Sometimes when you first start looking at cutting things out of your diet, eliminating certain food types or wanting to substitute one thing for something else, it can be very hard to know where to start. In some cases you could be thinking “What else IS there?” And people are frequently asking me “What do you even EAT?”
My answer is “SO MUCH FOOD!!! My pantry is SO FULL!” To prove it I thought I’d share my pantry and fridge staples with you.
Hopefully some of these items in my pantry will help you find something that would fit beautifully in your pantry.
So what do we have?
- Various teas – peppermint, rooibos chai (caffeine free [no black tea, just rooibos and chai spice], byron chai, black tea
- Essential spices (you will see the rest of my herb draw) which I use in baking and cooking – cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin and ginger ground
- Braggs liquid aminos – wheat-free soy protein, soy sauce substitute. There is some controversy around this product but I find it to be delicious and have such a huge bottle, I’ll finish this before trying another soy substitute. I even used this in my creamy vegan sauce made from veggie stock and cashew cheese. Gave it a nice tang.
- Macadamia oil and Coconut Oil. Coconut Oil is one of my MUST have essential pantry items – I use it to cook everything and it is my NUMBER 1 butter substitute in baking and cooking. Substitute 1 for 1.
- Syrups – maple and agave. They are vegan, and agave can be classed as Raw too. Good to remember that while these are refined-sugar free, they are still sugars and should be used in small quantities. DO NOT BUY MAPLE FLAVOURED SYRUP – this is NOT maple syrup, it is caramel colouring, sugar, water and a whole bunch of additives you don’t want to put in your body. Buy 100% maple syrup. You could add honey into this shelf as well.
- Macadamias, almonds, cashews – my bases for nut butters and spreads (cashew “cheese” spread is my fav at the moment), pecans and mixed nuts
- Rice syrup (hiding behind the nutritional yeast, just realising it should be up on the top shelf with agave and maple haha)
- Nutritional / Savoury yeast flakes (hiding behind the tahini) – unlike bakers and brewers yeast these yeast are not not active and cause no issues for people suffering candida or who are sensitive to yeast and have various nutritional qualities (hence the name) and are great for adding the “cheesy” flavour to sauces and spreads in dairy free / vegan cooking.
- Baking powder – make sure you get one that is gluten and aluminium free
- Carob powder – is my chocolate substitute as I am intolerant to chocolate, do not use cocoa, and try to keep cacao use to a minimum (however I get a little weak and add the cacao nibs in a few things…)
- Excess amounts of sesame seeds and salt I needed to stash somewhere
- Cacao nibs – substitute for choc chips. I could use carob drops however they tend to be made with milk solids so I can’t, and these nibs are 100% cacao – no dairy no sugar! I could make my own drops, but haven’t got there yet…
- SUGARS! The fun stuff! I have some coconut sugar that I substitute for brown cane sugar SPARINGLY! And XYLITOL which I get asked about a lot which is a sugar substitute that is a sugar alcohol and you can sub 1 for 1
- Quinoa grain – WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE, cook the same as rice, use in hot dishes and in SALADS (delicious!) (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa, simmer until all water is absorbed)
- Polenta – Made from Corn so is WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE
- Chia seeds – GLUTEN FREE, full of fibre, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and minerals! Throw in smoothies, cookies, muesli EVERYTHING!
- Oats – a WHEAT FREE staple, many people with a Gluten Intolerance can tolerate Oats (Please speak to your nutritionist, naturopath or doctor about oats and there is a LOT of information the internet about oats and why they may be suitable for those with a Gluten-intolerance [not Coeliacs] that I can’t squeeze in here). They are also high in fibre.
- Coconut flour – GLUTEN FREE, great for making a solid spongy banana bread and oat cookies, I need to use it a bit more and let you know the results
- Spelt flour – WHEAT FREE, my favourite flour at the moment. It is Wheat free and has a low gluten percentage of about 2% so many gluten intolerant people are fine with Spelt (again consult the professional of your choice)
- Brown Rice flour – WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE, I want to cook more with this flour (hence why I have a lot at the moment)
- Rye flour – WHEAT FREE, it also is low in Gluten (again consult the professional of your choice)
- Maize / Corn Flour – (which I have twice, who knows why) (again consult the professional of your choice)
- Tapioca flour – is a WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE starch, use in place of potato starch or arrowroot (Tapioca is commonly known as arrowroot) or you can use one of these instead. Get one that is preservative 220 free! Check the label! Using Brown rice flour, corn flour, tapioca and xanthum gum I hope to make an all-purpose flour soon – I’ll let you know how that goes!
- Basmati rice and Brown rice – WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE, Basmati is my absolute staple! White rice and Jasmine rice can ferment in your guts therefore no good for Candida-susceptible folk such as myself.
- Almond flour – WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE good uses in baking.
- Quinoa flakes – WHEAT and GLUTEN FREE, delicious! Will post the link for an AWESOME flake bake soon from Healthful Pursuits.
