When I first started eating clean 12 months ago, it was truly an exercise in patience and commitment. I found too often that if I did find a recipe I wanted to try, I had half or none of the ingredients needed to make it (usually once I was already hungry and set to cook). Most American’s are raised with the same items in their pantry and fridge. Staple items you can almost always count on having on hand: Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, pasta, milk, oatmeal/ cereal, peanut butter, jam, bread, variety of spices. When you start eating clean/paleo, most, if not all, of these items go away.
The good news is, there are just as good, if not better substitutes for all of these items. Below are the 10 paleo necessities I have on hand at all times for easy, clean cooking at home.
Quinoa – Anyone who knows me knows this is a staple in my house. I use it primarily to substitute oatmeal (adding fruit, sun butter or chia seeds). It also serves as a great rice substitute with veggies and spices for dinner.
Coconut Flour – My most recent and adored addition. I am finally eating bread items again thanks to coconut flour. It is a NECESARRY item in my opinion.
Almond Milk – I was never a big milk fan before, so giving it up was not that difficult. However, milk is one of those items that ends up in other things all the time. I like to add almond milk to my quinoa and sun butter in the morning, use it in smoothies, add it to my gluten free mac and cheese, you get the picture. Whatever calls for milk, I use almond milk. Just be careful not to buy vanilla and use it like regular milk. You’ll make this mistake once and only one haha
Raw Honey: Make sure it’s raw. This is a great way to sweeten breads and the like.
Coconut Oil: I really don’t know what I did before I found coconut oil. I use it to grease pans before cooking EVERYTHING. I also use it instead of olive oil depending on the recipe. These are just two of the many uses for coconut oil in your house. LOVE LOVE LOVE COCONUT OIL.
Sun Butter: Let’s be honest, this will never truly replace peanut butter in my heart. However, it still tastes great and serves the same purpose as peanut butter. Another choice is Almond Butter which I have on hand as well but it all comes down to personal preference and the recipe.
Grass-fed Butter: MMMM butter. I prefer Kerrygold spreadable salted. I also keep unsalted for the days I like to make Bulletproof coffee.
Olive Oil: This is pretty straight forward. You get to keep olive oil. Yiii.
Almond Flour: The sister flour to coconut, I keep this around for my meatloaf primarily.
Vegetable/ Chicken Stock: I left this one for last because it really is dependent on how you like to cook. I find the itch to cook soup more often than most, hence the constant supply of vegetable stock. Chicken stock I like to keep around for quick and easy chicken based meals. ( a little butter, fresh lemon and chicken stock in a pan with almond flour dipped chicken and you’ve got a winner!)
So there you go. Those are my top 10 paleo necessities. You’ll find in time what works best for you but hopefully this helps.