Pantry

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!

Grocery

Ghee

I don’t think I even have to mention this, since you’ve likely noticed my obsession (hence the blog’s name), but if not, check out the how-to-make-ghee link (HERE) and see what it’s all about!  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 ;)  (To buy, check out your local health food stores orrr try this one HERE… I love it and they have an assortment of tasty flavors, too!)

ghee

Image from Vadik Herbs

Raw Honey

It’s sweet, tasty, and raw (minimally processed).  The natural vitamins, enzymes, and other nutritional elements are all preserved in the 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!!

raw-honey

Image from Nature’s Nuture

Coconut Oil

I love coconut anything… from food to lotions.  I even wear coconut oil as a perfume!  In cooking, coconut oil has many nutritional benefits… it’s a good fat (we need those).  It doesn’t burn easily, making it a great ingredient for hot temperatures.  Plus, it adds a great flavor to anything you put it in.  I love it with baked sweet potatoes and in curries!

coconut_oil

Image from Chalkboard Mag

Coconut Aminos

I grew up with Bragg’s liquid aminos instead of soy sauce… that is, until I recently discovered new healthier choices out there!  If you love soy sauce, you’re not alone… but did you know there are several healthier options for you out there?  Soy, it turns out, is not the best nutritionally, so choosing an option without it is preferable.  Both tamari and coconut aminos are great choices to use instead!  Coconut aminos have a taste that is slightly sweeter and less salty than your standard soy sauce, making it perfect for not only cooking, but also in salad dressings, on avocado (I eat avocados right out of peel with a little bit of this stuff sprinkled in the pit’s hole all the time- best snack!).

Image from Amazon 

Tamari

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 sauces has wheat in it?!), so this is another great option for people wanting or needing gluten-free.

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Image from The Kitchn

Nutritional Yeast

Again, may sound bizarre to those unfamiliar with it, but is not only, well nutritional, but it tastes surprisingly good, too.  I don’t put it on everything, but I aways put it on some things.  Like popcorn.  Oh my oh my 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!

Image from Lunch Box Bunch

 

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- ummm with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella… need I say more!?  Okay yes, I’ll add pesto.  And pizza.  And curries.  And pretty much everything else!

Thyme- amazing cooked in veggies, chicken, or meat to add a rustic savory flare (and great with maple syrup- see maple roasted chicken recipe)

Cilantro- so good in, well everything… salsas, soups, salads, stir-frys, and the list goes on

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 (Greek spinach pie)

Oregano- there are so many kinds- Greek, Mexican… and they are all great- on pizzas, in soups, or baked with chicken and potatoes w/lemon (a Greek classic, recipe coming soon!)

Sage- cooked in butter and browned… best thing ever on raviolis or pasta

Rosemary- another classic for poultry, meats, and veggies… a little goes a long way, but it adds a unique flavor with a big punch

 

Books

The Paleo Slow-Cooker

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The New Moosewood Cookbook

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Vefa’s Kitchen

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Plate to Pixel

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Joy of Cooking

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Gadgets

Immersion Blender

I use this thing all the time!!  I often use it to blend soups that I want to make creamy/pureed, but don’t feel the 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 ilk for my coffees and to chop nuts, herbs, etc. (it comes with a mini food processor, too!).

NutriBullet

A friend bought me one of these for my birthday this year… I probably would have never thought to get one myself, but I am now so thankful I have it!  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.  All you need to do with this thing is put stuff in, hit a button, and then the container is your cup-to-go!  Easy I tell you.  (No, they aren’t paying me or giving me product haha, I just really like mine them now that I have one.)

Visit my Amazon Store if you’d like here!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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