What can you fill a paleo pantry or fridge with if you’re no longer eating rice, pasta, crackers, biscuits, vegetable oil, peanut butter, milk, ‘heathy’ frozen meals (ahem) and the like?
As it turns out, quite a lot. And while it may seem expensive at first to stock up on these ingredients, if you shop at bulk-food stores and buy items by the kilo then it actually works out much cheaper. Plus things like cacao nibs and goji berries are used quite sparingly, and their health benefits make them a worthy investment.
I store things in glass jars I’ve collected.
Stocking your kitchen with paleo staples is the first step to proper meal prepping, which I’ve detailed more here. But for now, here’s a guide of what to have on hand at all times to make paleo cooking, baking and eating a breeze:
In the pantry
- Flours: Almond flour/ meal, coconut flour
- Oil: Coconut oil (for cooking and baking – always try to get 100% organic and cold-pressed) and olive oil (for sauces/dressings or drizzling over salads)
- Nuts: Almonds (whole and flaked), cashews, brazil nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamias, walnuts. Note: no peanuts
- Nut butters: Almond, almond/brazil/cashew, etc. Note: no peanut butter
- Seeds: Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, chia seeds
- Herbs and spices: Paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, onion powder, chilli flakes, curry powder, garlic powder, garam masala, Moroccan seasoning, allspice, Chinese five-spice powder, black pepper, sea salt, vanilla essence
- Canned/packaged items: Coconut cream (always get full-fat – ‘light’ versions are just normal coconut cream mixed with water and additives, a waste of money!), diced tomatoes and tomato paste (100% tomatoes – no added sugar or salt), water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, large cans of salmon, small cans of tuna (either in springwater, or in oil – Safcol is the best brand for tuna because they use olive oil, not vegetable oil)
- Herbal tea: Green, peppermint, chamomile, etc
- Sweeteners: Stevia, maple syrup, raw cacao powder
- Supplements: Benefibre, maca powder, spirulina, protein powder, fish oil tablets
- Other: Dried goji berries, shredded coconut and coconut flakes (unsweetened), cacao nibs
In the freezer
- Ice cubes (water or coconut water, for smoothies)
- Meat (if on sale, stock up)
In the fridge
- Vegetables in jars, eg. red capsicum strips (great in salads)
- Coconut water
- Herb pastes (dill, coriander, thyme, basil and mint)
- Minced garlic
- Paleo-friendly condiments, eg. mustard (but check the ingredients list well)
- Home-made condiments, eg. paleo mayonnaise and paleo pesto
To start using all these healthy ingredients and foods for yourself every day, visit my How to Meal Prep page.
For reasons why these are the most beneficial foods to eat, visit my What Should I Eat on a Paleo Diet and Why? post.