Pantry Staples

June 9, 2008 at 3:02 pm (*) (, , )

Just for Kibbles.

Anyway, my sister asked what foods I always have on hand for cooking and baking.  A few of you have seen my pantry, but she hasn’t.  So she doesn’t know what a complete disaster it is.  Not to worry: I’m off to organize that as soon as I’m done here.  Unless I find something to make.  Like more zucchini bread (recipe coming soon!).

I digress.  The list.  With notes and hints and tips.  And lots of links.

Coconut Oil

  • use in place of butter on toast, pancakes, waffles, etc…
  • use as oil in most baking recipes
  • low melting point means that in the summer in Phoenix, it’s liquid when sitting on the shelf
  • even though it is a saturated fat, I feel very comfortable using it based on studies I’ve read, research that has been done, etc…; if you wish to read more, start here or here
  • buy unrefined, unhydrogenated, unfractionated; try Spectrum brand, usually found in the baking aisle with other oils

Agave Nectar

  • use in place of refined sugar
  • sweeter than sugar, so you can use less (use 3/4 cup agave for every cup of sugar)
  • low glycemic index means it doesn’t affect your blood sugar as quickly or severely
  • highly soluable and shelf stable
  • mix 1/2 agave, 1/2 pure maple syrup to use on pancakes, waffles, etc…
  • found in the baking aisle next to the honey and sugars
  • click here to learn more

Flax Meal/Flax Seeds

  • high in fiber
  • high in omega-3’s
  • mix 1 T flax to 3 T water and use as a replacement for one egg
  • add it into everything: salads, breads, pastries, cereal, etc…

Tomato Sauce/Paste

  • adds flavor to nearly any dish or casserole
  • tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant
  • easily make your own paste: core a bunch of tomatoes, puree (including seeds), simmer on medium-low for a few (or 8!) hours until paste forms and add your own seasonings if desired, put some in the fridge to use soon, freeze the rest


  • pinto, black, garbanzo
  • high in protein and fiber
  • more complete protein when eaten with rice
  • cheap ($0.89-1.19/lb)
  • go herefor a tutorial on soaking and cooking beans from scratch…it’s so easy to soak and cook in the crock pot: virtually effortless!
  • soaking reduces flatulence 🙂
  • homemade refried beans are so yummy (recipe coming soon!)
  • add beans to many dishes and casseroles
  • roasted garbanzo beans are yummy…kinda like corn nuts (recipe coming soon!)


  • brown, wild, japonica, etc…(no white rice allowed!)
  • high in protein and fiber
  • more complete protein when eaten with beans
  • sprouted rice is just as yummy, but easier to digest..and fun to watch!
  • use with most skillet-type meals, especially those with sauce or juice


  • multi-colored organic popcorn found in the bulk section
  • great, cheap snack for kiddos
  • great, cheap snack for mom (and co-workers!!!)
  • cook on the stove over medium-high heat (7 on my stove) with coconut oil

Almonds (and other nuts)

  • chop and add to any salad
  • chop and add to breads and muffins
  • make almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk for casein free diet (Ben LOVES almond milk, Kaiya loves to say “walmond milk”)
  • use almond meal (left over from making almond milk) in breads, crackers, muffins, etc…
  • good source of protein
  • good source of good fat

Grapeseed Oil

  • make sure you use expeller pressed
  • better for sauteing than olive oil because it has a higher smoke point (point at which oils begin to break down)
  • very subtle flavor
  • I believe it’s about the same price as olive oil

Coconut Milk

  • perfect gfcf solution for making creamy dishes
  • when stored in the fridge, it’s more solid, but “melts” at room temperature
  • subtle coconut flavor
  • found near the Asian foods

Whole Grain Flours

  • no need to ever have refined white flour in the kitchen: whole wheat pastry flour is an okay substitute, otherwise just use whole wheat
  • gfcf flours include coconut, teff, sorghum, corn, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, tapioca, and potato, among others


  • sea salt
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • turmeric
  • dill
  • pepper
  • pure chili powder
  • etc…


  • good source of vitamin C, iron, and calcium
  • sauteed onions add so much flavor to almost any dish
  • raw onions, when a mild variety, add flavor to sandwiches, etc…
  • guacamole!
  • salsa!
  • click here to find out how to cut an onion

Nutritional Yeast

  • not Candida albicans
  • good source of B vitamins
  • cheesy, nutty flavor
  • great for gfcf diet to include cheesy taste in casseroles, crackers, etc…

Whew.  That took longer than I thought it would.  Guess the pantry will have to wait until after we are done swimming!



  1. Wardeh said,

    Great pantry list! You’re so thorough with what you present.

    Love, Wardeh

  2. Staci said,

    Thanks Wardeh!

    I usually look back and think it’s just wordiness! 🙂

  3. nicole said,

    what a great list of ingredients and their benefits!
    if you would like to look at a couple of my favorite sugar substitutes, i have a list on my blog. i will soon begin a list of sugar-free recipes, too!

    cheers to good health!

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