How and Where to Stock up on Your Real Food Kitchen Essentials
Make sure it's raw, virgin and organic
Replace all vegetable oils (sunflower, vegetable, linseed) in your kitchen with coconut oil when heating. Great to use extra virgin olive oil raw but do not heat it, it is not heat stable. Non-heat stable oils go rancid when heated. The most heat stable fats are coconut oil, butter, ghee, lard and other animal fats. I use coconut oil in all my cooking and as skincare (face and body moisturiser and eye make up remover). It is an all around amazing oil!
Say goodbye to white, refined, processed sugar!
Replace the white and deadly poison with nutrient-rich golden-coloured coconut sugar. Tastes the same if not better! When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a naturally sweet, nutrient-rich 'sap' that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap has a very low glycemic index score and contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH. If you have trouble finding this or can't afford it in large quantities, then at the very least, replace all white sugar in recipes with unrefined brown or golden caster sugar. Other awesome natural sweetners are pure maple syrup (Grade B), date syrup, brown rice syrup and raw honey.
Please stop using "low-fat" spreads and opt for full-fat (raw) butter
My Top Picks: Isigny Saint-Mere
Avoid all margarine or any vegetable oil spreads- turning an oil into a solid requires a highly chemical process that makes the oils go rancid. If you eat dairy, opt for full-fat butter, tastes so much better and contrary to popular belief is so much better than any of those low-fat spreads! Ocado stocks this fabulous raw butter from Normandy with sea salt crystals :) Oh I love! If you can't get your hands on raw butter, go for organic.
Buckwheat, Quinoa, Chickpea, Coconut Flours...
Plain white wheat flour is highly processed and devoid of any nutritional value. Spelt and rye flours are better options for breads but these don't always work in cakes and also contain gluten (but no wheat). There are however lots of other options that work incredibly well in baking such as buckwheat, gram and coconut flour for the most delicious, moist and light cakes. Highly nutritious, coconut flour is 100% raw and contains 1/3 the carbohydrate of regular wheat flour. The high fibre content will allow the flour to expand enormously and increase the yield of baked foods up to 5%.
Coconut and Almond are just the most delicious dairy alternatives!
Commercial dairy milk is highly processed and full of nasties. If you can get your hands on fresh, raw, organic dairy milk, then that is awesome (your local Farmer's Market or Hook & Sons)! For those of us who don't have the luxury or who prefer a dairy-free option, Koko and Rude Health are simply the best store-bought alternatives. Koko has the same colour, consistency and only a very faint, delicate taste of coconut, mixes well in tea and coffee, delicious in porridge and cereal and perfect for all cooking and baking! If you can make your own milks at home, this is simply the best! See my recipe for Homemade Almond Milk.
Coyo all the way!
My Top Picks: Coyo
Most non-dairy yoghurts are really quite vile and don't taste anything like regular yoghurt! Avoid highly processed, sugar-laden soy yoghurts and enjoy Coyo, made from the freshly squeezed cream of the white flesh of the coconut, handcrafted into the most delicious coconut milk yogurt. It is truly heaven in a mouthful and 100% natural, 100% dairy free, 100% gluten free and 100% guilt free! If you are not dairy-intolerant, eating small amounts of bio-live natural yoghurt is also good for promoting healthy bacteria in the gut!
Make sure it's Tamari... (naturally gluten-free)
My Top Picks: Clearspring
Soy sauce and tamari are both made from fermented soybeans, tamari is gluten-free and generally much better for you! Think of it as the kinder, gentler (and less salty) soy sauce. It has a more complex, smooth flavor compared to the sometimes harsh, overwhelming bite of a salty soy sauce.
Unrefined Sea Salt and Pink Himalayan Salt!
Contrary to popular belief, the right kind of salt is actually good for you (in small doses)! Our bodies need the sodium that salt gives us, as sodium is crucial for regulating blood volume and pressure, as well as helping nerve, muscle and heart function. The issue however is the quality and the type of salt that you're using, as white table salt is sadly just like white sugar - it's been totally processed and stripped down so all the goodness is gone, one of the biggest losses from this is the loss of the salt's natural forms of iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid and metabolism. Also these salts have synthetic chemicals added to them during the refining process, like anti-caking agents, fluoride and bleach. So the more colour salt has (grey, pink), the less processed and the more nutrient rich it will be.
Maca, Lucuma, Chia Seeds, Spirulina, Hemp Protein, Acai
Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature, that by definition are calorie sparse and nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients - nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. Incorporating superfoods into your morning smoothies is such a simple way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients and minerals you need for the day.
Nut Butters & Tahini
Creamed Sesame Paste, Almond Butter and Cashew Butter
My Top Picks: Carley's Raw Butters
These kitchen staples are indispensable for me. Tahini is a gorgeously creamy sesame paste and is used in many Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and in my Raw Fudge. It is also amazing stirred into quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat. Nut butters like almond and cashew are also full of healthy fats and utterly delicious. Homemade is best but if you don't have time, Carley's Organic butters are incredible as they are raw and produced locally.
Short-grain brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth
Always choose the whole version of whatever grain you prefer. Brown rice and quinoa are the two staples in our home. All the vitamins and minerals found in rice are found in the hull that is removed to make it white, hence why brown, black or red rice are so much of healthier than white rice. If you eat wheat, then opt for whole wheat rather than white refined wheat. If you love pasta, there is a huge choice of awesome gluten-free pasta available on the market; my advice here is to stick to brown rice pasta as a lot of the other gluten-free ones are made with potato, tapioca and white rice flours which have a much higher GI.
Buckwheat and Brown Rice Noodles
These are my lunch-to-go essentials and I always have a pack of them at my desk at work and are an indispensable part of my "office larder". These can be cooked in under 5 minutes in the microwave and make the perfect base for a warming winter miso noodle soup or a zesty summer salad. These are all organic, wheat-free and gluten-free, so you can make yourself comforting meals with pure superfoods, leaving you feeling satisfied and energised for the rest of the day. Great for a quick dinner too!
Sweets and Treats
All 100% Deliciously Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free!
Booja Booja makes the most delicious ice creams and raw truffles from the most natural ingredients. They truly prove that being healthy can taste like pure and utter indulgence! Their cashew-based ice creams sweetened with pure maple syrup are simply out of this world and superb for those sweet-tooth moments. Nakd bars are a great snack to have with you at all times (I have one in my handbag all the time); they are simply cold-pressed fruit, nuts and nothing dodgy! Cocoa Orange is my favourite flavour. All these sweets and treats are also totally vegan!