While I enjoy trying new things and experimenting in the kitchen, there are some key staples I use and love always. Here are some of my faves!
I don’t think I even have to mention this, since you’ve likely noticed my obsession. I love this stuff! Use it in place of butter, oil, or any fat really for a healthy boost of good quality fat and a delicious buttery taste. Major health benefits with this stuff… and it’s super easy to make at home if you don’t feel like buying it. Check out my how-to-make-ghee link HERE. Or if you’d prefer to buy online, check out this one HERE.
The natural vitamins, enzymes, and other nutritional elements are all preserved in raw honey since they aren’t cooked out. The texture is thicker than your average honey, but it’s sooo good and if you’re going to use a sweetener, it might as well be one with some nutritional value!
I love coconut anything… from food to lotions to chips. I even wear coconut oil as a perfume! In cooking, coconut oil has many nutritional benefits… it’s a good fat, the kind we need. It doesn’t burn easily, making it a great ingredient for hot temperatures. Plus, it adds flavor to anything you put it in- a fab bonus if it’s something that would benefit from a little coconut flavor, like a dessert or curry.
I grew up with Bragg’s liquid aminos instead of soy sauce as a kid… that is, until I recently discovered coconut aminos. I am hooked. I have become a little less into soy over the last several years, for many reasons, primarily health. But both tamari and coconut aminos are great subs. Coconut aminos taste slightly sweeter and less salty than your standard soy sauce, making it perfect for not only cooking, but also in salad dressings, on avocados (I’m a sucker for half an avo with this stuff sprinkled in), and pretty much any sauce you’d normally want soy for.
Same with tamari… it has a more classic taste than coconut aminos- much more similar to soy sauce, but without the gluten (did you know most soy sauce has wheat in it?!), so this is another great option for people wanting or needing gluten-free.
Again, may sound bizarre to those unfamiliar with it, but is not only, well nutritional, but it tastes surprisingly good, too. It’s the BEST on popcorn. You have not had popcorn until you’ve had it with yeast. Also good in brothy soups, in salad dressings (or sprinkled over a salad), and on mac and cheese. A definite must-have in any house of you ask me.
My Fave Fresh Herbs
Some herbs are great in their dried state, but it can’t be denied that most are best fresh. If I could only have a handful of herbs (a seven-fingered handful?) growing in my garden, these would get my vote…
Basil– umm with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella… need I say more!? Okay yes, I’ll add pesto. And pizza. And curries. And pretty much everything else you could think of. Basil is the best.
Thyme– amazing cooked in veggies, chicken, or meat to add a rustic flare. Fabulous with sauteed onions or mushrooms.
Cilantro– so good in, well everything… salsas, soups, salads, stir-fry, and the list goes on. Makes anything it touches brighter.
Dill– a staple in Greek cooking, dill freshens things up… great with peas and onions over rice, sprinkled fresh over salads, and of course in spanakopitas.
Oregano– there are so many kinds- Greek, Mexican… and they are all great- on pizzas, in soups, over meats, and in dressings.
Sage– cooked in butter and browned… best. thing. ever.
Rosemary– another classic for poultry, meats, and veggies… a little goes a long way, but it adds a unique flavor with a big punch.
I use this thing all the time!! I often use it to blend soups that I want to make creamy/pureed, when I don’t feel like busting out the blender. All you have to do with one of these is stick it right in the pot and push a button! I also use it to froth milk for my coffees and to chop nuts, herbs, etc. (it comes with a mini food processor, too). Most of all, I use it for my mayos, ranches, and dips…. there is no mayo-making like there is with one of these!
A friend bought me one of these for my birthday a few years back. Amazing gift. It makes perfectly blended smoothies with absolutely no mess. I know a blender isn’t a tough thing to use, but somehow having a NutriBullet makes it seem like a challenge in comparison. I use mine for smoothies, frothed coffees (ghee + coffee in this this is heaven), pestos, and more!