Stocking your Paleo Pantry
Eating in a paleo-style isn’t tricky if you’re stocked with the right ingredients. If you’ve always wondered which grain-free flour works best or which chocolate chips are allergen-free – this will help. If you’re brand new to paleo-ish cooking, take a look at this handy printable list of 9 Quick Paleo Pantry Swaps
If you’re Canadian (hello! fellow Canuck, here!) check out the mega-resource list of Canadian available paleo and whole30 compliant foods HERE!
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Almond flour is the workhorse of the paleo-ish food kitchen. Almond flour is finely milled skinless, blanched almonds. It shouldn’t be confused with Almond Meal which is coarser and often contains the skin. I like the JK Gourmet brand and Honeyville (http://amzn.to/2oOIySE) of almond flour because it uses blanched almonds and is super finely milled. Best uses: cookies, cakes, breadcrumb substitute.
Coconut flour is a very popular low-carb, high fiber and grain-free flour. Coconut flour has a distinct coconutty flavour and is very absorbent. It isn’t easily adapted into baking recipes without some trial and error which makes it a less favourable choice in the FPTP kitchen. Best uses: breading for meat/fish, baking if blended with other grain-free flours.
Cassava flour is an up-and-comer on the grain-free flour scene. It’s made of the yuca root, is nut-free and easier to substitute for all-purpose flour in baking than most grain-free flours. It can be substituted almost 1:1 with all purpose flour by weight not volume (think kitchen scale, not measuring cups). FPTP kitchen uses Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. (http://amzn.to/2p0hEru) For more information on Cassava Flour – check out our Cassava Flour 101 HERE. (link to Cassava Flour 101). Best uses: cakes, doughs, muffins.
Tapioca Flour (aka tapioca starch) is made from the yuca root vegetable. It is almost entirely a starch with zero fiber. It cannot be substituted for all-purpose flour but can be added to grain-free flour blends to make the finished product airier and light. FPTP kitchen suggests using Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour (http://amzn.to/2o8UIHh). Best uses: thickener, tortillas/flatbread, in a flour blend for baking.
Arrowroot Flour (aka arrowroot starch) is made from the tubers of arrowroot plants. Like tapioca, it is almost entirely a starch with zero fiber. Arrowroot works well as a thickener for cold liquids, interacts well with citrus and substitutes for cornstarch in its thickening abilities. It works well in a grain-free flour blend to make the finished product airier and light. FPTP kitchen suggests using Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Flour (http://amzn.to/2pIY8jY). Best uses: thickener, in a flour blend for baking.
Potato starch is not the same as potato flour. Potato starch is the starch of the potato and potato flour is made from the whole potato. Potato starch looks similar to cornstarch and is a good substitute but should not be boiled when used as a thickener. Adding potato starch to baked goods makes them more airy and moist. FPTP kitchen suggests using Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch (http://amzn.to/2os1vYI) Best uses: thickener, in a flour blend for baking.
PALEO BAKING FLOUR – BOB’S RED MILL BLEND
Paleo Baking Flour (link: http://amzn.to/2pJdhSq) is a grain-free flour blend from Bob’s Red Mill is made of Almond Flour, Arrowroot Starch, Organic Coconut Flour, and Tapioca Flour. The addition of coconut flour makes the blend taste coconutty but does take some of the guesswork out of creating a grain-free flour blend for most common baking. Bob’s Red Mill claims a 1:1 substitution of its flour blend with all-purpose flour. Best uses: muffins, cookies, pancakes.
Avocado oil is pressed from the pulp of the fruit. It is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated oleic acid and has a high smoke point, making it great for higher-heat cooking. Its neutral flavour makes it highly adaptable in recipes that would originally call for vegetable oil/canola oil and is the FPTP #1 pick for mayonnaise making. Best uses: cooking, mayonnaise, canola substitute.
Hands down ghee is my favourite paleo-ish ingredient. Ghee is butter that is clarified, meaning it’s simmered and once it’s nutty and golden, the separated milk solids are removed. If made from grass-fed butter it’s a great addition to the paleo pantry. Ghee is the FPTP secret ingredient to all egg dishes and quick veggie sides. Best uses: sauteing, butter substitute.
Grass-fed ORGANIC Butter
Depending on your tolerance for dairy, organic grass-fed butter may be a delicious addition to your paleo pantry. Grass-fed butter is higher in omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid which has been shown to have health benefits. Nutrition aside, FPTP loves butter from organic grass-fed cows because of its rich and creamy flavour. Best uses: cooking.
Coconut oil is the edible oil extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. It is rich in lauric acid and high in medium-chain triglycerides making it a healthy choice for cooking compared to many oils. It is a relatively stable oil which makes it good for high-heat cooking and deep frying. It has a distinctly coconutty taste that may not be for everyone. Best uses: high-heat cooking, baking, deep frying.
Lard is rendered pork fat. Properly rendered lard is odorless, virtually flavourless and made from leaf lard. Lard is high in oleic acid, a healthy essential fatty acid. It has a high smoke point so is ideal for high-heat cooking and frying. It is known for making baked goods fluffy and works well in grain-free baking. Best uses: high-heat cooking, baking, deep frying.
Duck fat is the rendered fat from a duck. It is high in monounsaturated fat and is very stable when cooking because of its high smoke point. The best roast potatoes (and french fries!) are made with duck fat, which should be reason enough to add some to your pantry. Best uses: starchy vegetable roasting.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the oil from pressing whole olives. The Extra Virgin part illustrates the quality of the oil: that it hasn’t be adulterated by any chemical processing and is thought to have a better flavour profile than other grades of olive oil. FPTP prefers to use olive oil without heating it up to make salad dressings and vinaigrettes and on super low heat to make delicious infused oils for zoodles. Best uses: low heat cooking, vinaigrettes and as a finishing oil.