my kitchen staples


You might be wondering what I bake with if I don't eat grains or sugars. Here's small list of staple items in my kitchen at all times. This is a working list and I will update it as time goes on. [I'm not including things like spices and vanilla, etc- things that are typically in your kitchen already- unless it gets a lot of use by me.] Most of the products listed are linked so you can see them and even buy them online through my aStore if you choose [I'd get a tiny commission for directing you to Amazon if you purchase something]. I'm so visual so I like when I can actually see what someone is talking [or writing!] about. I hope this list is helpful for you and gives you an idea of what a grain-free kitchen can be like.

Ingredients I Use Often:

Flours:
 - Blanched Almond Flour. A staple of the grain-free life. I like this brand the very best. 

 - Coconut Flour. It's finely ground and a buttery color. Needs lots of eggs to bake well and creates rich, dense foods.

- Psyllium Husk. It's a great way to add fiber and it has a binding affect that is a good replacement for gluten. Not to be used on its own- but incorporated with other flours. A little goes a lonnnnngg way. 

Sweetener:
 - Erythritol. The brand I use is Swerve - a blend of erythritol & stevia (to make it sweet like sugar since erythritol alone is only about 65% as sweet as sugar). It measures like sugar. It can also have a cooling sensation in the mouth- I've found that if it's powdered in the food processor prior to using, the cooling effect is considerably less.] Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol [but it's neither a sugar or alcohol] that isn't fully absorbed in the body. It rates a zero on the glycemic index because it doesn't raise blood sugar levels. And a good bonus- it's doesn't typically cause bloating or gas like most other sugar alcohols.

 - Liquid stevia. KAL brand is my favorite- no alcohol so it doesn't have that weird bitter aftertaste. 

*I've been finding that many people who don't eat grains or sugars still eat and bake with agave, maple syrup, and honey [which are all sugars]. I typically don't eat them because they have a dramatic, read: damaging, affect on blood sugar levels. Not to mention agave is extremely high in fructose [roughly 80%] which is very unhealthy and honey [high in fructose, too] causes faster tooth decay than normal sugar. Yikes! Yes. I've read that very small amounts of local raw honey is good for helping with allergies and there are nutrients, too. 
Here's a GREAT article about sugars:  76 Dangers of Sugar to Your Health by Dr. Mercola.



Milks:
 - Coconut Milk [the full-fat canned kind with no other added ingredients except, perhaps, water added]. It can be used in so many things to add richness, high quality fat, and a nice depth of flavor. I've used only four different brands so far, but my favorite is Native Forest brand- they don't use BPA in their cans and they're organic! Stick the can in the fridge overnight and you can make whipped cream with it. :)

 - Unsweetened Almond Milk. It's good in most things sweet and savory. I like all of the unsweetened flavors of Blue Diamond brand. Especially Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. The vanilla and chocolate are great in desserts while the plain is tasty in savory dishes.

- Coconut milk in the cartons that's sold near the soy milk at the store. I've finally tried this and it's nice. There's virtually no flavor and it's creamy without being heavy or thick. Would be a great base for many things. [Make sure to get the unsweetened kinds.]

Dairy:
*I cannot eat any dairy product right now, but these the the things I'd choose when i did eat it.
* If you can't get dairy from grass-fed cows, at the very least buy organic. It's that important.

 - Organic [grass-fed, if possible] heavy cream. What needs to be said about cream? Other than that it's absolutely delicious and works wonders when used in frostings, sauces, soups, casseroles, cupcakes, and just about everything.

 - Butter! I love butter and am so sad I can't have it right now. I especially love the Irish brand Kerrygold. You never really can have enough high quality butter- especially if you're going to be baking and cooking a lot. Grassfed butter is such a good soorce of vitamins and minerals, too. 

 - Cream cheese. It goes in- or on- so many things. Always gotta have some in the fridge. Yum!

 - Eggs. Though not technically dairy, I'm still listing it here. I used to go through eggs quite fast- especially when baking with coconut flour as it requires so many eggs per recipe. It's necessary for how I bake and cook to have at least 2 dozen eggs in the fridge at all times. And hard boiled eggs are a delish snack!


Oils:
 - Coconut oil. Aside from butter (which I miss!), coconut oil is my go-to oil for lots of foods. I find it handy to have unrefined [coconutty flavor] and refined [expeller-pressed, no flavor] on hand. I typically don't like coconut in savory foods so that's where the refined coconut oil comes in handy as it's got no flavor. One of the brands I like is Spectrum Naturals Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil and the Refined coconut oil. They offer lots of super healthy fats which are so essential for our bodies, along with many other benefits.

 - Almond oil. I have used this to make fried zucchini because of it's high smoke point. Almond oil is outstanding! No strong flavor like macadamia nut oil or coconut oil. A winner!


Misc:
 - Aluminum-free baking powder. Aluminum is a yucky additive that causes all sorts of problems in our bodies. Avoid it when possible.

 - Xanthan Gum. It acts in a similar way as gluten would- a binding/sticky agent that helps in grain-free baked goods, puddings, shakes, and lots of other things. A little goes a long way so the $11 for a bag is a good investment, I think. I currently am using Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum.

 - Real, mineral-rich salt. This type of salt is so good. I was quite surprised, actually. It's not as sharply salty as our typical table salt and has light specks of coloring- minerals I assume. I got mine from the bulk bin at Whole Foods [so economical], but this is a good brand as well: Celtic Sea Salt.

 - San-J Organic Tamari Soy Sauce is a wheat-free soy sauce. Can be used in sauces, soups, stirfrys, etc. The important part is that it's wheat-free.

 - Chicken stock and homemade bone broth. I love bone broth. I drink it and use it in the majority of savory dishes that I make. It adds so many nutrients that regular store bought stock doesn't have. But in a pinch, I always have a couple boxes on hand of organic stock. I like Imagine Organic Chicken Stock and I get it at Whole Foods.

Those are the the basics! I'll probably be updating this as I think of different items or discover other products.
If you have or know of a product you think I need to check out, feel free to leave a comment or email me!


5 comments:

  1. have you ever used arrowroot powder in your cooking? any tips if you have?

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  2. Hi! Thanks for your question. I have not yet used arrowroot powder. So, unfortunately, I don't have any experiential tips for you. But here's a site you might find helpful. It list tips and info about different cooking starches including arrowroot: http://www.foodsubs.com/ThickenStarch.html
    I hope that is helpful for you.

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  3. IS there a healthy Non-Grain bread one can buy if one is not a baker? If so, where? Thank you, Lindsay, and keep up the good work!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I have yet to find a grain-free, pre-made bread that you'd be able to buy. I will keep looking. And if I happen to find one that lives up to my standards, I will post a link.
    Thanks for writing,
    Lindsay

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