I’ve been planning on writing a post about my pantry staples for awhile now, and I thought it would be pretty simple. Turns out… it wasn’t.
It’s honestly laughable that I thought I’d be able to quickly bust out a list of 4-5 things that are my staple pantry items. Unfortunately, that’s just not Christina-style. I am not a minimalist. I am so indecisive, which sometimes makes no sense to me considering how opinionated I am. When I tried to grab my “staples,” I had about 35 things out in front of me. Typical.
I narrowed it down, though, and I did eventually settle on a list of my favorite pantry items that I always keep on hand. Since I love to cook and bake, and because I create a lot of recipes for my blog, I have a bigger “staples” list than the average person needs. I will let you know at the end of this post which items I think are ABSOLUTELY necessary for everyone to have in their kitchen – bare minimum. I, however, am a bit more high maintenance than the bare minimum…
This will include both regular, everyday cooking staples as well as baking staples. I like to stay stocked up just in case of emergencies. You never know when the urge for a baking sesh is going to pop up! All of these items make it easy for me to follow a paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free diet. If you’re new to the paleo lifestyle, this can be a great list to inspire you to stock up your own kitchen! And if your diet is high-fat, you’ll especially love these picks.
I get most of my pantry staples from Thrive Market, which I’ve talked about before. I love Thrive because they have most of the brands I love most, and it’s much cheaper than getting things at the store. Plus, I’m lazy and like to have it all delivered to my door. Especially when I’m doing a full pantry re-stock… that’s a HEAVY load! I end up saving a ton of money every year from having a Thrive membership, so it’s well worth it. I’m all about ease, convenience, and saving cash! If you buy through this link, you can get a free jar of almond butter with your first order! (That almond butter happens to be on this pantry staples list… just saying.)
If there is something that I can’t get on Thrive, I usually order it through the company’s specific website or Amazon. If I really need it right then, I’ll go to Whole Foods! I’m the type of person who always has to have an immediate backup on hand, though. I don’t wait until I’m out of something to go get it. Maybe that’s paranoia, but maybe it’s just me trying to stay as stress-free as possible. You decide.
The most-used section in my pantry is the cooking oil section. I switch up my oils depending on what I’m cooking and how high of heat I’m cooking it in. If you haven’t read my blog post about the cooking oils you should be using and why, you can read that here. I also like to switch up my cooking oils just for different flavoring! All of these oils have different properties that will benefit your health, so try to switch it up instead of just sticking to one!
- Coconut oil is the oil I use most often. I use coconut oil to cook at high temperatures. I also put it in smoothies, use it as a moisturizer on my legs after I shave (separate container for this), oil pull with it every morning, use it to make coconut oil fat bombs, and more. I also just spoon it when I need energy/when I’m hungry. I’m not too picky about brands, but I tend to buy Nutiva or Dr. Bronner’s.
- Liquid coconut oil is something I always have just for convenience. During summer my coconut oil is usually melted, but when it’s not hot out, sometimes I’m too lazy to melt my own coconut oil first! I like Nuco the best. If you bake a lot, this will definitely come in handy.
- I also always keep Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil on hand. This is what I coat my cast iron skillet with. I use it on salad dressings and for high heat cooking, as well. (If you buy it through the Primal Kitchen website, you’ll get 10% off if you use the code “ADDICTEDTOLOVELY” at checkout.)
- I also like to keep duck fat in my pantry because it tastes amazing. I love cooking eggs and other meats in this.
- My favorite olive oil is from Kasandrino’s, which I get directly from their website. I’m extremely picky about olive oil because most olive oils are secretly cut with vegetable oil. I trust Kasandrino’s, so I buy this in bulk and always keep it in my kitchen.
When it comes to vinegars, there are two I always have on hand. Both of these are safe for healing diet protocols (like Candida / SIBO diets), so they always work for me.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is one thing I cannot live without! I drink it every morning to help aid in digestion and increase my stomach acid, and I love to use it in salad dressings and marinades. I also sometimes use this as a facial toner! Make sure you get organic, raw, unfiltered ACV with the mother.
