A few weeks ago I turned you all into the voyeurs that you are and allowed you a look inside my fridge. Since I keep mostly perishables in there, the content changes weekly, whereas my pantry is the place where I store all dry goods which last decidedly longer. Here’s what currently sitting on my shelves. Again, this post will not only show you that, but at the same time give you ideas for replacements of refined sugar, wheat and gluten. Hope you enjoy!
Goodies for baking and some breakfast ‘cereals’: almond meal/ flour, spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa flakes and a flaxseed, cocoa & berry mixture.
I don’t use regular wheat flour anymore for baking. I mostly use almond flour, but for more traditional recipes I find that spelt flour works just as good as a replacement for wheat flour. I love these little jars of baking soda & powder which I got so long ago at the local international supermarket. I simply reuse them every time. For breakfast I’ve come up with my own concoction to make up breakfast cereals since I went on my wheat free quest. The only thing I still have to try is the mixture of flaxseeds, cocoa & berries.
Other ‘grain’ products: oats, buckwheat flour, kamut pasta, sushi rice, rice cakes and gluten free ‘black bread’
To get my grain kick I still have a few items in my pantry that do have the grains but not the wheat (and often the gluten). The oats are only there for when I want to bake banana/ oat cookies and I use buckwheat to make banana bread. The pasta is a left over from when I wanted to try kamut pasta. Spelt pasta doesn’t fully agree with me, so I tried this and it’s yummy and hasn’t given me any problems. The only time I still eat rice is when I make sushi, which I like to make myself as well, because the store bought variety has a ton of additives and other things in it which make it so bad for you (seriously! read the ingredient list when you have the chance…). The last picture shows my substitutes for bread: I snack on rice cakes spread with peanut butter or apple spread after a work out and the black bread I take with me to work for my Friday lunch. It’s the only wheat free bread I’ve found.
Sugar and its substitutes: honey, stevia, palm or coconut sugar, light brown sugar, salt, white sugar, instant hot chocolate
Let’s get on with the bad stuff. The sugar, instant hot chocolate and brown sugar were tucked into a faraway corner of my pantry after I took these pictures. The reasons? I’ve pretty much stopped using them completely and only keep them in case of visitors or when I’m baking something that is seriously bad. The top picture shows what I’ve been using to replace them. I’ve only used the stevia and palm sugar once, but I can already say that I love both of them: great sweet taste, but without the badness of actual white sugar. I love how palm sugar resembles light brown sugar so much in texture and look that it really adds a little extra to whatever you sprinkle it on. Honey is something I used most to replace sugar, mainly in baking, but ever since I’ve cut down on sugar I stopped putting honey on my breakfast I find myself using it less and less.
Oils, vinegars & sauces: sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce
This category is pretty straight forward. I sometime use sunflower oil for baking (vegan recipes often ask for it). The olive and coconut oil is for every day cooking. I prefer coconut oil by now, but I find olive oil a tad handier when making marinades or for anything you need a liquid oil. In summer it’s no problem to use coconut oil as it melts at higher temperatures, but now its colder I prefer using olive oil and saving myself the hassle. I don’t keep regular vinegar as I never finish a bottle and I only use it for very specific uses anyway: when a recipe calls for it. Same for the sauces: hardly use them, but they’re handy to have if you need them.
Spreads & other additions: peanut butter, apple spread, almond butter, tahin (sesame seed butter), cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, freezedried & ground up blackberries
Peanut butter & apple spread go onto rice cakes after a work out. I sometimes use peanut butter for 2 ingredient pancakes or oat/ banana cookies and if I want to be naughty, I take a spoon and eat it straight from the jar! Almond butter is for spreading (on a rice cake with banana slices!) and sometimes for baking. I only use tahin when I make hummus, but it’s handy to have. The cocoa goes into smoothies, cookies, pancakes, yoghurt, you name it: if it can have cocoa it will have it. Ground coconut is a favorite here for sprinkling over tons of things as well, usually to replace sugar. The ground up blackberries was a gift (from Estonia!) and I’ve used it to liven up my blueberry smoothies. It makes the color more intense and adds a hint of something sour without it being too overpowering.
Cocoa nibs, coconut flour, soy protein powder
Then on to the last bit. I use the nibs for my overnight oats-without-the-oats breakfast. I find that eating them straight up is a bit tough as they’re very hard and bitter. Essentially it’s ground up cocoa bean, but when I soak them overnight in my yoghurt it gives it just a bit more spunk. I still want to try these in some baked goods as a replacement for chocolate chips! Coconut flour is expensive (the nibs are too btw), so I haven’t used it much yet, but I have to say that I liked the texture when I did. If it wasn’t so darned expensive I would go through bags of these. Protein powder is a pretty much a staple in my cupboard. I go for straight up, no additives, protein powder and so far I’ve only tried hemp protein and this soy protein. Going for organic whey protein next. Great in any post workout smoothie!
How did you like this little look? Anything you keep in your pantry?