Well welcome back our Pantry Makeover Series. I (Caitlyn) am excited to welcome you into my pantry to see a few of my favorite pantry staples. At Living Wellness we strongly encourage focusing on as much whole, unprocessed foods as you can. For that reason, I've included a few pantry staples that I use in conjunction with whole-foods to make meals or snacks.
For our family, we've determined that making our own coconut milk is the most cost effective option instead of store-bought cartons. You might be thinking, "Wait, make your own? I thought the picture above showed that it was already coconut milk." Good observation. Yes the product above is coconut milk, but it is much thicker than the consistency of coconut milk you'd buy in the store and use for recipes such as a protein shake. We typically take 1 can of Native Forest Coconut Milk Classic and empty it into the blender. Blend for 5 seconds, then fill the can with water, and add that to the blender. Refill the can again, add to blender, and then blend for a few seconds. Viola! You have delicious coconut milk that is the perfect consistency. Note for soups or recipes calling for full-fat coconut milk do not water it down.
I'm personally not a fan of rice-based pasta because the noodle consistency gets kind of glue-y when cooked especially if over cooked (ahem...I forget to set a timer). Instead, I've found that chickpea and lentil pastas not only hold up better than rice but also have some awesome nutrients in them! Here are a few of my fav's.
- Banza Chickpea pasta. Note: not organic unfortunately. Widely available.
- Tolerant Lentil pasta (only lentil, see next item for mix): Love that it's organic. Available on Amazon however pretty expensive. I prefer to get it from Thrive Market online. Whole Foods does care Tolerant brand too but it is pricey there.
- Tolerant Lentil and Pea protein blend: Pros include being organic and having lots of protein. Con: this pasta breaks down fairly easily especially when overcooked. Best price on Thrive Market online. Also available on Amazon.
Chickapea Organic Chickpea and Lentil: Just discovered this one on Amazon and BONUS it's organic AND on subscribe and save. Note: I have not yet tried this one. I'll update this post when it arrives!
Great bread-crumb alternative
Whether your making meatballs or a casserole (or if your Minnesotan it's a "hotdish"), this Chickpea Crumbs makes a delicious swab for traditional bread crumbs. This is by far the best (and cleanest) grain-free one I've found.
Available on Amazon however very pricey. I prefer to get mine online at Thrive Market or in-store at Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme.
Our hope with this Pantry Makeover Series is to give you ideas for swapping out items in your pantry with some healthier alternatives. Have a favorite pantry staple that you can't part with? Let us know! We'll let you know if we have Living Wellness tested alternative :)
Caitlyn J. Hanson
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.