- Coconut Vinegar was something I didn’t discover until about 2 years ago, but it has been a staple in my kitchen ever since. Game changer, right here. I use it on my salads every day. When I run out of ACV, I’ll drink this. It has a less intense taste than ACV, so more people can stomach it! If you don’t like the taste of ACV, I recommend trying this out.
Trying to narrow down nut butters was a huge challenge, but these are the four that I use the most. I don’t always use these specific brands, but these are the brands I do usually buy. My requirement for nut butters is that the only ingredient is the nut. I don’t like any added salt, and definitely no added oils!
- I always keep almond butter on hand because, I mean, it’s almond butter! You can use it in smoothies, on top of smoothies, to dip fruit or veggies in, for baking, and so on. I love Thrive’s creamy almond butter, or any other raw/plain almond butter I can find. Artisana, MaraNatha, 365, and Trader Joe’s all have great options.
- Raw Coconut butter is the nut butter I use the most. It hardens on smoothies and ice cream like a shell, and it literally tastes like dessert. It’s also a really important ingredient for baking, because it makes things thick and creamy! I eat this by the spoonful every single day. My favorite is Artisana, but sometimes I use Nutiva.
- Cashew butter is my favorite nut butter. I like it on smoothies, in smoothies, on baked goods, by the spoonful, etc.
- Tahini is truly my weakness. You can use tahini like any other nut/seed butter, but I love drizzling it on roasted veggies. It’s unbelievable.
Next up are my “powders.”
- Collagen is a staple in my diet, as I’m sure you know by now! Be sure to read my post all about why I love collagen so much and all of its health benefits, which you can find here. I always keep the Vanilla-Coconut, plain collagen peptides, and beef gelatin on hand. I use them in a ton of my recipes, and especially as a protein powder replacement!
- I always keep ashwagandha in my pantry because it’s the one adaptogen I’ve always seen noticeable results with. It’s great for easing anxiety and calming you down. I’ve used this to help with my adrenals for a few years, and I truly love it. I’ve been using Maju recently, and you can use the code “ADDICTEDTOLOVELY” for 10% off if you want to try any of Maju’s products! (I also love the Maca!)
- I keep vanilla bean powder in my pantry for baking or smoothies. I don’t like to use vanilla extract because it often has other additives, but the vanilla bean powder is completely pure and can be used even if you’re on a Candida protocol.
In terms of spices and seasonings, I’m keeping it really basic. When I first wrote this list I included a lot more spices, but I realized it was getting out of hand. These are good starters.
- I always have Himalayan Pink Salt and Celtic Sea Salt. I cook everything in salt, and healthy salt (not typical table salt at restaurants!) is extremely important to include in our diets! Definitely read my post about why you shouldn’t fear salt, which you can find here.
- Black pepper is just another basic. Put salt and pepper on anything – you can’t go wrong.
- Nutritional yeast is the trick of the trade. It has a cheesey flavor and is vegan-friendly. Plus, it’s filled with B vitamins!
- Cinnamon is something I truly cannot live without. It’s amazing at balancing blood sugar, and it’s one of my favorite natural sweeteners. I love using this for my cinnamon roasted veggies, of course, but also in smoothies, baked goods, and to spoon with coconut oil.
I always keep canned fish on hand in case of emergency. Canned fish is perfect for traveling, especially on airplanes, or for a quick snack. I like to keep canned wild salmon, wild sardines, and SafeCatch tuna in my pantry. SafeCatch is a great brand because it’s the lowest in mercury when it comes to tuna – such a trustworthy company. When it comes to sardines… more people need to add them into their diets! They are incredibly nutrient dense, and I personally love the taste.
The only pre-made salad dressings I personally buy are from Primal Kitchen, and they are incredibly delicious. They’re all paleo-friendly, of course. My three staples are the Caesar, Ranch, and Greek. I could live off of these! They’re not just for salads… I like to put them on salmon or other fish, or just on roasted veggies. The ranch is also amazing on my cauliflower pizza crust!
