My Whole30 Pantry Staples
One of the secrets to a successful Whole30 is being prepared. I like to have my pantry fully stocked with everything I’ll need, and I’ve discovered a few “staples” that I just can’t live without.
I’d love to hear what you have in your pantry as well! I’m always looking for new ideas, so please share your favorites in the comments 🙂
This list is in no particular order; however, OMghee is probably the one thing I would have a hard time living without. I go through so much of this stuff it’s not even funny!
If you’re wondering what ghee is, it’s really just clarified butter (the milk solids have been removed). Read more about ghee on the OMghee website!
So, why this ghee? I’ve tried several different brands of ghee, and this is by far the absolute best. It’s made in small batches, using 100% organic butter from grass-fed cows, and the flavor is definitely a reflection of the superb quality.
Ghee has a high smoke point, so it’s excellent for cooking, pan frying, roasting, and basically anything else 😉 The smell is also the most beautiful thing in the world. Once you try this stuff, you’ll be hooked!
Tahini is sesame seed paste (think of it as a nut butter), and it has always been a staple in my pantry, for as long as I remember. I grew up on middle eastern food and tahini is used in one of my absolute favorite recipes — Baba Ganoush!
But baba ganoush isn’t the only thing tahini is good for. Try it as a thickener for sauces or as a base for salad dressing! A little usually goes a long way. Read the ingredients to make sure there isn’t anything weird, it should just be sesame seeds.
I have a very large variety of spices and herbs in my pantry, but most of them are fairly standard. My everyday spices and seasonings are salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, and a variety of dried herbs including Herbs de Provence and oregano.
I like to branch out though, which is how I discovered this delicious spice blend! There’s a local import store called Phoenicia where I like to purchase new spices and spice blends to try. It’s where I first discovered Ras el Hanout.
Ras el Hanout is a versatile Moroccan spice blend that goes well with so many different dishes — grilled meat, roasted vegetables, and even soup! I love this sweet potato soup recipe by Melissa Joulwan.
Making homemade mayo has never been easier with a bottle of avocado oil, an egg, an immersion blender, and two minutes of spare time.
Avocado oil is also an excellent cooking oil. Its mild flavor doesn’t overpower your other ingredients (like olive oil has a tendency to do), and its high smoke point makes it an excellent oil for roasting meat or vegetables.
If you’re still not convinced, read more about the benefits of avocado oil at Mark’s Daily Apple.
Have you ever had one of those nights where you have literally no imagination or inspiration whatsoever in the kitchen? It happens to me all the time. It’s those nights that I often find myself bringing out the jar of salsa.
Can’t figure out what to do with some chicken? Slow cook it with a bunch of salsa. Need to spice up a salad? Make it a taco salad and cover it with salsa. Want a creamy, spicy veggie dip? Mix some salsa with your homemade mayo. Scrambled eggs looking a bit plain? Heat up some salsa in your pan before adding the eggs to it — delicious!
Read your ingredients really well. Most store-bought salsas have something bad in them (sugar is a common ingredient). Trader Joe’s has several different Whole30 compliant salsas, so that’s a great place to pick some up if you have one nearby.
Homemade salsa is great, too! But store-bought is wonderful to have in case of emergency creativity deficiency 🙂
I never wanted soy sauce until I couldn’t have it. Soy sauce is often used in marinades and (obviously) in all kinds of Asian food, but as it turns out, soy might not be that great for you.
What if you could have the flavor benefits of soy sauce without the risk? *Enter coconut aminos* (cue the music)
Coconut aminos (is that plural or singular?) don’t/doesn’t taste exactly like soy sauce, but it provides that really delicious, savory (umami) flavor that’s difficult to recreate. It’s perfect for asian dishes and is really wonderful to add to a marinade. I use it in a lot of my recipes because it’s so versatile. I’ve even used it on its own as a dipping sauce for meat — yum!!
For the longest time, I didn’t know what real balsamic vinegar was like. I thought it was pretty much like any old vinegar, and that didn’t interest me much at all.
Then I discovered legit balsamic vinegar (look for the word “traditional” or “Modena”). It’s thick, viscous, and has such a superb sweet, tangy flavor. Please try it if you haven’t already.
Some of my favorite uses for balsamic vinegar are: drizzling on top of strawberries, adding to a salad, making homemade vinaigrette, and sautéing tomatoes and onions.
As always, check ingredients before purchasing. I get some great balsamic vinegar from Trader Joe’s, but you can find it also at the regular grocery store. All vinegars are fine during your Whole30 as long as they don’t have added ingredients like sugars or malt vinegar.
What’s all the fuss about apple cider vinegar? I wondered about this for a while until I broke down and bought some. Not only can you use it on your skin and hair, but it’s a great addition to salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. You can also use it for pickling and preserving!
I use it in my Whole30 Fry Sauce recipe. It’s inexpensive, tasty, and lasts forever — three factors that make it a perfect pantry staple in my book!
I first discovered “tomato paste in a tube” while living in Switzerland. I was amazed at how convenient it was and wondered why it hadn’t caught on in the United States (still wondering this, actually).
Tomato paste is one of those ingredients that holds true to the phrase, “a little goes a long way.” Just a little bit of tomato paste adds big flavor to your sauces. Why open up an entire can if you only need one or two tablespoons?
This stuff in the tube is also very concentrated, and the only ingredient is tomatoes! You can get it online, but also check your grocery store in the imported foods section.
Chicken stock is another one of those staples that I probably couldn’t live without. It’s essential for making excellent soups and stews. Not just any old stock will do, though!
I definitely recommend making stock at home when you have the time. It’s healthier and tastier when it’s fresh (I love drinking a fresh, hot mug of homemade stock)! But I also like to keep some organic stock in my pantry for times when I can’t make it homemade.
ALWAYS look at the ingredients of your stock before you buy! They put some really weird stuff in stock and broth sometimes, so be careful.
I love tea. There are so many different kinds of fantastic tea! I chose green tea to include in this list because it’s the kind of tea I drink most often at home. When I’m out, I’ll order iced black tea at restaurants, but when I’m home, I enjoy some hot green tea made in my French press.
Japanese, shade-grown green tea has a unique, delicate flavor and I find it is often a much more pleasant, gentle dose of caffeine as opposed to coffee. Loose leaf green tea is also much better than the kind in tea bags!
Although tea is probably my favorite thing to drink besides water, I go through coffee phases. I can go months without drinking coffee and then all of the sudden I will start having it every morning. I’m not sure why that happens, but sometimes I just have to go with it 🙂
I like to drink my coffee black, and many people will stare at me like I’m crazy when I tell them this. One of the keys to drinking black coffee is good quality coffee with a flavor you don’t need to cover up! Organic coffee is also best. What kind of coffee do you drink?
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