306-715-5396 caitliniles@live.com

This week I’m going to table the probiotics (check out Part 1) discussion for a couple of days and answer a question about the staples that I keep in my pantry, because well I want to and it’s my blog so I have the authority to make that call 😉 Building a pantry stocked with healthy ingredients ensures that you always have the tools necessary on hand to whip together a fabulously delicious and nutritious meal. Let’s get to it shall we?

Dear Cait,

I’ve recently started clearing out my cupboards of inflammation-promoting foods like vegetable oils, refined flours, processed foods, and sugar, but now I’m stumped as to what I should be replacing them with. Please help!! Thanks     -E

Hey there E! It can definitely be hugely overwhelming clearing our your cupboards and rebuilding a pantry that promotes health as opposed to disease, but congratulations on taking the plunge! Now that you’ve cleared out some space for some healthy goodies, I’ve compiled a list of my pantry basics. Some of them I keep on rotation, such as the various nuts and seeds and their butter counterparts, and some I always have on hand, such as a fully stocked spice cabinet and all my healthy fats & oils.

This may look like a huge list, but a pantry is something that can be slowly built over time, rather than purchased in one giant and incredibly expensive shopping trip. Most of these items will last quite a while and can turn your most basic ingredients into gourmet cooking in no time flat! You can start by investing in your healthy cooking oils, herbs, and spices then slowly keep growing from there focusing on the foods you will use most. So without further ado, let’s take a look in my pantry!

Fats and Oils

A couple of my staple fats and oils from Costco.

A couple of my staple fats and oils from Costco.

Olive Oil

Avocado Oil

Coconut Oil: Costco has a great organic brand, Carrington Farms, that at $17/ 54 oz. costs less than half as much as the same amount of any organic brand I’ve seen in a health food store. It’s worth the membership for coconut oil alone!

Butter: Look for organic or grassfed to avoid toxins from inhumanely raised animals.

Cocoa Butter

Check out these posts for more information on how to use healthy fats and oils: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 

Spices and Herbs

Cinnamon

All Spice

Ginger: fresh and dried

Coriander: aka cilantro; fresh herb and dried seed

Garlic

Green Onions

Unrefined Sea Salt

Paprika: Hungarian and Smoked

Some more pantry staples: spices perfect for sweet or savoury applications, coconut palm sugar, organic butter, dates, coconut oil, and coconut flour.

Some more pantry staples: spices perfect for sweet or savoury applications, coconut palm sugar, organic butter, dates, coconut oil, and coconut flour.

Chili Powder

Thyme

Madras Curry Powder

Turmeric

Bay Leaves

Binding Agents and Thickeners

Gelatin: This is a wonderfully healing food for the joints and digestive tract! Make sure you buy gelatin from healthy sources.

Arrowroot Starch

Vinegars and Liquid Seasoning

Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar: Bragg’s or Filsinger’s are two great companies who keep the mother in the bottle. I prefer Bragg’s because it comes in a glass jar.

Balsamic Vinegar

Naturally Brewed Rice Vinegar

Organic Naturally Brewed Tamari

Organic Fish Sauce: Adds a zing to soups and curries!!

Occasionally: Coconut Vinegar or other intriguing vinegars I see at the store

Dairy Alternatives

Coconut Milk: Why mess with perfection? I don’t use any other nut milks but if you want to you can try making some cashew, almond, or hemp milk.

Nuts and Seeds

Some of my favourite nuts and seeds: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and chia!

Some of my favourite nuts and seeds: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and chia!

Pumpkin Seeds

Cashews

Pecans

Walnuts

Almonds

Hemp Hearts

Sunflower Seeds

Chia Seeds

Nut and Seed Butters: On Rotation

Almond Butter

Coconut Butter

Sunflower Seed Butter

Cashew Butter

Macadamia Nut Butter

Natural Sweeteners

Raw Honey: For sweetening tea or lattes. I typically try not to cook with honey or heat it to high temperatures as this can destroy the beneficial enzymes in the product.

Maple Syrup: More for cooking or baking

Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut Syrup

Dates

Seaweeds

Kombu: for adding to stocks I’m making

Wakame

Nori

Arame

A few more pantry staples: local honey, raw cacao, vanilla, maca, and ashwagandha.

A few more pantry staples: local honey, raw cacao, vanilla, maca, and ashwagandha.

Miscellaneous

Cocoa Powder

Vanilla

Organic Matcha Tea

Shredded Coconut

Maca

Ashwagandha

Rice Paper Wraps: For when I want to eat a bunch of veggies, but am just not feeling a salad.

Rice Vermicelli: For the occasional pasta craving.

Homemade Vinaigrette: I always try to have one jar of homemade dressing in my fridge to jazz up a salad or wrap. Try my Grapefruit and Red Onion or Ginger Lime.

Hot Sauce

Organic Ground or Dijon Mustard

Unpasteurized Miso Paste

100% Organic Bakers Chocolate: I use Camino, a sweet Canadian company whose baking chocolate has no sweeteners or fillers. Just cocoa and fat!

So there it is friends! My pantry in all of its glory. Remember, don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to have a completely stocked pantry right.now. Take some time to figure out what you like and what you’ll use and go from there. Once you’ve figured out your staples you can also start buying in bulk, which will make eating healthy, whole foods even cheaper! Have a wonderful week 🙂

Cheers,

Cait