Thanks for checking out the third post in my series “CEBH…A Behind The Scenes Peek Inside My Kitchen”! Today I’m sharing a list of all the highlights and must-haves that I keep stocked in my pantry and spice cupboard. These are the items I try to have on hand pretty much all the time. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to make a recipe and finding you’re lacking one or more items to make said recipe! So over my many years of cooking and baking I’ve whittled and honed and fine-tuned my list of what constitutes a well stocked pantry and spice cupboard down to the items I stock today. And because I hope you can benefit from my years of whittling, honing, and fine-tuning, I’m really hoping these lists will be of value to you as well!
I’m going to start with the ingredients I keep in my pantry for baking. I don’t do a lot of baking anymore, but there are certain items I never want to be without if my granddaughter wants to spend a day with me learning to bake, or if I’m feeling like my husband needs a little sweet treat from the kitchen! He’s super supportive and 100% on board with the whole healthy lifestyle thing…but he’s also skinny as a rail and I know he misses my baking. So, every once in a while I like to whip up a little surprise for him..he’s a good guy and deserves something made especially for him!
- Vanilla Extract
- Flour ~ I typically try to keep both unbromated all purpose and whole wheat on hand.
- Yeast – try it in my Rustic Overnight Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Bread
- Almond Extract – I used this in my Mini Chocolate Almond Cherry Truffle Bites
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder
- Organic Cacao – because chocolate is life..try it in my Raw Chocolate Espresso Torte
These are next because they quite frequently are used in baking as well. Though honey is one of those things that I keep on he counter because of how frequently I use it! Dates and dark chocolate are also excellent for snacking when a sweet tooth needs to be satisfied!
- Good Quality Dark Chocolate
- Organic Unsweetened Coconut
- Raw Honey – local if possible
Oils & Vinegars:
- Organic Coconut Oil – both refined and unrefined. I use the refined for cooking and when I don’t want a coconut flavor. The unrefined is lovely in baked goods like muffins because it does impart a slight coconuty flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar – For marinades, dressings, and sauces like the reduction for Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Balsamic Reduction.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil ~ Regular for cooking and extra light tasting for mayonnaise, dressings, marinades, and hummus.
I love everything in this category and use items from it daily – sometimes many items and sometimes frequently throughout the day!
Nuts & Grains:
- Lentils – so tasty and so versatile! Try them in Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables!
- Rice – I have a preference for Basmati, but use what you like best!
- Pasta – always great to have on hand for a quick last minute dinner…and for daughters who are carbaholics! 😉
- Wheat Berries – Just plain delicious and fun to eat – they add flavor, texture, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals! Try them in this Apple Wheat Berry Salad!
- Oats – both old fashioned and steel cut.
- Quinoa – such a wonderful addition to a recipe as either a main ingredient or a co-star! Try it in Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms & Asparagus!
- Raw Cahsews – for Cashew Cream.
- Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Here are some of the nitty-gritty heavy hitters in my kitchen – the ingredients that called on over and over again!
Cans, Boxes, & Jars:
- Curry Paste – both green and red because yum – these are some of my favorite flavors! Try it in Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables!
- Organic Coconut Milk – perfect in savory dishes like the red curry lentils, but also so incredibly rich and creamy in dairy free desserts like Maple Walnut Ice Cream!
- Chipotles in Adobo – perfect in so many dishes to add heat and smoky richness, like in this Butternut Soup recipe!
- Garbanzo Beans – because homemade hummus rules!
- Black Beans – such great flavor and added protein which is especially important when eating a diet that is light in animal protein! Try them in Spicy Quinoa and Beans!
- Canned Tomatoes- Diced, whole, paste, sauce, seasoned, puréed, juiced…you name it – I have it! Tomatoes make everything better!
- Organic Chicken and Beef Stock – one of my most essential essentials! I use these in so many recipes, but I also use it cook rice and quinoa for a little added flavor!
Not a morning goes by that I don’t drink at least one cup of coffee, and rarely does an afternoon or evening pass without a cup of tea!
- K-cups ~ Because coffee is a necessity! I really love this Verena Street brand because it’s roasted and packaged locally! Try it in my Popsicle Affogato!
- Green Tea – like a warm embrace…I love this in the evening when all my work is done and I’m relaxing with a cup of hot tea and Netflix!
- Espresso – Some days I just need it…no excuses!
- Whole Bean Coffee – This is a special treat! I grind just what I’m going to use and brew it in a French Press – it tastes fabulous and I feel so continental when I drink it!
- Mint Tea – Also to be enjoyed in the afternoon and evening, plus I find the mint soothes my stomach if it’s a little upset!
These are the spices, dried herbs, and seasonings I turn to again and again to flavor and enhance my cooking and baking!
- Curry Powder – use it to season this Grilled Sweet Potato Salad!
- Rosemary – try it in this bread!
- Red Pepper Flake – Because if you know me, you know I like it hot! 😉 I use this in many of my main dish recipes as well as sprinkling it on pizza, pasta, and avocado toast!
- Cayenne Pepper – See above! 😉
- Ginger – I added it to my Roasted Beet Salad!
- Sage – One of the herbs in these Homemade Herbed Noodles!
- Black Pepper
- Salt – I keep many kinds…kosher, pink Himalayan, smoked, truffle – each has a special place in my heart!
- Cumin – How do I love thee? So much so that I’d be lost without it! I used it to season these sweet potato curls!
- Poppy Seeds – Such a fun addition to baked goods and dressings like this raspberry vinaigrette!
- Fresh Nutmeg
So there you have it…a long and if not exhaustive, then definitely exhausting list of what I keep stocked in my pantry and spice cupboard! Now you can say you really do know what goes on here behind closed doors ~ at least behind my pantry door!
And now it’s your turn – what do you keep in your pantry and spice cupboard? I’d really like to see what you keep that’s different from my list – or what I have included that you’d never dream of keeping! GO!!!!