- Coconut milk and cream – DAIRY FREE, great in cooking, check the label for the most pure
- Red lentils, green split peas and soup mixes – all fantastic in any hearty soup
- Unsoaked fresh black beans, organic canned chickpeas and kidney beans – all great in soups, salads, to bulk up a rice or Quinoa bake or meal… so many uses, so good for you!
- Seed and Grain mix – “Pura Vida” makes a good mix (that includes sultanas which I don’t like and can’t have so I picked the sultanas out), or you can mix one up yourself (which I did in the end) with chia seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, buckwheat (not related to wheat), sunflower seeds, millet, linseeds…
- Just out of eye range is a rice and corn pasta spiral which is a delicious gluten free substitute for wheat pasta. There are fantastic flavour combinations coming out – quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, rice…
Herb and Spice Draw:
- Numerous curry mixes (the basic Keens curry is still a staple and delicious!)
- Fine Himalayan sea salt, Maldon white sea salt flakes, Rock salt
- Four pepper corn mix, black pepper corn, both whole and in grinders
- Pine nuts
- Whole Spices: Cloves, Cinnamon sticks, Cardamom pods, Cumin seeds, Coriander seeds
- Xanthum Gum (thickener, used in flour mixes)
- Sweet Paprika
- Veggie stocks
- Garam marsala
- Whole flaxseeds (also known as linseeds)
- Protein powder (I’m out of it at the moment but it is usually there)
- Anything else I add to it 🙂
In the Fridge:
- Oat milk, almond milk and soy milk – all are DAIRY FREE, oat and soy milk are the cheapest and very nutritious, all available at Coles or Woolies, I use in baking, cooking, in teas, in smoothies…
- Desiccated coconut – I’m not sure why I keep it in the fridge, I believe boyfriend told me that this keep s in fresher and I decided to believe him. He could be wrong 🙂
- Linseed / Flaxseed meal – most of these are bought in the fridge already, mine was in the bulk room temp section but I store it in the fridge for freshness as flax/linseed meal can go rancid. They are find whole, which is why my whole ones are in the herb draw. This meal can be used with water to make vegan egg substitutes in baking.
- Tofutti – the DAIRY FREE vegan cream cheese (also available as a sour cream) substitute made from tofu, I tell you what it tastes DELICIOUS and nothing like tofu! Great in avocado guacamole dips, or on it’s own. There are some great things in the tofutti range. You can get this original tofutti mix from Coles (I’ve never seen it at Woolies)
- Nuttelex – butter and margarine substitute made from seed oil – NOT vegetable oils, also it’s an Australian product, available at Coles and Woolies. I believe there are other types of margarine substitutes around but I’ve not tried them.
- Missing from my fridge at the moment – TOFU! I love tofu! Diced it up and fry it in some coconut oil and pepper with some spices and braggs aminos and you’ve got yourself a high protein delicious snack! “NUTRISOY” is a great brand available at Coles and Woolies. Also – coconut yoghurt, a relatively new company by the name of “COYO” makes somes great coconut yoghurts and ice-creams, and “COCOLICIOUS” have a great coconut milk and ice-cream range as well, but they are a bit expensive so they are a “treat” I get maybe once a month.
A lot of the flours and grains are all available at Coles and Woolies (especially with Woolies new “Macro” and “Organic” range) so all these items that previously may have been a mystery are now at your finger tips.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- I have been building up this pantry over a period of 3-4 months now, I didn’t just go out and buy it all at once and neither should you! Yes SOME things (not all) can be more expensive but what price do you want to put on your health? And things like flours and lentils etc are not expensive, you don’t need to buy a fancy brand of red lentils. They are what they are!
- This pantry suits my needs. Certain yummy things like butters are missing because I can’t have them, but this doesn’t mean they are bad for everyone else.
- I combine all this with a mix of a few fruits (that I can have) and LOTS of vegetables, and the occasional bit of lamb, beef or chicken.
- This food will last ages! I won’t use it all up in a week! I have built it up so I can use whatever I like whenever I like. You might find one favourite flour or rice and stick with that, not having 4 kinds. I like to try different things so I can post yummy stuff and try it different ways if I want.
- This might look like a lot, but go and look in your pantry. How big is yours? Probably the same size. How much do you use? How much may not be good for you? Could you make a couple of changes that won’t change the cost of your weekly shop (may even decrease it) but may improve your health?
- I do have a couple of snack – I have some macro corn chips and sweet potato chips, and I’m a fan of cookies and pancakes 🙂 Everyone needs a treat!
As you can see, I’m certainly not lacking in food, and it’s delicious too! There are a heap of options out there, and if you find out you have intolerances or want to cut some bad stuff out of your diet you may find it is one of the best things to happen to you in some ways – it has opened you up to a whole new world of food that is still easily accesible and easy to cook with.
I hope this gigantic peak into my pantry has opened your eyes to some options that are out there!
Happy Tolerant Cooking!! 🙂 xx