These are a few staple ingredientss I can’t live without, and always keep well stocked in my allergy-friendly kitchen.
You’ll find many of them are recurring ingredients in my recipes.
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Hemp Seeds – a high protein seed that contains all 9 amino acids as well as a high amount of fiber and fatty acids, with a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats, hemp seeds are also rich in phyto-nutrients, considered hypo-allergenic, and possibly the most nutritious seed available.
I add hemp seeds to baked goods and oatmeal as a nutritional boost, but also love to sprinkle them on my breakfast fruit bowl or a salad and enjoy their subtle flavour. I have found that the most cost-effective way for me to buy hemp is in 19 oz bags.
Chia Seeds – Chia is another highly nutritious seed, and a good source of fiber, protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. Similar to hemp, I like to add chia seeds to my baked goods, oatmeal, and breakfast bowls.
Chia seeds can also be used to prepare an egg substitute, making them doubly useful in vegan baking.
Pumpkin Seeds – A delicious topping for salads but also an enjoyable snack on their own, pumpkin seeds are an amazing natural source of a number of minerals and a wide range of antioxidants, as well as a great alternative source of protein.
Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are another ‘add them or eat them’ seed that delivers 10 essential vitamins or minerals as well as a range of antioxidants and phyto-nutrients. These seeds have a slightly nutty flavour that can be used to enhance baked goods, nut butters, homemade milk, and more.
SYRUPS AND OTHER EXTRAS
Silan (Date Syrup) – Great as an alternative sweetener, date syrup or “silan” is also a delicious addition to oatmeal and can be used in meat marinades, etc. Be sure to look for a syrup that is 100% dates and does not have added sugars.
Maple Syrup – As a Canadian, maple syrup is a core ingredient in my pantry and a staple for pancakes, waffles, or french toast, but also can be worked into salad dressings, meat marinades, and more. Maple syrup can be substituted for sugar in many recipes, providing a more natural sweetening option. Be sure to look for pure 100% maple syrup and not an imitation corn syrup product.
Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract is a core ingredient called for in most baking recipes. Buy it ready-made or make your own for some added cost-savings (recipe coming soon!)
Coconut Flakes – Unsweetened coconut flakes have such a lovely flavour and are a great addition to some homemade cookie/bar recipes, but beware the high fat content and high caloric ratio on this one.
Cacao Nibs – A great source of antioxidants, cacao nibs let you go straight to the source and skip the processing and unnecessary ingredients found in chocolate. Substitute these for chocolate chips in recipes, sprinkle on yoghurt or add to your fruit bowl or trail mix for a delicious boost.
Dark Chocolate – Not sure that this one really needs an introduction, but let me just say that with chocolate as far as I am concerned, the darker the better. I use dark chocolate any time a recipe calls for chocolate, unless I am baking for a large audience in which case I’ll pick up some semi-sweet dairy free “chocolate”, but always prefer to go with a 72% cacao dark chocolate rich in antioxidants and, well, flavour!
Pea Protein Powder – Pea protein is a complete protein that is also packed with a broad range of nutrients. Relatively tasteless, I add a scoop of this protein powder to give a boost to many dishes, including baked goods like these muffins, as well as soups and sauces.
Spirulina – Spirulina, a form of algae, is incredibly high in protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Spirulina is most easily consumed by mixing into juice or smoothies. For open-minded kids, try adding it to some applesauce to make green “monster sauce”. It can also be used as a natural green food dye.