Thought it might be time for another gotta-have groceries, as it’s been a good while and I always did mean to make it “a thing”.
Like last time I searched my cupboards for things I like to keep on hand, at, all, times, that also did not involve regular staples.
No fruits and veggies will find their way on the list, yet again, though one would argue that they are the most gotta-have worthy. For the purposes of sharing with you the “unusual” however, I did steer clear of the most “usual” that I believe most people would already assume staples of a healthier kitchen.
First things first is a big ol’bin of pitted dates. I like to have these around for making date balls (like delicious protein or energy balls with blended dates, almonds and flaxseed and rolled in cocoa powder or coconut flakes). They are so so sweet so when making things like homemade granola bars or raw brownies, you really don’t have to add any sweeteners at. all. I have pureed them mixed with cocoa powder, coconut flour and plain unsweetened protein powder to make home made protein bars (dipped in extra dark chocolate of course). I’ve pureed a couple with a few ripe bananas, vanilla extract and water to make a yummy sweet “banana milk”. Even on their own as a little chewy treat, like a piece of candy.
Dates are a great source of quick energy with their sugar content, hence the sweet, but also are a great source of fibre and are full of other vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and some b-vitamins, among others. They are also especially good for… ahem… regularity.
NEXT. Smoked paprika. I put that shhh on everything… ok maybe not literally but pretty darn close. I went a brutal TWO WEEKS where I couldn’t find smoked paprika and it made my kitchen moody. I use it to season chicken, on salads, on fried eggs. I use it along with other goodies to make a taco seasoning when we do ground turkey for taco salads.
As a savory, crunchy, healthier-than-a-bag-of-chips-late-at-night snack I sometimes throw a tiny bit of evoo on some slice cucumbers with a little pink salt, fresh pepper and smoked paprika. Basically anytime there is tofu, or turkey, meat or meat replacement in general, there will be a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Regular paprika will do no good when making deviled eggs, chickpeas salads are nothing without it, so are roasted chickpeas and hummus. Seriously this blog could have been called Sweat & Smoked Paprika.
Dark chocolate. If you come to my house you will always find a bar of dark chocolate or two in my fridge. The “butter” compartment in the fridge is actually the dark chocolate compartment. If you can’t find it in the fridge, it’ll be in the freezer. I like ma chocolate cold. Currently I’m loving dark chocolate with a little mint in it, it cuts the bitterness of the dark and is super cool and refreshing. Usually I just eat it on its own but sometimes I will dip it in a little vanilla coconut yogurt, or peanut butter.
Extra dark chocolate is best dipped in something that has it’s own bit of sweet in it though, we once dipped a 90% dark in some natural peanut butter and I experienced that unpleasant mouth-drying-mouth-smacking sensation that I imagine dogs get when they eat PB. BUT dip it in a little yogurt and honey and you’re in heaven! Break it over some oats in the morning or melt it down with a little coconut oil and drizzle it over some home made date brownies (seriously. so good), whatever the case I can not NOT have dark chocolate in the house.
Alright one more. We are going to make buckwheat groats the last one. I use to buy these a couple years back and then it was like they disappeared from all grocery stores… that I shop at. Only recently did I find them again at a grocery store which I will now continue to shop at… because I know they sell them… Ok they sell other fantastic things as well (*cough* Natures fare *cough*)
Buckwheat groats are not only a complete protein but they are also gluten free and they have so many uses. You can grind them to make buckwheat flour, boil them to make a hot dish for a great pasta replacement, you can even sprout them to eat in salads. My favorite use for them however, is raw. I don’t do a darn thing to them. They are perfectly crunchy without being hard and they make THE BEST add-in’s to your favorite granola. I use them when I do a “raw” cereal bowl, with chopped apples, goji berries, banana milk (or almond milk), chia seeds and cinnamon. They add a different sort of crunchy texture to the cereal, making it even more like an actual cereal than it really is. I put it on top of oats, in homemade granola, or sprinkled on a salad, again for the texture.
Besides being gluten free and a source of protein, they are also a great source of fibre and a fantastic source of antioxidants. Buckwheat also has components that have been shown to lower blood sugar after meals and has been implicated in helping to lower LDL levels, AMONG OTHER THINGS.
Go eat some buckwheat.
Well that’s all she wrote!… Literally.
Do you have any of these as staples in your house as well? What kinds of things have you been obsessing over eating lately, any different spices or herbs that you literally (ok figuratively) put on everything?
Also let me know if I should do a gotta-have groceries “produce edition” or something of the like!