What is in my pantry?
There is a reason why I chose to eat mostly plant based. It is really related to how I feel when I eat this way. It took me some time through lots of trial and error to figure out that I actually don’t like the taste of certain animal products and that dairy makes me quite sick and gassy. I started reading blogs and buying books about plant based cooking and slowly but surely got the hand of it. It may seem overwhelming at first, but give it a shot with one or two small changes and you might start to enjoy it as well.
If you are interested in trying some new recipes (I will share my typical meals in another post), below is a list of food items you might try to find in your local store. Don’t get overwhelmed, I don’t use all of this on a daily basis. I will say however that eating with ingredients below I have noticed certain changes: clearer skin, way more energy (I don’t have afternoon slumps anymore), better digestion which was somehow always my issue that I was trying to fix.
So to get started, there are some foods you will always find in my home:
- Fruits: fresh fruits are a must and I buy what is in season. If I want to make some smoothie or porridge with berries in December? I buy frozen bags and just toss them when I need them in a recipe. My favorite fruits are: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, oranges, pears and apples. I absolutely love all the melon family fruits: watermelon, honeydew melon as well as papaya and pineapple once in a while. The last ones are usually in cans so I don’t use them that often because of the high sugar content
- Vegetables are more than 50% of my lunch and dinner so yes, most of my fridge is loaded with fresh vegetables. Some of my favorite are kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika (usually red, not a big fan of green, yellow, orange), eggplant, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, eggplants, zucchini and my husband is Estonian so wheat lots and lots of potatoes.
- Dairy products: almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk are my favorites, different type fo cheese for sure
- Beans (kidney, red, chickpeas, cannelloni…) and pulses
- Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice is a must. I cook most of the time once per week quinoa and brown rice in big batches and just use them throughout the week with vegetables for a simple yet nutritious meal. As I am not a big fan of spending hours in the kitchen, this works every time
- Nuts: oh my, this is my territory. I am obsessed with nuts and nut butters. My favorite are cashews, brazilian, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts. I love them all, roasted, plain salted, I am not picky?I tend to buy nuts and nut butters in larger quantities (online) as I use them not only for a snack but also in baking.
- Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds are also very much present in my cooking. I like the crunchiness of seeds on a salad for example so once I finish cooking, I just toss 1 TBSP and the meal is done
- Flours: Here I had a lot of education and many errors before I finally got it right. I am no baker but with some practice I started to understand the use and different outcome of non-white flours. I use mainly brown rice, chickpea, millet, oat, tapioca or almond flour. For a pizza crust I would use tapioca and brown, for a cake or pancakes almond flour. No one can tell but it is healthier than plain white flour
- Pasta: Gluten-free brown pasta is my go to because gluten keeps me bloated for a while
- I LOVE BREAD!
- Good fats: avocados (I can’t live without them!), walnuts
- Oil: I cook with coconut, sesame or olive oil
- Sweet stuff: I usually make my own sweets and store them in a freezer (energy balls or cakes) so I use dates a lot, maple or agave syrup and stevia once in a while. Brown and coconut sugar are also my go to sweeteners.