The Wholefood Basics You Need To Rock Your Kitchen Pantry - Chef Cynthia Louise
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Pantry Essentials For A WholeFoods Way Of Living And Eating

How much of a genius you are in the kitchen depends on what’s going on in your kitchen pantry. If it’s full of rubbish then you’ll end up creating rubbish. But it you’ve got all your basics there, then you’re never caught out and can whip up tasty delicious meals anytime.

Remember I will not have you running to a health food store on the other side of town to get these things. They are all basics you can get from supermarket or farmers market.

Some of these things are not cheap. But your food is your health insurance. What’s more important than that. So next time you’re weighing up the cost of getting something a bit more high quality, just think about it. How much are you spending on a flat screen TV, versus your health? As you change your cooking, you’ll change your life.

Food is such a glorious gift and quality food is worth every penny. Check this out for inspiration. It’s a Facebook Live video from my trip to Melbourne where I found a great organic supermarket called Terra Madre in Northcote #truestory

Now here’s how to get started with the essentials.

3 Oils You Need For Your Kitchen Pantry

Coconut and olive are my beautiful, basic oils for everything. Cold-pressed olive oil is best, especially for low heat cooking or uncooked dressings and sauces. Coconut oil is great as you can cook at high temperatures without damaging it and I love the flavour too.

I LOVE Asian food, so an essential for my Asian delights, is 100% sesame seed, either cold-pressed or a toasted variety to enhance the flavour.

You can buy oils in bigger bulk containers to save money. Keep somewhere dark in the home and away from the light and use a funnel to fill smaller bottles with oil to keep on your kitchen bench and dining table.

Spice Up Your Life Baby

My essential spices are coriander, fennel and fenugreek. You can also add things like turmeric and curry powder. Just make sure these are all good-quality, organic seasonings. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on cheap powders that can taste like sawdust.

Natural Sweeteners To Nourish You And Your Taste Buds

Maple syrup and honey are my two staple sweeteners. I love these! For honey go for raw. Try and get it from a farmers market if you can, or find out who keeps bees in your local area and buy the honey from them. Chocolates are also one of the best options, here is the complete guide on how to make chocolate at home.

Salt And Pepper – The Building Blocks Of Flavour

Salt is the main building block of flavour in any dish. I use Pink Himalayan and Black Himalayan salts, Celtic sea salt, and beautiful Bali salt (since I’m living here on the amazing island of Bali). Whole peppercorns, for sure, and these are easily ground by popping them in the Vitamix, or I use a mortar and pestle. I don’t buy already-ground pepper because it’s not as strong. Whole spices are a definite must, the magic that is released when you grind them needs to be kept close to the food.

Dry Goods Buy In Bulk And Save

In my kitchen, I have all kinds of nuts and seeds, good-quality seaweed, and rice. Some amazing seaweed comes out of Tasmania in Australia. And I love all varieties of rice. Make sure you aren’t storing them in plastic though, glass is the way to go. I use old jars to store these in and have them easy to reach in my kitchen. I feel like if everything is hidden away in cupboards you never use it! All my ingredients are on ‘display’. Again buying in bulk really helps to save money. You can chip in with friends to cover the costs if you’re on a tight budget.

The 2 Bottled Goods I Use For Extra Flavour

I don’t buy any pre-made bottled products like tomato paste or sauce—I make all those fresh. But there are some things I buy bottled. Nama Shoyu is a strong, fermented soy sauce that I use all the time. Tamari soy sauce is awesome, and Nama Shoyu takes the flavour one step further. It’s just beautiful.

Apple cider vinegar is my other core, bottled product. It’s great for dressings, hot drinks or as a digestive aid. Love it. Go for one with the ‘mother’ if possible. That means it will look a bit murky in the bottom of the bottle.

So these are all my kitchen pantry “essentials” for making whole food dishes. Start having fun with your shopping. See it as a real investment in your health and vitality. Once you start eating wholefoods your body will seek out different things at the supermarket, what you value changes, what you spend on your money changes. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you have any questions you can comment over on my Chef Cynthia Louise Facebook page and search for any other threads about buying wholefood kitchen pantry essentials.

Chef Cynthia Louise xx

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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.