What can you fill your pantry, fridge and freezer with if you’re no longer eating rice, pasta, crackers, biscuits, vegetable oil, peanut butter, milk and frozen meals?
As it turns out, quite a lot: think nuts and nut butter, healthy oils, coconut products, seeds, herbs, spices, frozen fruit and veg, and much more.
While it may seem expensive to stock up on these ingredients initially, shopping at farmers’ markets and bulk whole-food stores (particularly buying items loose by the kilo or pound) actually works out far cheaper very quickly.
I store everything in glass jars leftover from items like coconut oil and almond butter, but you can also pick up larger jars quite cheaply from most budget homewares stores.
Stocking your kitchen with paleo staples is the first step to proper meal prepping, which I’ve detailed 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
- Coconut milk and cream (always get full-fat – ‘light’ versions are just normal coconut cream mixed with water and additives, a waste of money!)
- Dried coconut: Shredded, diced, flaked, etc (unsweetened)
- Diced tomatoes, passata (pureed tomatoes) and tomato paste (look for 100% tomatoes/tomato juice – no added sugar or salt)
- Vegetables in tins or jars: Red peppers, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, olives
- Canned fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines (in springwater or olive oil, never vegetable oil)
- Herbal tea: Green, peppermint, chamomile, etc
- Sweeteners: Raw honey, brown rice syrup, stevia
- ‘Superfood’ powders: Maca powder, spirulina powder, cacao powder
- Other: Dried goji berries, cacao nibs, etc
IN THE FREEZER
- Meat (if on sale, stock up)
- Frozen veg
- Frozen fruit, especially berries
- Ice cubes (water or coconut water, for smoothies)
IN THE FRIDGE
- Coconut water
- Herb pastes (dill, coriander, thyme, basil and mint)
- Minced garlic
- Paleo-friendly condiments, eg. mustard (but check the ingredients list thoroughly)
- 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.
Good luck with your pantry overhaul!