When stocking a primal pantry there are other ingredients that are helpful to have on hand for most cooking endeavors. As your palate evolves through your own personal primal journey, you will find certain ingredients that you prefer to keep on hand, but for now we will supply you with some of our favorites for you to use as a base.
Coconut aminos are a fantastic alternative to soy sauce. We will often use coconut aminos to season meat or fish, as well as to add to dressings and marinades. Coconut aminos come from the sap of the coconut tree, have a slightly sweeter flavor than soy sauce, and are also less salty. Coconut aminos are available at most health food stores, as well as online.
Fish sauce is another great way to add big flavor to dishes. Be cautious when purchasing fish sauce, being that many contain sugar or other undesirable ingredients. Be sure to read labels. Your best bet is an extra virgin fish sauce that only contains fish and salt.
Spicy mustard, or Dijon style mustard is an ingredient that you will find in several of our recipes. This is one that we use for dressings, marinades, or steak rubs. When purchasing Dijon style mustard, always read the ingredients. Many contain sugar or wine. When purchasing brown mustard, look for a brand that contains these ingredients: mustard seed, apple cider vinegar, spices, and salt.
Coconut milk is one ingredient that you will want to have on hand. You can use coconut milk as cream in coffee or tea, to add to sauces, curries, soups, and marinades, as well as in home made smoothies. You will even find coconut milk as the base for all of our ice cream recipes in this book, as well as primal pudding. Coconut milk is available at most grocery stores, but can very easily be made at home.
Almond milk is another staple item that we like to have on hand when possible. Similar to coconut milk, we prefer to make our almond milk from scratch, but you can also purchase almond milk at your local grocery or health food store. It is best to opt for unsweetened, plain almond milk, since this will result in no added sugars or undesirable ingredients. Almond milk is fantastic over grain free granola, can also be added to soups, smoothies, homemade ice creams, as well as creamer for coffee or tea.
When eliminating processed foods from your diet, you will also naturally be eliminating a lot of sodium from your diet. We use salt sparingly, and only during cooking, it is very rare for us to add salt to a dish after it has been cooked. When choosing to add salt to dishes, it is best to opt for an unrefined natural sea salt. This will offer fantastic flavor to your dishes, without any chemical processing.
Broths and stocks are very simple to make on you own. Making homemade bone broths are a great way to bring minerals and nutrients into your diet. Nothing quite says comfort like a hot cup of homemade stock. The use of store bought stocks is found in this book as well. For those recipes we use Imagine Organics brand. This brand carries low sodium stocks without sugar, and very few ingredients. Any recipe in this book that calls for stock can be replaced with a home made bone broth.
These are great to have on hand to add to trail mix, or simply as a snack on their own. You will find shredded coconut in a few of our grain free baked recipes, but dehydrated coconut is fantastic with savory dishes as well.
When creating grain free baked goods, coconut flour is our top choice for making cakes, muffins, and cup cakes. Coconut flour is a very dense flour, so you will use a very small amount of flour in recipes along with more eggs. This will result in a fluffy “cake” like dessert. You can also use coconut flour as a binder in crab cakes, or meat balls, as well as a breading for shrimp, or chicken. Coconut flour is also a great way to thicken sauces or gravies. A little goes a long way with this product.
Vinegars are often found in dressings, and marinades. In this book you will see the use of Balsamic, White Balsamic, Raspberry Balsamic, as well as Apple Cider Vinegar. Most dressings that call for vinegar can easily be replaced with the fresh juice of a lemon or lime. Apple Cider Vinegar unfiltered and raw is your best choice for using vinegar, however the smell and flavor is very strong. We do not use vinegars often, but they are fine in moderation for flavor purposes.
We don’t use thickening agents to often in recipes, but when we do we choose Guar Gum, Gelatin, or Coconut Flour. You will see the use of Gelatin in some of our pies and puddings. When choosing a Gelatin, always opt for unflavored. Guar Gum can be found at most health food stores, and can be slightly tricky to use. When using Guar Gum, you want to start out with a very small amount and slowly blend it into the food. Using too much too fast, will cause it to clump and prevent it from evenly distributing throughout. Coconut flour easily thickens sauces, but again less is more. A little goes a long way with coconut flour.