Stocking a gluten-free, grain-free, paleo pantry can be a little intimidating at first. It seems EVERYTHING in the grocery store has gluten, sugar or other processed food chemicals. It is absolutely critical to read labels. I start with the assumption that any packaged food is guilty until proven innocent. I don’t eat it until I read the label and make sure I can tolerate everything that’s in it.
That having been said, there are some great gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly foods that I always have in the pantry or the freezer. I also keep a good supply of fresh vegetables and fruits, depending on what’s in season. I do try to buy organic produce, at least for the dirty dozen. I eat so much of those I prefer to pay a little more to get them without pesticides.
Start by Cleaning Out
The first thing you’re going to need to do is make room for all your new healthy, paleo food ingredients. Start by cleaning out your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Read the label on every package in your kitchen. Anything with gluten, grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar or other processed food chemicals goes. If all of the ingredients are gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly real foods it stays. Here’s a link to how to read labels to avoid milk, soy, peanuts and wheat. And here’s a link to how to avoid refined sugars.
Don’t forget any traditional baking ingredients you may have. Flours, sugars, even baking powder. Many baking powders have starch made from grains added to prevent clumping. I usually stick to baking soda and acid (vinegar or lemon juice) for baking.
Stock Your Paleo Kitchen
Wondering what to stock? Here is a list of some of the most used items I keep in my paleo kitchen. These are the things I reach for everyday — some basics, as well as some more specialized tools and ingredients that are useful in gluten-free, grain-free, paleo cooking. Now that you have your paleo kitchen stocked, check out these easy paleo recipes.
Paleo Kitchen Tools
Digital scale — use for measuring almond flour
Glass jars and pitchers
Heatproof silicone spatula
High-speed blender — Blendtec or Vitamix
Microplane zester — use for citrus, garlic and ginger
Muffin liners – I like If You Care Baking Cups, muffins don’t stick to them.
Scoops — 1 tablespoon and 4 tablespoon
Spiral vegetable slicer — use to make zucchini pasta
Almond flour — I use Wellbee’s Super Fine Blanched Almond Flour or JK Gourmet Almond Flour
Apple cider vinegar
Chicken and vegetable broths — homemade is better, but this is great for emergencies
Coconut aminos (soy-free seasoning sauce)
Coconut milk (with no added guar gum)
Dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice
Egg white protein powder — use for smoothies and power shakes
Flavored olive oils — great for adding flavor to quick recipes. I usually have garlic infused olive oil and white truffle oil on hand.
Herbs & spices — avoid pre-mixed spice blends, most contain starch
Honey, local raw
Larabars — the ingredients are just nuts and fruit
Macadamia nut oil
Tuna, canned or packaged
Wild caught salmon, canned or packaged
Bananas — peel and freeze when they are very ripe
Homemade baked goods
Homemade soups — freeze in single servings
Shrimp — raw, peeled and deveined
Fresh baby spinach
Homemade cashew milk
Seasonal fresh vegetables