Gotta-Have-Groceries Pt.3 – Cupboard Goodies

Gotta-Have-Groceries Pt.3 – Cupboard Goodies

Another Gotta-Have-Groceries right out the “back-at-it” gate!

This one is taking a turn in the spice cupboard… er…. slash baking cupboard slash stuff-I-put-on-stuff cupboard?

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while now actually. My cupboard is full (and I mean full) of spices, toppings, baking supplies, extra things as far as the eyes can see. I tried to narrow it down to the guys I find myself grabbing for the very most.

Lets start with the most obvious one today shall we?

IMG_20180126_091834_246.jpgGarlic powder! Not to be confused with garlic salt. This one, I feel, is probably on everyone’s gotta-have-groceries list, but I just couldn’t pass it by and not include it. This literally gets used every day… OK maybe not literally, but darn near close. There is not much I cook without garlic. Whether fresh or dehydrated, garlic is a staple (and lets face it, real life dictates not always having the time and energy to always use fresh garlic). My favorites are to add it, along with a little salt, to my boiled water when making rice, or quinoa or cous cous, or any other kind of grain. I, of course, put it in nearly all soups I ever make, add it to tamari (soy sauce) along with a little coconut sugar to make a delicious marinade, and I really enjoy adding it to some eggless mayonnaise (though you could go with whatever you have) and a little sriracha sauce to make a really quick spicy garlic aioli!

IMG_20180126_091654_466.jpgNext up is chili flakes! Though I might use this a little less than I use the garlic powder, these wonderful spicy little babies I use a lot, particularly as a topping. My favorite things to use chili flakes on are avocado toast with a little salt, on a salad with a little olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt & pepper as a really simple dressing, and I basically add it to any pasta dish I might make!

IMG_20180126_091255_023.jpgFrom there I picked up my garlic & herb Mrs. Dash. Maybe I should have made her first. I put this sh…tuff… on everything. Basically I use this as my go to flavoring, I add it to my tofu, use it as a seasoning on my potato wedges, add it to my soups or when I make pasta sauce. I also use this on my salads with the same blend of olive oil and vinegar as mentioned above. I add it as a topping with a little salt to my baked or mashed potatoes, add it to my bread crumbs when making bread-crumb-crusted-anythings. Just really can use this for whatever you’d like. The best part is that it is a no-salt-added product as well, so you can control your own sodium content. There are also other flavors, and I just recently picked up the southwestern style seasoning flavor. I just always find myself buying (and going through tons of) this one!

IMG_20180126_091409_802.jpgAlright, these guys! Roasted black sesame seeds! Now I don’t use these as much as I use the other guys, but I still have my specific uses for them that I eat often enough that I HAVE to have these in the house. As of late these are my current favorite, aside from the chili flakes, to add to my avocado toast. I add them to my tofu when I marinade it with the garlicy-tamari-ey marinade I mentioned above. I use them as a salad topping, and sprinkle them on top of my salad wraps, and almost every time I do any kind of rice noodle bowl at my house you will find these guys in there!

IMG_20180126_091950_966.jpgAnd last but not least I had to add this into the mix. I use this probably the least often, but again there are just certain things I use this for that requires me to always need it hanging out in my cupboard. My biggest use for coconut sugar is adding it to that marinade I mentioned above, and sprinkling it on some toast with a little bit of cinnamon. It also happens to be my secret-not-so-secret ingredient when doing basically any kind of bean salad to which I add vinegar. We also added a tiny bit of this to a spicy cayenne mixture that we used for tossing our home made potato wedges in, and it was pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. Basically anything you can think of that you would use regular white sugar for you could use coconut sugar for, AND it has a lower glycemic level if that is something that interests you!

As a side note however, sugar is sugar is sugar, so if you are not particularly concerned about it’s glycemic level and you are using it for mass amounts of baking than this may not be your wallets best friend. Having said that if you use your sugar like I use mine, minimally and only for a select few dishes than you may really enjoy having this in your cupboard!

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Well that’s all folks! I feel like I could do 10 more of these ones, I found it hard to narrow it down, but if you had to choose just a handful of spices or toppings from your cupboard what would you choose? Also what other gotta-have-grocery themes should I do? If you have any ideas for me, send them my way!

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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, I did steer clear of the most “usual” that I believe most people would already assume staples of a healthier kitchen.

LETS BEGIN


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!