I’m back with part two of the kitchen basics and where to start if you’re looking to get healthy. So many of these things are no-brainer items to me, but then again I’ve been at this for a little bit so I wanted to share anyway the things that we find essential in our kitchen here at Tried and Tasty. If you missed part one, check out my Get Healthy in 2014: Kitchen Basics Part I. There’s lots of great information in that post, you don’t want to miss it! We are Costco regulars, so everything we buy is either giant or doubled. It’s amazing how quickly we go through everything with just the two of us. We definitely get our monies worth out of our membership that’s for sure. Well, let’s get to the good stuff.
100% Whole Grain Quinoa // Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds
If you’ve been around here for a bit you probably already know that we LOVE quinoa. Well. I’m a new quinoa lover, the hubs has loved it for quite some time. I jumped on the bandwagon partway through last year. I’m so glad I did – the stuff has got great nutritional value! Never heard of quinoa? Not sure how to cook it? I’ve got the post just for you. How To Cook Quinoa: Step-By-Step has everything you need to know. Check it out! Once you’ve cooked it.. not sure what to do next? Try my Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers or Quinoa Breakfast Bake. Both are excellent!
We’ve recently started buying hemp seeds. Apparently their nutritional value is through the roof because my husband is eating them like they are going out of style. They are a little pricey, but for all of the benefits they offer we figure the cost is worth it to us. I haven’t done too much with them just yet, but I plan to incorporate them as often as I can in future recipes. Today in fact I sprinkled a couple of teaspoons or so of them on my salad. They have a nutty flavor. On their own they aren’t too grand but mixed in with other flavorful things you’re good to go. So what’s so great about them? They are high in protein and low in carbs and have lots of magnesium, iron and zinc.
Organic Natural Peanut Butter
Oh peanut butter. How I love thee so. We’ve been through many, many brands and types of peanut butter. At first it was Adam’s, which is great.. but extremely hard to stir and since it’s kept in the refrigerator it was always nearly impossible to spread. We stuck with it for quite some time and then just had to let it go. Plus it’s really expensive. Most recently we loved the peanut butter station at our health food store. You know the machine that has the raw unsalted peanuts and with the push of a button you’ve got fresh peanut butter at your finger tips. We really liked that a lot and felt like the price was reasonable. Stuck with that for a while. But then. Then Costco started selling organic peanut butter in their own brand. Sold. It’s creamy, it’s stir-able, and there are only two ingredients: dry roasted organic peanuts and sea salt. You’ve got to be careful with your typical Skippy & Jiffy. Those have lots of yucky ingredients. If you’ve got a jar in your pantry or fridge you should take a look at the ingredient label. There shouldn’t be anything you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce in your peanut butter.
SWEET POTATOES!!! These have become a definite staple for us. Costco started selling these in bulk and we couldn’t have been more excited. Although there doesn’t seem to be as much nutritional differences between white and sweet potatoes, I guess it just comes down to personal preference. We do like that sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber along with a handful of other vitamins in lesser amounts too. My favorite recipe from 2013 using sweet potatoes hands down was my creation of Healthy Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie. So YUMMY! A couple of other sweet potato favorites include Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas and also this Simple Sweet Potato Soup.
Coconut Oil // Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s no secret that I love coconut oil. Absolutely love it. From the kitchen all the way to the bathroom. I know. The bathroom? I actually use a shampoo from Lush and the main ingredient is coconut oil AND shredded coconut. LOVE it. I use it for moisturizer for my skin instead of lotion. I also use it in my homemade lip balm. In the kitchen, goodness. I use it for everything. I almost always use it in place of any other oil… except olive oil, I still use that quite a bit too. Anytime a recipe calls for vegetable oil I will use coconut oil instead. I use it in place of butter on toast, waffles, or pancakes. I’ve most recently used it in these recipes: Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies, Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Applesauce Muffins, and Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.
Olive oil is much better for you than vegetable oil or canola oil. It’s loaded with healthy fat (bonus!), anti-inflamatory, and it’s heart healthy. Between coconut oil and olive oil we rarely use any other type of oil.
Lemons // Limes
I can’t even begin to tell you how many lemons and limes we go through a month. We aren’t soda drinkers, or milk drinkers, or really anything other than water drinkers. I take that back. We do juice as often as we can fresh greens and carrots, beets, and cabbage and stuff. But other than that and water, we really don’t drink anything else. Water sometimes is hard to get down. So we make a lemonade out of fresh squeezed lemons and limes (recipe coming soon). Back when we completed our 30-day juice fast we also did a 30-day cleanse as well. One of the things we were supposed to drink was a detox lemonade. We actually fell in love with it and have been drinking it almost every single day since. It’s been an excellent way to help get my daily water goal in.
You’ll notice a lot of these items are organic. We try to buy organic a much as possible. Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive.. but not necessarily. Check out this great article on How To Eat Organic On A Budget. Lots of great tips to help you eat great food without breaking the bank. We feel that organic foods are more nutrient dense than their conventionally grown counter-parts. We also avoid as many pesticides as possible. We also try to follow the “Dirty Dozen and Clean 15” as much as possible.
If you aren’t following me on Pinterest you should be! Here are a few of the boards that I pin to:
Healthy Ways To Start Your Day
Healthy Smoothies, Juices, & Drinkables
Healthy Dressings, Condiments, and DIY
Healthy Starters & Sides
Healthy Salads & Sands
Healthy Main Courses
Healthy No/Low Sugar Desserts
Knowledge Is Power
All Natural DIY Products