Here are some of my pantry staples and simple swap outs:
This is where you take charge and ditch the nutella and are inspired to fill your cupboards with superfoods and wholesome nutritional foods, herbs, spices and other alternatives.
It is tough to make such drastic changes and we realise that the ketchup has to stay as it’s the only way the kids will eat their greens so be clever about how you detox and restock your kitchen, for everything that you throw away think of what healthy alternative you are replacing it with and don’t do it all in one go otherwise you will feel like you are depriving yourself, take it slow. Perhaps you could make a list of your bin/replacement swaps and try just one thing on a weekly basis testing out alternatives until you find something you and your family like. The same rule applies for the treat cupboard you can replace the biscuits and chocolate with good quality dark chocolate or be adventurous and make your own chocolate gluten and sugar free cookies there are plenty of inspiring recipes that I will be sharing.
If you are avoiding gluten try:
Spelt Flour (not entirely gluten free)
If you aren’t avoiding gluten try replacing white processed flour with unbleached all purpose flour or whole-wheat flour
Raw Agave nectar*
Brown Rice Syrup
Pure Maple Syrup*
Pure Vanilla essence* or vanilla bean powder
Extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil*
Extra virgin olive oil*
Nut oils: hazelnut, walnut
Where possible try to find cold pressed oils (heat processing destroys all the beneficial enzymes). Keep your oils in a cool dark place to avoid them going rancid, avoid cooking with nut oils, hemp, sesame, flax and olive oils and enjoy them drizzled over cooked foods or salads in moderation.
Coconut oil is one of favourite oils and I use in our baking, smoothies, cooking and even coffee as a delicate creamier flavour. There are 100’s of beneficial uses for Coconut oil and eventually your pantry jar will find it’s way to your bathroom too!
Extra virgin cold pressed Coconut oil*
Cold milled flaxseeds*
Raw hemp protein powder/seeds*
Raw Cacoa nibs
Raw Cacoa butter
Nuts & Seeds
When buying nuts and seeds opt for the natural, raw, unsalted variety! Not so exciting on their own at first….. but you will soon discover lots of wonderful, tasty uses in lots of my recipes
Soak your nuts and seeds in water before eating them deactivate the enzyme inhibitors known as phytic acid. This makes them more nutritious and easier to digest.
Rice – black, red, wild*
For pasta lovers try swapping out the refined nutritionally empty white pasta with whole-wheat or a gluten free option, there are many varieties available on the market that include pasta made from corn, quinoa and rice. For Asian inspired dishes try soba noodles that are made from buckwheat and are gluten free (just check that a wheat flour hasn’t been used). Or you can use a spirilizer and get adventurous by making some coloured pasta with raw veggies – yum!
Same rule applies with wholegrains as with nuts as they are protected from the environment with phytic acid too so you need to think ahead of your meal and soak the night before or in the morning, many grains will start to sprout (little shoots will start to appear) this is fine and in fact makes them more nutrtitious!
I personally love quinoa and soak a big batch over night, then cook and store in the fridge for days. Quinoa is a complete protien and is such an adapable grain making it the perfect accompliment to any meal, add to soups, salads, stirs fries, make some special fried quinoa, cookies, cakes, cereal you can even add to your smoothies….
Beans & Legumes
Black eyed peas
To be cost effective and get the most bounce out of your beans soak overnight to release the phytic acid before cooking try cooking and freezing a batch to save time!
Otherwise try to avoid canned beans and use jarred beans and legumes wherever possible
Again you should soak and sprout your beans and legumes all except Kidney Beans for maximum health boost benefits
Butter & similar
Organic unsalted butter
Raw Almond butter*
Sheeps or goats yoghurt & cheese
Non dairy milk
Unsweetened Almond milk*
Rice milk* (variations include with vanilla, hazelnut and chocolate)
Soya milk* (in moderation)
Many of these milks come with sweeteners such a vanilla or added sugar, if you are transitioning from cows milk it can be more palatable to try the vanilla varieties first and gradually move over to unsweetened options once your taste buds adjust. You can make your own nut milks easily, look out for one of my recipes.
Herbs & Spices – Fresh & Dried
Himaylan pink salt*
Red chili flakes*
Fresh is best when it comes to herbs but keep your favourite flavours to hand in a dried variety for when stocks are low!
Many recipes include more spices than are needed so if you don’t have something, skip it or replace it with a similar flavour that you like.
Spices are a great condiment to keep close to hand, what’s your favourite? Bring your grains and veg to life with a sprinkling of smoked paprika, turmeric or cumin
Tamari sauce (Gluten Free soy sauce option)*
Tomato paste (organic)
Tomato pulp (carton not canned)
Red wine vinegar
Apple cider vinegar*
Coconut Milk (carton not canned)
Seasonings are the perfect way to liven up any meal in a flash!
Cranberries (organic without sulphur)
Handy to keep in the cupboard for snacking or adding to homemade granola and other breakfast recipes
Go easy on the dried fruit as it still contains sugar but makes a healthier snack for kids wanting a sweeter treat than a few cookies or bag of jelly sweets!
* indicates some of my kitchen favourites that you will come across in some of my recipes
Here are some Clever upgrades:
Don’t be too tough or try to change too many things in one go, take your time, gradually making simple smart upgrades to your daily lifestyle and enjoy the health boosting benefits along the way.
Bottled juices – make your own delicious juices with fresh vegetables and fruit
Fizzy drinks/soda – Sparkling mineral water with juice of half a lime and ice
Bottled smoothies – make your own with your favourite nutritional boosting superfoods
Boxed granola – Make your own granola with healthy sweetening alternatives
Canned Soup – make your own with seasonal fresh vegetables
Cows milk – almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, soya milk and coconut milk
Cows yoghurts – sheep or goats yoghurt
Ready made salad dressing – make your own and if you double the quantities you can store in the fridge for a few days
Tea and Coffee – swap that first caffeine fix of the day with hot water with the juice of half a lemon and dash of cayenne pepper. Throughout the day try herbal teas and infusions
Processed white bread and crackers – gluten free breads and crackers, you can find some great flax and quinoa crackers in the bio stores.