These are some of my “must haves” in my gluten free and vegan kitchen. If you’re not gluten free or vegan, these are still great ingredients to have on hand for a healthy meal, or dessert!
Flours, starches, etc….
- Hemp flour
- ripe plantains – are a perfect grain-free alternative to flours and you can always freeze a few for later use
- Coconut flour – a must for grain free baking
- arrowroot starch – another must for grain free desserts and better alternative to GMO corn starches
- brown rice flour
- sorghum flour (not really necessary but often lends a better flavor than brown rice flour)
- almond, or cashew flour [easy to make at home by grinding nuts into flour]
- baking powder
- baking soda
- a good all purpose GF flour; or a mix of your own
Milk, cheese, butter and oil substitutes:
There are a lot of “dairy free” and vegan alternatives sold on store shelves which contain unpronounceable ingredients, GMOS, and even casein! In the time you spend driving to the store and paying a ridiculous amount for this “specialty” food item, you can make something better, faster and tastier at home.
- Almond milk (hazelnut and cashew milk are also really delicious)
- canned coconut milk – I pour a can into a large glass jar, add filtered water to thin it out and there you have coconut milk free of any additives and a fraction of the price of a carton of coconut milk
- nutritional yeast – these delicious flakes lend the cheesy taste to my vegan Parmesans and ricottas, cheese sauces, macaroni and cheese, and are tasty all on their own.
- applesauce – a great alternative to butter in baking recipes
- avocados – also a good alternative to butter and are delicious smeared on toast, too
- coconut oil is one of my favorite oils and probably the only oil I use in baking and cooking. Coconut oil is one of the few oils that is not damaged when heated to high temperature
Nuts, Seeds and grains:
- almonds, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts
- sunflower seeds
- quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)
- gluten free rolled oats
- brown rice
- nutbutters, coconut butter and tahini (you can make all of these in a vitamix, or be sure to read the labels if you buy them at the store)
- blended fruits naturally lend sweetness
- real maple syrup (no high fructose corn syrup, stay away from Aunt Jemima!)
- agave (on the very rare occasion)
- stevia (again, read the ingredients, many “stevia” products on the shelf have processed sweeteners added to them!)
- dates, especially medjool dates
Greens and Protein mixes:
I try to stick to making everything myself, but there are a few brands out there I trust and some products I love…
- Amazing grass makes a delicious chocolate “green” powder that’s good in a smoothie, baked treats and even oatmeal
- Vega makes great protein and green powders, too! My favorites are french vanilla and vanilla chai nutritional shake powder. But don’t stop at shakes! You can also use these powder for baking and get really creative!
These are just some of the many things you’d find in my cupboards but, like I said, they are a must in my kitchen!
Wishing you happy, healthy eats and treats!