Inside My Pantry
I find it really inspiring and helpful to see how other’s store their pantry goods. I often get asked which brands I use or what the ‘top items’ I keep in stock are, so hopefully this answers some of those questions too!
Below is a reflection of 7+ years of learning what a plant based, whole foods pantry looks like for us. It wasn’t always this diverse or well stocked, and has taken time to find what we need for our meals. Where we source our ingredients from has evolved over the years too, and has truly been a fun process. Having a well stocked pantry is important for us because it helps me feel confident that I can make really delicious and nutritious meals for us all week. And when a sweet craving hits, whip up a quick batch of wholesome cookies or brownies without having to run to the store.
There is no better or best when it comes to pantry stocking, it’s important to do what works well for you and your health goals/budget. But for what it is worth, here are the staples that keep us thriving :).
For a list of my favorite jars and storage containers, see this post.
The Main Pantry
We love the antique white quinoa by Lundberg and all of their organic rices too. Another favorite brand for high quality grains is Flourist. We rotate through stocking their quinoa, millet, and farro.
BEANS & LEGUMES
Since purchasing a pressure cooker, I cook our beans from scratch on a weekly basis. We love chickpeas, black beans, all types of lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, and several others we rotate each week. When I can, I order from Flourist. Otherwise I’ll purchase a brand from our local natural foods store. If I buy canned, it’s always Eden Organic.
We especially love Tolerant Foods lentil based pastas. Organic, artisanal wheat pastas from specialty shops are nice to pick up when we find them. Sometimes we cook with brown rice or einkorn pasta, and we usually have a pack of buckwheat soba noodles on hand too.
Our favorite natural sweeteners we keep in stock are Shady Maple Farms pure maple syrup, Bee Seasonal honey (for drizzling and adding to sauces), Bee Keepers Naturals honey (for adding in larger amounts when called for in recipes), blackstrap molasses, Lundberg’s brown rice syrup, and coconut sugar from either Trader Joe’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Big Tree Farms, or Nutiva.
Cacao & Vanilla
I keep a jar of raw cacao powder for adding to raw treats and smoothies, a bag of dutch processed cocoa powder for chocolatey baked goods (in my secondary pantry below), a jar of cacao nibs for adding to healthy cookies or raw treats, ground vanilla bean and vanilla extract (latter is in the secondary pantry too) for various flavoring needs.
I keep two types of shredded coconut on hand, larger flakes and finer shreds. I also keep two types of coconut milk, one is the organic ‘simple’ version by Native Forest, free of all thickeners (this is the most common one I use, for adding to sauces, dahls, and desserts). Another is in my secondary pantry below, and it is their organic ‘classic’ coconut milk. This one contains some guar gum, and I find it works best in my homemade ice creams which I make on special occasions.
Old fashioned rolled oats and quick cooking oats are the two types we always have stocked. I have purchased many that I love from Bob’s Red Mill and One Degree Organic. However, in recent months we’ve stocked up on bulk bags from Edison Grainery, due to the fact they are certified glyphosate free and grown in Norway (I love Scandinavian oats). (Note: One Degree Organic are now certified glyphosate free, too.)
Three seaweeds I usually have on hand are kombu (for cooking with our beans), raw nori (for rolling veggie sushi), and dulse pieces or flakes (for occasionally adding to salads, or recipes I want to have taste more like the sea).
Broth & Tomato Sauce
I like to have a carton of organic, low sodium vegetable broth by Pacific Foods on hand. As well as a tall glass jar of strained tomatoes from Bionaturae, and their tomato paste too. I use these mostly in chilis, soups, stews, Mexican dishes, etc.
My favorite brand of spices is Simply Organic. One because they are organic and carry most spices, and two because they are stocked at the market down the street from us at a reasonable price. I also buy Spice Hunter and Spicely sometimes too. Our ‘must’ have spices are cumin, coriander cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, crushed red pepper, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, black mustard seeds, and black peppercorns.
A jar of barley grass juice powder is handy for adding to smoothies to get a boost of minerals, as an alternative to kale or spinach (or sometimes even with them!). My favorite brand is Pure Synergy.
The Secondary Pantry
Coffee & Tea
I drink far more coffee than tea, however my shelf would say otherwise. We enjoy many different organic coffees, currently we order a few different roasts at a time from Coava Coffee roasters in Portland. I also drink a cup of Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee almost every day. We buy Traditional Medicinals for bagged tea, their peppermint and green tea peppermint being my two favorites. I rotate between a few loose leaf blends from different brands that I find online or at farmers markets, as well.
We are huge fans of both Loving Earth dark chocolate bars, and Choco Love organic dark chocolate bars. Although not pictured here because I had yet to pick up a new bag, we also keep some dutch processed organic cocoa powder on hand for extra chocolatey bakes and treats.
I love Frontier Co-op’s organic vanilla extract, and their peppermint one too for at the holidays. I’m not quite sure why I have an almond extract, to be honest, it doesn’t get used much ;).
I almost always have a can of organic pumpkin puree in stock, even when it isn’t the holidays. I find it really useful at times for cakes, quick breads, waffles, and brownies as a replacement for oil. And of course, in all of the pumpkin things come fall time. I also keep a can or two of the organic classic coconut milk by Native Forest for the occasional batch of ice cream I will make. I find this one works really well.
This is another ingredient I like to keep on hand for replacing oil with in recipes sometimes. When I know I will be baking a lot, I’ll buy the big jar. But during seasons when I bake less, I keep the small individual sized cups on hand so that no apple sauce goes to waste. Usually the Santa Cruz or Eden brand of unsweetened, organic.
Baking Powder & Sodas
I keep more of the sweet spices over on this shelf, such as nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cardamom. All by Simply Organic.
I keep a jar of homemade oat four here, as well as a jar of buckwheat groats to use whole, or to grind into a flour. Our freshly milled flours, such as sifted spelt, whole spelt, hard white wheat, and hard red wheat, are all stored in the fridge for a longer shelf life. Organic almond flour is also in the fridge, which you will see in the ‘cold pantry’ below.
The Cold Pantry
Nuts & Seeds
The healthy fats found in nuts and seeds are sensitive to spoiling in warm temperatures, therefore, I keep mine in airtight containers in the fridge to preserve their nutrients and extend their shelf life. I store most of them in the fridge door above, but many more are on a shelf in the fridge too.
Here is a list of the ones I tend to keep in stock most often (all raw): cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds (whole, I grind small batches weekly), macadamia nuts, pepitas, and brazil nuts. I also store my organic almond flour in a jar here, to preserve its fats too.
Homemade Nut Butter
I make a large batch of homemade almond butter, using these almonds, once a month, and store in the fridge to keep. Occasionally I’ll order these peanuts and make homemade peanut butter, otherwise we purchase either the crunchy or creamy peanut butter by Once Again, CB’s Nuts, or Pic’s.
I make homemade jams with in season fruits, and keep one small jar in the fridge, with the rest in the freezer to pull down as we need.
The condiments we use most often are coconut aminos, tamari, dijon mustard, and tahini (I guess this should be up with the nuts/seeds!). Our favorite brands of tahini are Roots Organic for the hulled, creamy and luscious pale tahini. And Pepperwood Organic for their un-hulled, dark, and rich tahini. We also have our ferments in the fridge, not pictured above, that we use as condiments too. Such as homemade sauerkraut, fermented red onions, fizzy cauliflower, and homemade pickles.
Olives and miso are pictured here too, but we use these less often. There is also a jar of organic pickled jalapeño slices that are amazing for adding to homemade refried beans and enchilada sauces.