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!


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