The Primal Kitchen Mayo is a must-have. I cannot explain to you how delicious this is! I’m truly addicted. Mayo is incredibly versatile and can be used in so many recipes. I got my dad hooked on this. It’s great on burgers and in salads, but the best combo is with wild-caught salmon and roasted cauliflower. NOM.
(Again, if you order any of these through the actual Primal Kitchen website, use the code “ADDICTEDTOLOVELY” for 10% off!)
There are a few other coconut-related products I always have to keep on hand.
- Coconut cream is something I use quite often for baking. It’s a really great way to thicken sauces or to make paleo frostings. It’s also perfect to put in smoothies if you want them really thick and creamy. I also love to make fat bombs with coconut cream!
- I always have canned coconut milk for cooking, baking, smoothies, chia puddings, or any other recipe I need a milk replacement for. You can use it in sweet or savory dishes, and it’s better than nut milk because it’s thick. Most canned coconut milks have guar gum in them, which I avoid. Look for an organic coconut milk with no guar gum and no other added ingredients besides coconut and water.
- Coconut aminos are definitely a staple in my kitchen! These are the perfect soy sauce replacement, and I love adding them to pretty much any asian-inspired dish. You can also use this as a marinade – great on salmon!
I also keep a collection of nuts and seeds on hand for snacks, smoothie toppings, and baking!
- My favorite nuts to keep on hand are almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I always choose organic and raw nuts.
- Coconut flakes are very necessary in my kitchen! They are my favorite smoothie bowl topping, great for a snack, and perfect for baking.
- I also love to keep pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds in my pantry. Both have high amounts of plant-based protein, and seeds tend to be easier on my digestion than nuts.
- I also always keep chia seeds and flax seeds in my pantry. These are great thickeners for smoothies, and you can also make chia and flax puddings with them! They’re also great egg substitutes in baking.
There are a few things I always keep stocked on my baking shelf, just so that I always have the basics available. You never know when a paleo cookie craving is going to strike!
- Coconut flour and almond flour are the two types of flours I use for baking. If you like paleo treats, always keep these on hand!
- Organic, pure maple syrup and raw, organic honey are usually my sweeteners of choice in baked goods. I’m really particular about these, though! I would never use honey out of a Bear-shaped jar. You know what I’m talking about. And Aunt Jemima’s is off the table! Make sure it’s organic and pure, and you’re in good shape.
- I also always keep either coconut sugar or Lakanto’s Monkfruit sweetener on hand. I like to use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar, and the monkfruit in keto/low-carb friendly recipes.
In terms of chocolate, this is what I ALWAYS have available:
- Organic cacao powder is full of antioxidants and is great for baking, hot chocolate, chocolate smoothies… you get the idea.
- Organic cacao nibs are also full of a ton of antioxidants and offer the same health benefits as cacao powder, just in nib form. They’re a great replacement for chocolate chips and one of my favorite toppings for pretty much everything! If you haven’t tried cacao before, you’ll have to get used to the taste. It’s bitter compared to the chocolate you’re probably used to. This is real food people. Not Hershey’s.
- I always keep a bar of 100% cacao on hand. I know not everyone likes pure cacao, but I am certainly a purist. I love extremely bitter chocolate. Eating Evolved also has lower percentages of dark chocolate if you can’t handle 100%, but I love their Midnight Coconut because it has some coconut in there, too! This is great for baking or just snacking on!
Those are my personal staples! I might do a follow-up post with the others that I do like to have in my pantry but that didn’t make the cut for this post because of the length, so let me know if you’d like to see those. Since I promised to tell you my absolute bare minimum staples, those would be:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt
- Apple Cider Vinegar
When I’m traveling, those are the four things I always bring with me, because I truly cannot live without them!
Do you have pantry staples that aren’t on this list? I’d love to know what you can’t live without!