The items inside my pantry are listed below and grouped by category. All these items are what my family keeps stock on and we replenish as needed. There’s been quite a few changes to our pantry in the past two years, but not all at once. It gradually has been overhauled for the better. My project at the beginning of the year was organizing all these newly acquired staples. Everything finally has a spot! I envision this space with all large sealable glass jars one day…
Legumes, which is another name for beans, peas, and lentils, are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. I admit, before starting on this plant based journey, I always used beans from cans, and we rarely consumed them. The reason is simply because I really didn’t know the method of soaking and cooking, or the nutritional benefits of beans. I definitely never cooked with lentils before this journey, now I can’t imagine meals without them. We also use various gluten free pastas, since we find they digest better and don’t leave that heavy feeling in the gut.
Black Bean Spaghetti
Green Split Peas
Red Lentil Rotini
Yellow Split Peas
Whole Grains and Flours
Whole grains are rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, protein (especially the amino acid lysine), dietary minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), and vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E). I was familiar with whole grains and we cooked brown rice or steel-cut oats quite often. My father in law is Peruvian and he had introduced us to quinoa years prior, so we were already using quinoa in plenty of our meals. For the sake of Lucas’s digestive issues, I have since stopped using white flour and whole wheat flour for any of my baking or cooking. Also with our discovery of all the gluten free flour options and nut flours, I find no reason to include them in our pantry. I simiply use our high speed blender to blend many of the grains below into flours when required for a recipe.
Buckwheat (Sweet Potato) Spaghetti
Sprouted Spelt Flour
Quinoa Amaranth Penne
Raw Nuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruit
Another major change to our pantry would be the addition of raw nuts and seeds. Both Nick and I never enjoyed eating a handful of these, unless they were roasted with seasoning. Funny how over time your taste can change. Now I happily eat them and find many ways to include them into my recipes. Raw nuts and seeds contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, and essential fatty acids. Nuts are also high in essential amino acids and an excellent source of protein. Dates are another new staple in our pantry, I use them to naturally sweeten many recipes replacing refined white or brown sugars.
Dried Unsweetened Cranberries
Medjol Dates (stored in fridge)
Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Flax Seeds (ground and stored in fridge)
Hemp Seeds (aka hemp hearts, stored in fridge)
Herbs and Spices
I love fresh herbs and spices and will opt for them when available at the market. We also keep a large amount of dried herbs and spices and use them in cooking when needed.
Crushed Red Peppers
Pink Himalayan Salt
Oils and Vinegars
We have switched to using Coconut Oil in most all our cooking and baking. I love the stuff! It can be used in so many ways, not just cooking. I sometimes still use grapeseed oil since coconut oil solidifies at cold temperatures and can be a problem in a few recipes like cold salad dressings. Raw apple cider vinegar is amazing stuff as well. It also can be used for so many other things, I use it as a facial toner and a hair conditioner too!
Red Wine Vinegar
Sweeteners and Flavorings
I’m starting to use a homemade date paste more often as a natural fruit sweetener, but still swap between maple syrup and unpasteurized honey for a variety of recipes.
Date Paste (homemade, kept in fridge)
Brown Rice Crackers
Quinoa Brown Rice Crackers
Sweet Potato Crackers