. When I need a snack to hold me over until the next meal, I usually pick one that is high in fat and easy to digest. My favourites are Love Good Fats (plant-based PB & J) and Good to Go (Pecan). These feel like a treat but both offer a good amount of protein and fibre too.
I’ve been going through a separation with corn, and one thing I’ve missed is tortilla chips. I can’t believe that this is what it’s taken for me to try Bean Chips – they are so good! Higher in fibre than your average chip, they are satisfyingly crunchy and also great with salsa (or on their own). I always choose Beanfield in Sea Salt or Nacho.
My love affair with Smart Sweets Candy is alive and thriving. These candies are plant-based and sweetened with stevia – only 3 grams of sugar for the entire bag! This is a sweet treat that won’t mess with your blood sugar and help keep your energy stable while still letting your tastebuds go WOW. My favourite is the Peach Rings – I’m seriously eating them as I type right now.
Like with the sprouted spelt flour, sprouted nuts can be easier to digest than regular nuts. If you have a sensitive digestive system like I do, try your nuts sprouted! A handful of nuts is a classic great snack. I especially love the blends by Living Intentions – White Chocolate and Honey Sriracha are so. GOOD!
Do you stock any of these ingredients in your kitchen? I would love to hear what is a kitchen-must for you right now!