Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare,
And so her poor dog had none.
Well, send that poor dog to my house. I’ve got soup bones aplenty in the freezer! No starving here! Our cupboard has changed significantly since we removed grains, milk, and processed foods, but with my pantry ingredients, I can whip up something pretty fast now for the kids.
A long time ago my sister told me to write up what was in my pantry. At first, when you start a “nutritional rehab” program, the pantry stock is always changing. You buy ghee, only to realize three of you don’t tolerate it. You stock up on coconut milk, only to realize it gives you a headache. The 12 jars of almond butter arrive in bulk, and you realize two in your family have gastrointestinal symptoms from it. So over the past year, it was maddening to buy too much in bulk, even though it’s much cheaper! Don’t pitch things, though! Over the course of the year, we were able to add most things back in.
The list below is what we keep on hand. My kids and husband can eat most of these things, but I can’t. Not everything I list is SCD or GAPS compliant, but it usually is. We started out very strict and have been able to branch out with time (except me). If I list a specific product, you can click on it to see a photo about it or read a description of it, usually from the Amazon page. Amazon is not always the best place to buy it, however, so shop around. Also, sometimes, the link is to a big bulk order, so if you do decide to order it, watch out for that!
Natural Value full fat coconut milk: No BPA to mess with my estrogen receptors and no guar gum to upset my stomach. Because there is no guar gum to bind the coconut milk together, the milk is not homogeneous. If you need smooth milk, a mild heating will provide you the uniform consistency you want. For baking, I just give it a quick stir and use it as is. I keep a can in the refrigerator and add a scoop to warm berries and cinnamon for an easy sweet snack.
Let’s Do…Organic Shredded Coconut, unsweetened: Texture is a small, fine, dry flake. I add it to trail mixes, use it in smoothies, add it to granola, and use it in desserts.
Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Nutiva is probably my favorite coconut oil. I’ve used a few others, also. Wilderness Family Naturals has a lot of coconut products, and I bought a big coconut oil bucket from them. It was good, too, but Nutiva is my favorite. I really wish it came in a glass jar.
Artisana Organic Coconut Butter: Artisana has such a smooth coconut butter! Much smoother than the Nutiva brand, which seems almost gritty.
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour: I use this for pancakes, muffins, and cakes.
Coconut aminos: I use these in place of soy sauce.
Sometimes I also keep coconut cream and larger flaked coconut around, but they are not “must stocks.”
Roasted, salted almonds: I buy these at our local markets or buy in bulk on-line.
Sliced almonds: I buy these at the local supermarket, too–the thin kind you find in the baking section. I keep them on hand because the Paleo Parents has the BEST recipe that calls for them.
Occasionally, we rotate through pistachios, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts. I stick to individual nuts and not the mixed nuts. The mixed nuts and pre-made trail mixes usually have extra starches added to keep them smooth, silky, and unclumped.
Almond Butter, unsalted, unsweetened: We’ve tried a lot of different brands and have yet to settle on a favorite.
Honeyville almond flour: I buy the huge box because we bake a lot. (The link is for the smaller bag.) Personally, even though I love them, I don’t tolerate nut products well, but having almond flour on hand is a must if you have kids or entertain. The coffee cakes and cupcakes I make with almond flour disappear quickly at potlucks and ladies’ coffees. My kids “fit in” because I can still make chocolate cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies. An absolute necessity to keep them on our nutrition change.
We also occasionally keep tahini, sunflower butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter on hand. Peanut butter and cashew butter gave us all problems initially on GAPS/SCD, but the kids really seem to have developed tolerance to them now (cross my fingers).
Natural Value wild caught albacore tuna in spring water, sea salt added, BPA free: I could not find a link for this. I must have ordered it from Azure Standard. We use other canned tuna, too, always searching for wild caught, BPA-free, and either in water or olive oil.
Wild Alaskan Salmon, with bones and skin
Sardines in olive oil, preferably with skin and bones
Farmer’s Market organic pumpkin, BPA free: I use this for soups, muffins, breads, and pancakes.
Cut green beans: Various brands or home-canned. Canned is not as nutrient-dense as fresh or frozen, but for expediency and eating, the canned variety can’t be beat.
Canned tomatoes, home-canned and Eden’s organic, crushed tomatoes in glass jars: The Eden crushed tomatoes are not really at all like crushed tomatoes; they are more like plain tomato sauce, so they whip up a fast spaghetti sauce! I buy them through a company called Azure Standard, which is an organic food delivery system. I mix the Eden’s tomatoes into meatloaf, chili, and taco sauce.
Applesauce: We make this every fall and can it.
Condiments and Sides
Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic vinegar, aged 18 years: I’ve linked to Amazon so you can read about it, but the Amazon order is for 12 bottles. You may want to look around to get one bottle to see if you like it. Balsamic vinegar must be pure to be “legal” on GAPS/SCD. Even still, it’s sweetness makes you wonder. No matter. This balsamic vinegar is the best I’ve had by far. because of its age, it’s already thick, and I don’t have to reduce it for sauces and dressings. We apply it to salads, vegetables, and meats. I could drink it from the bottle if I knew it was “good” for me.
Organic ketchup: I cheat here with the kids because their issues are/were not so significant as mine, and the ketchups I buy have sugar in them. I do use organic, however, because apparently tomatoes are guilty of high chemical levels.
