I won't tell you that our family has a full real food kitchen or that we've eschewed every processed bite from our home. What I can tell you is I made permanent changes to some of our food choices a few years ago that are healthier options than what we used to use.
They are pantry staples that I keep stocked at all times and the thought of going back to our older, not so great for you, choices really just makes me cringe.
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1. Organic Natural Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is must-have in this house for sandwiches, snacks, desserts and more. Sure, it can be a pain in the butt if you didn't stir it well the first go round, but the difference in the taste along with the fact that your ditching a bunch non-essential junkie ingredients is SO worth it.
You have to be careful when shopping, not all natural peanut butters are created equal. There are some that still try to toss in extra ingredients that you just don't need. Look at the label; the only ingredients listed should be roasted peanuts and possibly sea salt.
My personal favorite is Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter. I like to stock up on when I place my Thrive Market orders.
2. Cooking Oils
One of the first changes I made to our pantry when we getting away from processed foods was ditching the crappy vegetable/canola etc..overly processed oils. Now I try to always have 4 specific oils on hand.
Organic Sesame Oil - for when I cook Asian dishes. So many of them call for vegetable oil while cooking and I love having my sesame oil on hand to sub out for it.
Organic Olive Oil - After reading about how many olive oils are cut with nasty vegetable oils some time back, I've gotten pretty selective when choosing my oils. We were able to get our hands on a FANTASTIC olive oil from our co-op, when we lived in Florida, and I haven't been able to find it since. My current bottle, is Kirkland Brand; one of the few to pass as being real olive oil.
Organic Virgin (unrefined) Coconut Oil - Baking, sauteing, relaxing baths, oil-pulling, hair care...this oil is a work horse in our house. It doesn't quite do it all though, that why I get another coconut oil to stock my shelves.
Organic Refined Coconut Oil - The refined oil is best for the occasional frying you may want to do and doesn't leave behind the coconut taste.
3. Organic Oats (in bulk)
The men of the house aren't big fans of eating oatmeal the traditional way, but we go through a lot of oats in this house. The girls and I love them for breakfast. The girls take theirs with a little milk and syrup (occasionally with fruit) while I love to stir in some of my homemade cherry butter.
We also use them often for granola, to make fruit crisp and even though I've tried to convince them that it's going to seriously tick off their stomachs, Matt and Ali love to grab handfuls, raw, for a snack.
When I place an order with Amazon or Thrive Market, I'll usually order four bags of Bob's Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats at a time.
4. Raw Honey
When I say raw honey, I don't just mean organic or pure, I mean the good unstrained stuff that is thick, creamy, and full of good bits of honeycomb, pollen and propolis. One of my go-to snacks is a banana topped with a drizzle of REALLY RAW UNSTRAINED HONEY and peanut butter.
I also use the honey when I bake, for cups of herbal tea and when we are feeling a little under the weather, a big spoonful straight up, Mary Poppins style.
These days I think I can feel my face start to seize if someone tries to pass the common Morton table salt. I love salt, it is my friend and provides my body with necessary minerals to survive, but I'm talking about real salt. Not that processed crap they are serving up most places.
The pink salt is unrefined, has no additives, and I think it has a milder flavor than traditional table salt. It's nice to have salt actually enhance the flavor of your food and not just taste salty!
We buy ours in bulk about twice a year, but you can pick up a 10 oz jar from Himalania on Thrive if you want to give it a try.
Stocking Your Pantry at Thrive
As I said above, I like to buy a lot of pantry staples at Thrive Market. They have a great selection of organic and natural products at discounted price. You can get my pantry must haves for about 30% less than average retail cost.
Thrive Market memberships are only $59.95 for the year and you can try it out for 30-days for free when you place your first order. If you feel like organic and natural products just aren't in your budget, but you want to buy better products for your family, check this out...
You can sign up for Thrive Market and start stocking your pantry with healthy must have items using my referral link http://thrv.me/thatoddmom and get 15% off your first order.
What healthy pantry staples do you always have on hand?