I always love reading about food products that other cooks use and recommend. It’s a great way to discover new-to-me items. Today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite pantry staples that I currently buy. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new fave of your own!
Frozen Fruit and Veggies
When organic veggies go on sale, I stock my freezer full of all kinds of them. I buy whichever brand is on sale at the time. Having a freezer full of these items means that I always have a side dish to serve with our meals. I do buy fresh spinach and kale, but I also like having the frozen kind on hand all the time. Frozen spinach is great to have on hand for putting in soups, meatloaf, frittatas or omelets. Just make sure you defrost and drain if using in those last three items.
Pre-diced frozen sweet potatoes are great for making mashed sweet poatoes. Just steam, then mash. Add a little butter, chipotle chili powder, garlic powder and sea salt and you have a very tasty side dish!
The Earthbound Farms organic veggies are a fave because the bags are resealable.
I also buy whichever frozen, organic fruit has a good price that day. These are great for making smoothies or as a healthy snack and dessert.
100% grass-fed beef has an optimal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega 3’s. It is also higher in CLA’s (conjugated linoleic acid), a fatty acid shown in animal studies to protect against cancer.
When these go on sale, I will buy 4 packages, which is enough for a month of meals for us because I usually only cook red meat about once a week.
I have also purchased the grass-fed beef from Sprout’s when it is on sale or I can’t get to a store that sells the Organic Prairie brand.
I was buying the Organic Prairie brand, but we don’t really care for the texture of the ground turkey and chicken. I am currently on the lookout for an affordable brand of pasture-raised chicken, but have been buying the Sprouts brand of all-natural most recently.
Cooking Oils and Butter
Not every olive oil that labels itself extra virgin actually is. This particular brand was tested by the California Olive Oil Council and was certified as being legit. This is what they call an everyday olive oil, but they have others as well.
Trader Joe’s Virgin Coconut Oil
This coconut oil sells for $5.99 at TJ’s, which is the best price I’ve seen so far.
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which supports the body’s immune system.
Grass-Fed butter has higher levels of CLA (a good fat that may be a potent cancer fighter), Vitamin A and K2, and a balanced ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3.
I typically melt a little butter over some steamed veggies to season them. You need a little fat to help the body absorb the nutrients of the vegetables.
Pastured or Pasture-Raised Eggs
There are a variety of “pasture-raised” eggs on the market, and I chose these not only for that reason, but also because their diet is supplemented with feed that contains no soy. Supposedly, the effects of the soy usually diminish during egg production, but I just feel better about avoiding it whenever possible.
These eggs do cost quite a bit more than conventional eggs, but it’s a splurge that I am willing to make when our budget allows. There is one other brand of pasture-raised eggs that I like and will buy when I can’t get the soy-free ones because of budget or availability.
Muir Glen’s tomatoes are canned in BPA free cans. I love using their Fire-Roasted crushed tomatoes to make pasta sauce.
Bionaturae Tomatoes come in glass bottles and BPA free cans. I also love using their tomato paste, which comes in a jar, so you don’t have to transfer it to another container if you don’t need it all at once.
I like both brands of these sardines, but the Bela smoked ones are my favorite. I like to top them with a little Tabasco Chipotle sauce. Delish!
The brand of salmon that I buy varies, but I make sure that it is always Pacific.
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