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  • elisesmith929

Top 8 Pantry Staples

I have a lot of favorite kitchen staples, but there are a handful that I absolutely could not live without on a day to day basis. So here's my list:

  1. Coconut aminos: I go through coconut aminos like they're going out of style (they're not). Coconut aminos act as a great alternative to soy sauce and, in my opinion, taste better! To me, it has more depth, like a sweet-salty combo that soy sauce lacks. I use this as a savory component in so many sauces, vinaigrettes, curries, stir frys, you name it. I promise you the moment you add this staple to your fridge, you will soon wonder how you lived without it. Careful not to buy anything labeled "Liquid Aminos." There is a difference! Liquid aminos are about 3x saltier in taste than coconut aminos, so make sure you grab the right bottle! My favorite brand is Big Tree Farms-linked here:

  2. Avocado oil: I like to use avocado oil in a lot of dishes, but especially when cooking anything at a really high temperature because avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so this is great for searing, sautéing, and grilling. Linked here:

  3. Tahini: When thinking about making dairy-free or healthier alternatives to a creamy sauce, dressing or dip, I often use Tahini. Tahini is a sesame butter or paste often used in Middle Eastern cooking. My favorite brand linked here:

  4. Arrowroot starch: I use arrowroot almost everyday! Most often I use arrowroot to thicken sauces, soups or make the most pillowy scrambled eggs. You can do this by making a slurry (aka a mix of 1 part arrowroot and 1 part water) to your soup, sauce or raw egg mixture to give it some added thickness. I also love using arrowroot to mimic fried or breaded dishes like sesame or lemon chicken. It's a much healthier and gluten-free friendly way to prep your meals and tastes just as delicious! My favorite brand linked here:

  5. Coconut milk: Real talk: I strongly believe that coconut milk makes everything taste better. It makes for a great healthy/dairy-free alternative to whole milk or heavy cream in purees, soups, curries and sauces. I also love to cook rice in coconut milk vs water or broth. It adds a lightly sweet, savory component that elevates the flavor and also locks in moisture giving it a better shelf life if meal prepping for the week. I'm not tied to a brand on this one, BUT it's important to get regular coconut milk and not light coconut milk. Light is pretty watery and doesn't have the same texture and taste. Here's one of many good options:

  6. Dijon mustard: You can always count on a little dijon to add a nice acidic component to a vinaigrette, aioli or sauce. It does not need to be fancy (aka Grey Poupon). I use Whole Foods Brand Organic Dijon

  7. Maldon sea salt: Maldon flaky sea salt is the quickest and easiest way to elevate your final dish! You can add a pinch to your plated meal to give it an added crunch and defined flavor. It's also a non-negotiable for me when baking cookies. I love a salty-sweet combo, so adding a pinch of flaky sea salt to a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie before baking adds an added depth of flavor that will have your friends asking what your secret ingredient is!

  8. Nutpods original creamer: This is another dairy-free staple that I use to substitute heavy cream and whole milk in sauces, soups, mashed potatoes and purees for a lighter finish!

What are your go to staples? Questions? I'd love to hear from you!

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