10 Paleo Pantry Essentials You Need To Have
If you’re making the switch to a healthy diet, one of the first areas that needs a little spring cleaning (no matter what time of year!) is your pantry. Unlike your refrigerator where you’re constantly throwing out expired food, your pantry becomes a barren wasteland of accumulated ingredients. A random assortment of one-hit wonders, purchased for some special dish that you made over 10 years ago – right? Well, it’s time to purge my friends! You need to make room for ingredients you’ll actually use that are nurturing for your body.
When I first went gluten-free, then Paleo, I did a massive purge of my pantry. I said goodbye to bags of flour, sauces, munchies and condiments I knew I’d never eat again. And while it’s human nature to cringe a little at throwing out seemingly edible ingredients and thinking “but I paid $8 for that” – the upside is your health, which is far more valuable.
So start chucking expired, unhealthy, sugary, glutenous ingredients. You need to make room for these 10 Paleo pantry essentials.
- Almond Flour: Without the use of wheat flour, you’ll soon be reaching for the next three flours, in varying amounts. When you purchase almond flour, look for a finely ground flour. This makes Classic Paleo Pancakes and other baked treats less gritty and more similar in texture to their glutenous counterparts.
- Coconut Flour: Coconut flour is nutritionally dense and great for those who have nut allergies or sensitivities. Just be forewarned that it soaks up any fluid like a sponge! Because of this, I rarely use it on it’s own in baked goods, but rather as combination with other flours.
- Tapioca Flour: I’ve learned that tapioca flour is THE secret ingredient to keeping your Paleo baked goods light and fluffy. This starchy flour is also great at helping crusts crisp up or for thickening sauces.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is your go-to for salad dressings and necessary acid (replacing baking powder) in baked goods. It’s also a good idea to start your day with a glass of water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar – it’s alkalizing for the body.
- Coconut Aminos: Oh, how I love coconut aminos! Use this in place of soy sauce, as it’s both gluten-free and soy-free. It also add flavor to glazes, sauces and marinades.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is great at adding a salty, savory vibe to your dishes. I frequently use it in conjunction with coconut aminos in Thai dishes or to impart a Southeast Asian flavor.
- Coconut Oil: This is your new vegetable oil! It’s exceptionally heat stable, so use it for all your frying and high-heat cooking. It’s also frequently used in baking items when melted just above room temperature.
- Honey: An all natural sweetener (with great medicinal properties) that you’ll substitute for processed sugar. Perfect for when you’re making macaroons or baking sweet treats.
- Maple: Another sweetener that replaces processed sugar. You’ll find sometimes you prefer maple and sometimes you prefer honey. It’s just personal preference, but both are used frequently.
- Coconut Milk: I like to make coconut milk from scratch (which is super easy in my Vitamix!), but sometimes you just want simple. That’s why canned coconut milk is essential in your pantry. Look for brands without thickeners and BPA.
It was so hard to keep this list to 10 essentials! What would you consider in your top 10 Paleo pantry list?