The following is a list of pantry staples to help you get started with free from recipes.
If you have many food intolerances, sensitivities and/or allergies (like me), you can’t just pick up a snack at your local store. So it’s important to have healthy snacks to eat during the week. That’s why I bake every weekend. I always have these healthy cooking and baking product ingredients on hand.
Although these are healthy substitutes, too much of a good thing is not always good either. Moderation is key in every diet. Plus, you should always rotate your foods whenever possible.
You can find some of these products at your local grocery store and you can find most of them at your local health food store. Although it is great to support your local health food store, I find that many of the products are more expensive. I usually stick to my local grocery stores, or I buy online from Well.ca or Amazon.
I will provide links with the best price (from Amazon or Well.ca, both of which I order from often). It is up to you to decide what is most practical and convenient for you.
*This page may contain affiliate links.
Almond Flour – I love almond flour in baked goods. It is a great gluten-free alternative to wheat flour (although not necessarily substituted one for one with regular flour).
Avocado Oil – I love avocado oil. Avocado oil has many health benefits and it has a very mild taste that makes it great for baking. It can easily be replaced one for one in any recipe. You can get this for a really great price at Costco.
Canned Coconut Milk – This coconut milk is wonderful in baking and cooking. It is a fantastic substitute for heavy cream and can be used to make non-dairy whipped cream. Yum!
Cassava Flour – Cassava flour is another great alternative to wheat flour. It is paleo and gluten-free and you can substitute it one for one in any recipe.
Celtic Sea Salt – I have been using this for years as an alternative to regular table salt that is refined. It is milder than table salt so you may have to add a bit more than usual to your baked goods.
Cocoa Butter – This is a must-have for making your own delicious chocolate (which is very simple by the way). I haven’t used this kind in particular as I usually get mine from my local health food store, but this kind has great reviews.
Coconut Butter – This is a nice addition to baked goods. It adds a sweet coconut flavour.
Coconut Milk – I love this coconut milk! I use it often for cooking, baking and in my smoothies. It is organic and unsweetened.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is incredibly versatile. It can be used in cooking and baking as well as in beauty and personal care products. It is a must have in every household.
Coconut Oil & Ghee – I love this as a substitute for butter. As it is made with coconut oil, it is healthier than butter and it is casein and lactose-free. It took me a little while to get used to the taste but now I put it on everything. It is also a great alternative to butter in baking as you retain that buttery flavour that is a great addition to some recipes.
Coconut Sugar – Coconut sugar has many health benefits that refined sugar doesn’t. It also has a glycemic index of only 35 which is much less than (white) refined sugar. I use it in baking – it can be substituted one for one for brown or white sugar.
Date Sugar – Date sugar is such a healthy substitute for sugar. Dates are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Date sugar is wonderful in baked goods. It is a fine powder so you have to pour it very slowly or your kitchen will be full of dust, but it is well worth the patience.
Glen Muir canned tomatoes – These tomatoes are organic and BPA free…yay! They are a bit sour as they have much less sugar than regular canned tomatoes (which is great). No worries, just add a bit of natural sugar (like date sugar or maple syrup) to your recipes.
Mushroom Broth – I love this broth. It is difficult to find a broth (in Canada) that is organic, made with free-range chicken or grass-fed beef that isn’t too expensive. This kind tastes great and it is organic and free of yeast and msg. However, if you don’t mind paying a bit more and you would rather chicken or beef broth, you can check out Broya chicken or beef broth.
Robin Hood Gluten free flour – I don’t use this anymore as it has always been very grainy and I am concerned that gluten-free foods have been triggering symptoms. In addition, this flour has always been quite grainy. However, there is a new version that is supposed to be more smooth and you may find it to be a good, less inexpensive substitute for commercial wheat. You can get it at your local grocery store.
Raw Honey – Honey, in particular raw honey, is a healthier substitute for refined sugar. It is an antioxidant, it is anti-bacterial and it can help alleviate seasonal allergies, among other benefits. It is best if you can purchase local honey (for the allergies benefit).