Gotta-Have Groceries Pt.2

Gotta-Have Groceries Pt.2

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,Ā 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 orĀ raw brownies, you really don’t have to add any sweeteners at. all. I have pureed themĀ mixed with cocoa powder, coconut flourĀ 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 areĀ 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 aĀ sprinkle of smoked paprika.Ā 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 lovingĀ 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 onĀ 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 unpleasantĀ 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 someĀ 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.Ā Only recently did IĀ 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 areĀ also a great source of fibre and a fantastic source of antioxidants. Buckwheat also has components that have been shown toĀ lower blood sugar after meals and has been implicatedĀ 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!


Gotta-Have Groceries

Gotta-Have Groceries

My go-to’s, my holy grails, my essentials, my gotta-haves!! Grocery items that are ALWAYS on my list!

Alright, full disclosure, a lot of what we buy when we go shopping are repeat buys and it would take a million hours to type up an entire blog post (pictures and all) of all the random things we buy all the time. So I went through and narrowed it down to some of my favorite favorite gotta-haves. I went with things that were not the usual staples (produce, meats, breads, rice etc.) as I didn’t feel like a long’ol’post about how I like toĀ buy bananas and field greens.

So what are some of my random essentials that HAVE to always be in my cupboards? We are going to start with powdered peanut butter. Currently I am using the brand Just Great Stuff and I picked up the protein plus peanut butter (which has added pea protein), but I use to buy PB2’s chocolate peanut butter powder. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I loooove this stuff. I like that I can add as much or as little water to mix as I want, and often I add a bit extra to make it more for drizzling. On top of sliced apples, on top of my cream of wheat, put the powder directly into a smoothie or make it thicker and use it unfancy-like on a piece of toast. Whatever the use, I neeeeed powdered peanut butter in my life always.


Next up are these bad boys. Veggie bouillon cubes. I go through these like candy. OK not really. But I use them for so so so many things. In the-most-obvious soups, I dissolve them in a little boiling water and sautĆ© my veggies in them, or add it to the bottom of my roaster when I’m doing a chicken or a turkey (I like to have liquid in the bottom of the pan to keep things nice an’steamy and it also adds toĀ the flavor when you baste). I dissolve in water and use it to cook my rice, or my quinoa or my cous-cous. Seriously guys, I can’t live without these in my cupboard. I also USUALLY have theĀ no-sodium version as well and theĀ best part of that (obviously) is the lack of salt, so while I get the flavor, I still get to control my sodium content!


ALRIGHT NEXT! Is soup base! This brand specifically, as I have yet to find another brand that I enjoy as much. These 2 flavors and the garden tomato are ma favorite. I use these soup bases, again obviously, for soup, but also for sauces. I add the tomato one to fresh tomatoes and other goodies to make a pasta sauce, or the butternut squash one with some type of thickener and more other goodies to make a sauce for steamed veggies or potatoes. If I’m being honest though these are usually just for soup, but they are a MUST HAVE so on days when I decide I don’t want to actually cook anything I can just throw some cut up veggies, a little salt + pepper and some left over rice in and BAM it looks like I’m serving effort for dinner!


Then there’s these tasty treats! These are a relatively new must-have as we only recently starting buying these (and by recently I mean about 2 months ago). There is really not much to say about these, except they are delicious and crunchy and an absolute need-all-the-time-item so that I always have a something-yummy to nibble on when I’m feeling “chippy”. It’s nice to have some treats stashed away and I almost always have a little healthier indulgence at the end of the night after the clan goes to bed.


LAST BUT NOT LEAST! Ok I know that I said I wasn’t going to do anything obvious or producey-stapley BUT I had to add lemons. Just had to. I cut lemons up and freeze slices to add to my morning water. I add fresh squeezed lemons to homemade hummus or homemade guacamole. I squeeze lemons over salads with evoo and a little salt + pepper and chili flakes. Jeff adds lemon zest to his muffins or to his whole-wheat lemon cranberry loaf that we are all out of hint-hint Jeff………


I could probably go on and on, there are so so so many things that are staples in this house but I’ll leave you with those, for now.

What are stables in your house? Anything you’d recommend I try that you just can’t live without? Also maaaayyybbbbeee I’ll make this a series of sort, let me know if you’d be interested in more of these kinds of posts!

Until next time!

Photos are Mine this time!!