What’s in a Nutritionist’s Pantry? Plus 3 Healthy Recipes Using Her Pantry Staples.
When it comes to my kitchen pantry, there are items that I keep on hand more readily than others. These are the items that are on a continual rotation because they just happen to get used that much! There is no question that when that item runs out, it will be replaced or I likely will have an extra available just in case.
When you have your go-to pantry staples in your kitchen, the good news is that they are likely being used in multiple ways at a time. Coconut oil, for instance, may be used for cooking, baking as a spread or even as a moisturizer! This is far better than having ingredients that you just use once and sit at the back of your cupboards going stale.
Make sure that you choose your pantry staples wisely–what I have listed below is a great place to start!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This is my go to vinegar when it comes to making any kind of salad dressing, sauce or marinade. ACV can also be used to improve digestion before meals. It can even be used as a facial toner or shampoo. This is definitely a must have in your cupboard!
- Coconut Oil – This saturated plant fat is nutrient dense and so good for you. The medium chain fats in coconut oil make it easy to digest and absorb – also making it a quick source of energy. Coconut oil can be used instead of butter for baking or cooking, raw in smoothies on toast or just about anywhere! Coconut oil also doubles as a beauty ingredient for your skin and hair.
- Hemp Seeds – These tiny seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and omega 3 + 6 fats. They make a great addition to any salad or smoothie giving it that extra crunch and dose of nutrients. They can also be used in a variety of desserts like Carob Fig Frozen fudge – see below.
- Avocado Oil – This is the most versatile oil to have on hand in your kitchen. It can be used raw in salad dressings or it can go into your pan for sautéed veggies or into your oven on sweet potatoes. Avocado oil is stable at high temperature so there are no worries of rancidity. It also is neutral in flavour so it can be paired with any spices or ethnic cuisine.
- Nutritional Yeast – If you need a little extra flavour to your meals, look no further than nutritional yeast. It adds a cheesy, nutty and salty layer to everything from popcorn, pasta, pizza, sauces, dressings and more. If cheese is out of your diet, make nutritional yeast your go to! It is also a rich source of b-vitamins!
- Coconut Manna – This is the combination of both coconut meat and coconut oil making one creamy dreamy spread for just about anything. Use in place of butter or nut butter (for a nut free option) or just eat it by the spoonful. It is loaded with good fats and helps to curb sugar cravings.
- Almond Butter – This classic nut butter never gets old. It tastes amazing on its own – I’m talking spoon in a jar. It’s a great source of calcium and makes for a delicious spread instead of peanut butter on toast, in breakfast porridge, desserts, and dressings or in smoothies.
- Tahini – This is perfect for those who are sensitive to nuts or just prefer more of a savoury taste. Made from sesame seeds, tahini is rich in calcium – more so than a glass of milk. Tahini can be used to make homemade hummus, dips, sauces, dressings or desserts. Spoonful’s of it can even be added to smoothies.
- Manuka Honey – This is raw honey taken to the next level. This is the kind of honey that you use for medicinal purposes, not cooking or baking. I like to add it into tea or take it by the spoonful if I feel a cough or a cold starting. It also completely soothes a sore throat.
- Celtic Sea Salt – If you still have table salt in your cupboard, I demand you to throw it out today and replace with Celtic sea salt. This is pure salt meaning it has not been processed and has all of its own natural minerals. You only need a small pinch in meals as a little goes a long way. Salt just makes everything taste better!
Eazy Mac and Cheese
What’s In It?
- 1 pound pasta (quinoa, brown rice or chickpea – you can even use spaghetti squash)
- Blend Together:
- 1 1⁄4 cups water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 softened small or 2 cups butternut squash cut into cubes (can be steamed or roasted)
- 3⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
How It’s Made
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cook the pasta, according to package directions. While it’s cooking, blend all remaining ingredients together in a blender.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving about 1⁄2 cup of the cooking water, and return the pasta to the pan.
- In a separate pot, add the sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Add a little of the pasta water if more moistness is needed.
- If the sauce is not as flavourful as you’d like, add a little more mustard and onion powder.
- Place the pasta and the “cheese sauce” together in a large baking dish and top with brown rice bread crumbs or coconut flakes and bake in the oven for 10-20 (if you like the crispy baked kind).
Tangy Tahini Sauce (or Dressing)
What’s In It?
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water (or more for a dressing)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 juice of half a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast or hemp seeds (can add more for a “cheesier” flavour!)
How It’s Made
- Place all ingredients in blender or Vitamix, blend on high for a few seconds
- Add water if making a dressing, leave water out if you want a creamy dipping sauce
Carob Fig Frozen Fudge
What’s In It?
- 1 cup figs, chopped and soaked
- 1 ½ cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 1 ½ cups nut butter (I prefer almond!)
- 1 ½ cups raw or toasted carob powder
- ½ cup hemp seeds
How It’s Made
- Place the figs in a bowl and cover with water and soak for about an hour, until soft. Drain reserving liquid.
- In a blender, blend the figs, and vanilla until smooth, slowly adding soaking water as needed to form a creamy consistency.
- Transfer the fig mixture into a large bowl, add the nut butter, and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the carob and hemp seeds.
- Gradually add the dry carob mixture into the wet fig mixture. Stir well. Press evenly into a 10 by 18-inch brownie pan, 1 inch thick, and freeze until firm (about 3 hours).
- To serve, cut into 1-inch squares.
Simply said, Marni Wasserman’s life is rooted in healthy living. She is not only a nutritionist and chef, but also the co-host of The Ultimate Health Podcast and author of Fermenting for Dummies and Plant-Based Diet For Dummies. Marni uses passion and experience to educate individuals on how to adopt a realistic real food diet and a balanced wholesome lifestyle through simple strategies. Learn more at https://marniwasserman.com
Subscribe to her weekly show the @ultimatehealthpodcast. This is where Marni and Dr. Jesse do weekly shows with guest experts from all over the world. Their mission is to take your health to the next level. Listen today at http://ultimatehealthpodcast.com