Thursday, June 28, 2012

current pantry favorites

The absolute key to eating well is having good food in your pantry and fridge. It really is one of the easiest ways to make sure you and your family are eating delicious nutrient dense foods and are not being tempted to eat highly processed non foods.

Nutrient dense foods satisfy not only hungry tummies but keep our beautiful brain cells and delicate nervous systems happy too. Non foods do the exact opposite, they keep our bodies hungry as they search for nutrients that don't exist in processed foods and throw in additives, preservatives, artificial colours, flavours and numbers to stress our digestion and upset overall well-being.

For people who are used to buying processed foods, especially snacks, making the switch to eating whole, real foods can leave them wondering what can I eat in place of muesli bars, chips, sweet or savoury biscuits.

Two of my current pantry favorites (in case this matters to any readers, I am going to name brands, I haven't been paid or asked to do so, they are brands I buy and use and I think it is helpful sometimes particularly when starting out on a new path to have some recommendations of where to start) are:

Macro almond spread. 
This is a fantastic alternative to peanut butter of which many brands contain sugar and salt and probably a few other undesirables, this is made from 100% almonds. I know that some health food stores press peanuts into paste and don't add anything, however almonds are a better choice of nut over peanuts and in fact over most other nuts. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous and also contain selenium, zinc, copper and niacin. I spread almond spread on toast or on corn thins for breakfast, morning or afternoon tea, it goes well on celery or carrot sticks too. I buy this in the health food section at my local supermarket.

Niulife creamed coconut 
Our beautiful friend Dave who we stay each winter when we go to Byron Bay put me on to this. Dave is a naturopath and owns the Brunswick Heads Health Food Store (do visit if you are in the area they serve the most scrumptious wholefoods lunches and cakes made lovingly by wholefoodie whizz Kristina take a peek here) he is always a wealth of health and information when it comes to good things to eat. Creamed coconut is not the same as coconut butter or oil, it is the actual flesh of the coconut that has had the moisture removed and is then whipped into a creamy paste. When I tried it in the balmy Byron Bay climate is was creamy, in chilly Victoria is sets solid! Either way the flavour is deliciously sweet and surprisingly it is not intensely coconutty. Dave actually doesn't enjoy the flavour of coconut but he does like the creamed version. I have to admit, my favorite way to make a snack of it is to eat a spoonful straight from the jar. It is also a delightful addition to porridge, just stir in a spoonful and it melts through. Dave likes to put a generous spoon into smoothies. Adding it to curries and soups is also a good way to enjoy it. If you want to read up on the myriad of health benefits of the good fat in coconut go here.

I look forward to sharing more from the pantry soon x


  1. creamed coconut, yum, where have i been, cannot believe i have never heard of that before. we are huge nut butter fans around here, we have even been making it ourselves by just roasting the almonds and blending to the desired consistency. yumxxxx

  2. I never thought to look for alternatives for peanut butter. Thanks for the heads up. Our local supermarket didn't stock the macro almond spread, but I found this delicious abc (almonds, brazils & cashews) instead. Oscar loves it and so do I.

    Now I just have to find creamed coconut, can't wait to try it swirled through porridge.


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