Mayonnaise: On a good week (and in the beginning of our nutritional rehabilitation), I make my own, but in a pinch I cheat and use a canola based product made with honey. It is by Spectrum.
Red wine vinegar
Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
Crofter’s organic strawberry fruit spread: This contains both pectin and grape juice concentrate, illegals on SCD/GAPS.
Coconut aminos: See above.
Red Boat fish sauce: I use this in curries.
Olive oil: I have been experimenting with all kinds of different brands of extra-virgin, first cold-pressed olive oil. I really, really like Trader Joes’ California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but I only get it when a friend brings me a bottle back from “The Cities.” I like to get the olive oil in glass. I’ve been using olive oil to bake lately rather than coconut oil. Addendum: While just shopping online, I found Trader Joe’s Olive Oil. A bit expensive but great for a special salad dressing.
Coconut oil: See above
Palm shortening: Its utility is for birthday cake icing.
Loriva toasted sesame cold pressed oil: A nice twist for stir-fries and curries.
Purity Farms Ghee: When we started our dietary change a year ago, most in our family had reactions to ghee. Technically, you’re not “supposed” to react to ghee because the proteins have been removed. Let me tell you, we still reacted to ghee. A year later, my daughter can have ghee (and other dairy) with no ill effects. So maybe this change is doing something. Time and diligence will tell.
Bubbie’s pickles: I slice these thin for hamburgers and slice into spears for the kids. Sometimes I chop them up and sprinkle them over things, like sloppy Joe sauce.
Sauerkraut: I make my own, and I buy Bubbie’s, too.
Sunja’s medium spicy kimchi: It’s a bit spicy, but my kids will eat a small bit of it. My local organic store carries it.
Herbs, spices, flavorings (and baking soda)
Baking soda: Arm and Hammer is easy to obtain, and the label looks “pure” and “clean.”
Celtic sea salt: I always try to get the fine ground, and I keep in mind there is NO iodine in it. We snack on some seaweed now that we’re about a year into our endeavors for iodine. GAPS/SCD don’t incorporate seaweed in the early phases of the diet.
Cocoa powder: My favorite comes from Penzey Spices. I buy both the dark and the Dutch. The Dutch chocolate makes good coconut milk hot cocoa.
Italian Seasoning: This is great on fish, and I use Morton and Bassett’s brand because I like it so much.
Vanilla: Here I’ve been tricked! Even high-quality vanillas may add sugar! If you’re ordering on-line, you can’t always see the label. For example, Penzey’s spices are super-fresh and reliable, but their vanilla has sugar added! I use only vanilla that has alcohol, vanilla bean, and water. Supposedly all of the proteins have been left behind in the distillation process, so I don’t fret about the original grain being a “gluten container.” I’m still experimenting with vanillas to find my favorite.
My spice cupboard overflows beyond what is listed, but these are the staples that take care of me day in and day out. Penzeys Spices taste incredible to me, and I think their prices are reasonable. They list all the ingredients in their products, I just missed the fact their vanilla had sugar in it!
We also use Montreal Steak Seasoning on grilled chicken and steak, and Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic on pan-fried fish, but because they list “spices” as an ingredient, I think these should be used with caution. Again, I didn’t use these until our symptoms had resolved, and I added them back in and watched. They made the cut for my family (and me!).
Local raw honey: I like to use this in teas for its known positive qualities (antibacterial, local pollen immune boosters). Some recipes I use (like frostings) do better with the stiffer, raw honey. Also, it’s helpful to use as “glue” when making cute snacks for the kids. Sometimes I’ll use it in baking, and it always seems to do fine. It’s just not as easy to get out of the container as the pourable honey.
Local “liquid” honey: Easy to pour for baking.
Maple syrup: My dad makes and sells maple syrup on a small, local basis, so we break SCD/GAPS law here and use it. I appreciate the fact that it has quite a few minerals packed into a little punch for the kids. Does that offset the sugar nemesis? I don’t know. Sugar is sugar is sugar. I won’t eat it much at all until I’m either functioning like I want or have given this SCD/GAPS/Paleo autoimmune (whatever you want to call it) thing a 100% go and it fails. I think having maple syrup on their pancakes is one of the tricks that helped keep the kids on board with this diet intervention.
Agave: I have on hand for baking, but we almost always use honey for baking.
Liquid Stevia drops: Too many Stevia drops, and my family won’t eat it. It gets a funny taste. We don’t use Stevia much, but it’s helpful for a smoothie that isn’t just quite “there” or a barbecue sauce that needs just a touch of sweetness, but I think I’ve already added too much honey. For us, it’s a “sweetener booster” for recipes where the baseline level of sweetness just doesn’t “make it.” I don’t think it’s GAPS/SCD legal, either.
Dried currants: Great to have on hand for making cute snacks (think, eyes) and also better tolerated by kids in cakes, muffins, and cookies.
Dried bananas: We like to make our own in the dehydrator.
Good Life chocolate chips: These have sugar added, so they’re a real treat for us.
SeaSnax seaweed in olive oil: Not SCD compliant, and only GAPS compliant after the introduction.
Coco-roons: They have different flavors. Clean ingredients, and I don’t have to make them.
If you made it reading this far, maybe you’d take the time to let me know YOUR favorite product! Mine would probably have to be that balsamic vinegar I mentioned!