It’s back! Food Crush Friday. I feel like the girl who keeps trying to make “fetch” happen. I’m so uncool it hurts sometimes.
I’m excited about this series, even if no one else is, and since I’m obviously my most loyal reader I’ll take it as a positive.
I also have an exciting new announcement! I am officially a brand ambassador for Thrive Market! If you don’t know what that is or why it’s awesome, I have a post where you can read all about it here
I won’t lie, I’m a little bit nervous to start doing ambassadorships. I just don’t want anyone to feel like I am trying to sell them anything cause UGH do I hate that! I’m also still kind of afraid that no one cares what I have to say, and I’ll just be talking into a big ole echo chamber. So it’s a weird mix of, “Am I being annoying or coming across as in-genuine?” and also, “Oh god, no one cares and no one is reading this”. Ultimately, I hope I fall somewhere in between.
I’ve been using and talking about Thrive for a long time because they are a company whose values align so much with my own and I LOVE what they are doing in trying to make healthy food accessible and affordable for everyone. This is a cause that has always been close to my heart and one of my goals this year is to do more in that arena.
Thrive donates a membership to a family in need for every paid membership, which is AMAZING. That alone is enough for me to want to tell everyone about it to be honest. I can’t stress how important this cause is to me.
But I won’t go on all day about it. On to FOOD CRUSH FRIDAY; March Edition!
This week I’m going to show you some of my favorite pantry staples, and, as a convenient bonus– almost all of them are available on Thrive for less money than I would buy them for at Whole Foods.
These are things that I ALWAYS have on hand, use every single week, if not every day, and honestly wouldn’t know how to cook without.
Anyone who knows me was probably expecting that one. I use it for everything. In fact, it is not only a pantry staple, it’s also a medicine cabinet staple. I never have any less than two jars in the house; one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom.
I always roll my eyes a little when people tell me that coconut oil is high in saturated fat as though it’s supposed to alarm me. Saturated fat isn’t bad for you! The important thing is to balance your saturated fats with your monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. As long as you are eating a diversity of foods, you should fear no fat! Plus, coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides which has been shown to boost energy and burn fat.
But I usually just let out a small sigh and remember that we still aren’t past the dreaded low-fat trends of the past and continue eating my avocados and coconuts.
I usually rotate between cooking with coconut oil, avocado oil, and ghee so I don’t ever overdo it with any one kind of fat, but it also just depends on what I am cooking. My favorite things to cook in coconut oil are; eggs, salmon, roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, and I’ve even been known to blend it into my coffee (though I’ll usually go for the more concentrated MCT oil). I don’t bake very often, but when I do, coconut oil tends to make a hearty appearance in all my baked goods.
Tomato ALL The Things
Tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce… Never go without these things. If you go without these things, you’re gonna have a bad time. These are the ONLY canned vegetables I keep around. Everything else is fresh or nothing. I can usually throw a meal together in a pinch with some ground meat, tomato paste, and a vegetable. Meat sauce on top of some kind of squash is typically my meal when I don’t know what to eat and nothing sounds good. Soup is also a good quick meal, and I tend to want to add diced tomatoes to soups because pretty much every soup I make is just a different version of chili. I never seem to stray from it. Worse things have happened.
Again with the coconuts? Yes! Again with the coconuts! I haven’t gotten fat or developed heart disease yet but thank you so much for your concern (PS: no one is actually concerned about your health when they say things like that, they’re just being fat-phobic– but that’s for another post)
Not just coconut milk, but FULL FAT coconut milk because I literally don’t know what anyone would do with the light version. I add it to soups and curries, use it in smoothies, AND there is a cool trick you can do with it. If you refrigerate the can for a few hours, the water will separate from the cream. You can use the water in smoothies or just to drink because it’s refreshing, and use the cream to make a coconut whipped cream! I put it on berries and it’s heaven. Just throw it in a blender with a bit of vanilla till it’s fluffy and you’ve just made magic happen!
Apple. Cider. Vinegar. The calling card of all crunchy people. I like to start my mornings with a glass of water with a little splash of ACV and a squeeze of lemon. It helps alkalize the body, wakes up digestion, and I think the scientific term for it is, “helps your body get rid of junk it doesn’t need”
I use it just as much in household uses as I do for food purposes though. Diluted, it makes a great toner, I mix it with clay masks, and use it to clean with. But since we are talking about kitchen stuff right now, it’s essential in sauces, dressings, and marinades. And it’s good for your gut health. You know how I feel about gut health.
Every kind of nut. Okay not every kind… I’m not too fond of almonds, or rather they aren’t fond of me. I almost always have the following; cashews, walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. Also pumpkin seeds which I know aren’t a nut but for these purposes they’re gonna get wrangled into the same category. For a while I had to be really conscious to not go overboard on the nuts because they’re not the easiest things to digest, but for how little they are, they really pack a nutritious punch. I also like to keep some kind of snack balls or bars around and nuts tend to form the majority of ingredients. Also: homemade nut milk. Need I say more?
Chocolate is good for you. I know a lot of times you’ll hear about a study that says “x ingredient has been found to lower blood pressure and red wine contains .025% of x ingredient therefore everyone drink red wine” spoiler alert, you should pay closer attention to the studies themselves and not just the way their being spun to sell you something unhealthy. So don’t reach for the hershey’s just yet. Raw cacao is super high in magnesium– but most store brand chocolates are more sugar and dairy than they are cacao, and usually the cacao has been processed to the point where it looses its nutritional benefits. I don’t mess with any chocolate lower than 70% dark. I usually tend to not mess with anything with soy lecithin in it also.
My favorite brand is Eating Evolved (sold on Thrive) because they don’t use any additives. Just chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar. And their coconut butter cups are out of this world! Other brands I like are; Theo, Hu, and Raaka.
In addition to having bars of chocolate around at all times, I also always have cacao powder and raw cacao nibs. Both bags last me forever since a little goes a long way. Love a good cafe mocha? Blend a teaspoon of raw cacao into your bulletproof coffee. Wanna know how to make bulletproof coffee? Check out this post.
There are a lot more things that I could probably consider “staples” in my kitchen… but these are the essentials. Everything else is frills. Superfood boosters… chia seeds… smoothie toppings… they’re all EXTRA (hi, that’s me)
But if you asked me the bare minimum for things I absolutely could not cook or generally function without, there you have it!
What are you guys thinking of the Food Crush Friday series? Loving it? Hating it? Suggestions for future posts? Speak your mind friends! I thrive on your feedback!