Everyone has their favorite pantry products, but it may be a challenge to find your new favorites when switching up your lifestyle and food program. For me it took research and some trial and error regarding taste and quality. The products I am sharing with you are some of my favorites. They can also be used and consumed in versatile ways. The best part is that they are nutritious, full of flavor, and the best quality/made with the best quality. Make sure to also check out my other blog posts, Getting Your Health Journey Started: Tips for Success and My Favorite Snacks to Have on Hand. Without further ado, here are my pantry essentials!
Simple Mills Baking Mixes
Simple Mills is an amazing grain-free and gluten-free brand. Most of their products also omit the use of cane sugar. Instead they use coconut sugar which does not spike blood sugar as vigorously as cane sugar. My favorite Simple Mills products are their pancake &waffle mix, banana muffin & bread mix, chocolate muffin & cake mix, and both their cinnamon cookies and pecan cookies. Another reason I enjoy this brand is because their baking mixes allow you to add your own custom flavor by adding fruits, nuts, and other spices to the mix. I have made cinnamon apple pancakes, blueberry banana muffins, and Mexican chocolate brownies using the different baking mixes. I also want to mention that their sea salt crackers and rosemary crackers are amazing!
Dried Fruits and Nuts
I always have to have a full stock of dried fruits and nuts because I use them daily in smoothies, as toppings, or simply to snack on. They are nutritious and have vitamins that will nourish your body.
My favorite dried fruits are figs and dates. I call them nature’s candy because they are a sweet treat that I reach for whenever I feel my sweet tooth kicking in. They’re also a great sweetener for smoothies. You can also use dried fruit as a topping for salads or yogurts. You will notice that when buying dried fruits, some brands will add preservatives, cane sugars, and citric acid. There is no need for these extra ingredients! Because of this, I love the dried cranberries from Natural Grocers since they are sweetened with apple juice and not cane sugar.
When it comes to nuts, you can never go wrong. They are extremely nutrient dense and will keep you full. A little goes a long way as well. There are so many uses for nuts. I make nut milk on the daily using either almonds, pecans, and my favorite, cashews! I use these milks in smoothies, for baking, and to make my famous chocolate milk and turmeric latte. You can also use nuts as toppings for brownies, yogurt, salads, and paleo breads. Remember, when choosing nuts, make sure you look at the ingredient labels to make sure there are no unwanted ingredients such as cane sugars, natural flavors, added flavors and colors, and preservatives.
Meat Jerky and Fruit Bars
These two products are always in my pantry because they are easy “emergency foods” to take with me in my bag when I know I will out and about for long periods of time without a meal. Clean meat sticks, bars, jerky, and fruit bars are great sources of protein and will temporarily satisfy your hunger until you are able to have your meal. My favorite brands for meat sticks and jerky are EPIC and Chomps. As for my favorite fruit bar brand, I am OBSESSED with LARABAR. They have such a great selection of different flavors. The ingredients in LARABAR fruit bars are straight from the source. There are no chemicals, preservatives, or unnecessary sweeteners or added colors. They even have a superfoods line with hemp seeds, kale, cacao, and others! My all time favorites are the apple pie bar and the coconut cream pie. I recently tried their caramel sea salt bites and they were awesome!
Bone Broth Collagen and Beef Gelatin
Have you all ever heard of the benefits of bone broth, gelatin, and collagen? Well let give you the deets. Collagen is known to help with joint, skin, hair, and nail health. It is great for adding to your daily routine. My favorite brand for collagen (as well as bone broth and beef gelatin) is Vital Proteins. Their collagen is flavorless and ideal for adding to your smoothies, teas, soups, and baked goods.
Those of you who have read my first couple of blog posts know that I have a chronic autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis. One of the first things I implemented in my morning routine was drinking a nice warm cup of bone broth collagen. Bone broth helps gives your body important nutrients. On days when I feel my intestines acting up, I will add in the beef gelatin into the cup of bone broth. Here’s why. Both bone broth and gelatin are very beneficial to gut health. Gelatin helps the improve the condition of your intestinal wall and rebuild the mucosal lining of your intestines. Another major pro about gelatin is that is reduces inflammation. This is the goal for anyone with an autoimmune illness since inflammation equals flares. If you don’t have an IBD or chronic illness, bone broth and gelatin are still beneficial to your health and digestion.
Nut/Seed Butters and Spreads
Nut butters are convenient, tasty, and versatile. They can be used in smoothies, toppings, spreads for your paleo breads, or in cookies. Remember to always check your ingredient labels because many nut butters have preservatives, chemicals, and unnecessary added colors and sugars. If you are eating the paleo way, you will know that peanuts are a no go (its for the best). This is why I don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter. I do however eat almond butter, cashew butter, tahini (sesame seed butter), and sunflower butter. I normally use a tablespoon of any butter and water to make express nut/seed milk to use in smoothies and lattes. I also use them as a “dip” for my fresh fruits. Yummy!
I have always been a fan of chocolate spreads, so when I decided to change my lifestyle and way of eating, it was an adjustment because I couldn’t just have that creamy chocolatey goodness whenever I felt like something sweet. Things changed when my sister told me about 4th & Heart’s Original Chocti spread. It is sweetened with date paste, and y’all know how much I love dates. This is a guilt-free chocolate spread. I normally spread it on top of the Simple Mills chocolate muffins that I mentioned earlier in this post. It is delightful! Besides that delicious chocolate spread, I also use the Himalayan sea salt ghee from 4th & Heart. Ghee is clarified butter, which means it is not dairy-free, but it is lactose free since all the milk solids are removed. I use this ghee mainly to substitute butter in recipes. I highly recommend the brand 4th & Heart since their products are top quality and taste amazing.
I hope this post has benefited you. If you are not following me on Instagram, go and follow me because I post new content daily. Also check out my Pinterest account so that you can save these blog posts on your own boards. Until next time, take care and happy eating!