Stocking A Clean Eating Pantry
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Stocking a clean eating pantry has never been easier! This guide makes is super easy. Give it a try!
One of the problems I had when I started eating clean was my incredibly, junk-food-filled pantry. There was just nothing I didn’t have in there! From candy bars, to white rice and pasta, I had it! Far from the modeling “diet” I followed in my teens.
Now I admit, I didn’t go through and toss everything so I could start from scratch in one day. Switching my pantry contents to 100% clean foods was a challenge, and I just didn’t have the money to start from scratch all at once. So what did I do?
Every week, I chose one food to replace. Out went the candy bars and in came the protein bars. In a few months, my pantry was…. perfect!
So what clean foods should you buy to replace what’s in your pantry now?
Stocking A Clean Eating Pantry
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is easily substituted in most recipes calling for white flour. It’s cheapest to purchase it in bulk at your local health food store. (You’ll need to find another alternative if you are gluten sensitive). As far as I know, this is the finest “grind” of whole wheat flour you can buy.
Beans, beans the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you…
Whether you like them canned or cooked from scratch at home, be sure you have plenty of these on hand in a broad variety. They are nutrition powerhouses and are very easy on the wallet. Just be sure to read labels if you are buying canned beans. Many will have added sugar. Avoid these. The sugar is not necessary or part of a clean eating lifestyle. Some beans to try:
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Adzuki beans
- Navy beans
The Wonderful World of Grains
If you’ve only ever heard of wheat, oats and rice, you’re not alone. Many people don’t even realize the incredible list of healthy grains available to them. Long gone are the days when we had to make due with a few simple and well known grains. Today we have a veritable cornucopia of nutritious grains at our disposal. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Brown Rice
- Oats – Steel cut is best
Moooooove Over Dairy!
If you are sensitive to dairy like I am, you have some fantastic alternatives available to you!
- Almond milk (Unsweetened)
- Rice milk (Unsweetened)
- Hemp milk (Unsweetened)
- Hazelnut milk (Unsweetened)
- Coconut milk (Unsweetened – usually canned)
Maybe The Squirrels Have It Right!
Nuts are wondrous little doo-dads and are a great addition to your eating plan in small amounts. The nutrients found in nuts are unequaled, and they really add a flavorful punch to anything you add them to. Some nuts to get you started are:
- Almonds – nothing added.
Do You Have A Sweet Tooth?
There are actually quite a few sweeteners allowed on a clean eating plan. In moderation, you can enjoy some sweet treats on a semi-regular basis!
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Stevia, liquid variety
Some extras you should always have on hand are:
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seed Meal
- Oat bran
- Wheat germ
- Bee pollen
So there you have it. It’s by no means a complete list, but it’s a place to start. When you go grocery shopping, just add fresh fruits and veggies to this list and you’ll be well on your way to better health!
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Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and wannabe Elvis when I'm in the shower or driving in my car.
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Very nice article.. Thanks for sharing..
Awesome post! I’ve been wanting to create a pantry full of mason jars and this list keeps all the necessary ingredients in 1 place for reference – thanks!!
Thanks Ange! Glad you found it helpful! A pantry full of mason jars sounds FABULOUS!
A pantry full of mason jars sounds great, Ange. Reminds me of when I was in my 20s and vegetarian. I need to get some more big ones.
Tiffany I love your site. Thank you from an aging hippy (granola granny?)
May I suggest white whole wheat flour for bread baking? It has more gluten than the pastry flour (which is the big difference between pastry and all purpose flour) I use it pretty much for anything. It isn’t processed to make it white, it is white wheat as opposed to red wheat. It is actually cream colored, not as light as unbleached white (all the good stuff removed) flour or blue-gray like the chemically bleached (Yuch-haven’t used that since 1970 when I saw it next to natural flour!) Anyway pastry flour as it’s name suggests is good for pie crust, biscuits, cookies, cakes, things you want to be kind of flaky. The gluten in all purpose and especially bread flour is developed with kneading or mixing after the liquid is added and forms the structure for bread that holds the gasses produced by the yeast. It’s also why cakes and such can end up chewy and tough if you mix too much (more than just to combine wet and dry)
Also try other grains. We love biscuits made with whole grain spelt flour. Making sure your flours are whole grain is probably the most important thing.
You are a wealth of information! Thank you so much! I always wondered what the deal was with the white whole wheat. I’ve avoided it like the plague because I assumed it was processed like white flour.
Thank you! I will buy some this weekend!
Thank s for that info!
I haven’t found a better place yet so I hope this is an appropriate place to ask you some questions.
Some of your recipes call for egg whites, others for eggs and egg whites. Is that because of the fat content of egg yolks or some other reason? We have our own free-range chickens that also get greens and other food scraps and weeds from my garden and a custom mix of grains. So our eggs are organic (we haven’t paid for certification, but we don’t sell them either; just give them to friends and family) They are considerably fresher than store-bought and taste much better.
Your recipes call for distilled water. Is that because you have public water that’s full of chlorine and other chemicals
I’m not sure which recipes you are referring to, but the egg content depends on the recipe. I try not to use egg yolks because of the cholesterol content. But sometimes, a recipe just needs the extra fat and moisture that an egg yolk provides.
It’s ALWAYS better to have fresh eggs. If you can get them (I can’t), you have a gold mine!
oops, still struggling with Windows 7. It does bizarre unexpected things, like posting that before I was finished.
We have our own well water, tested periodically so we know it’s clean. When I used to have to deal with public water supplies I used to haul well water from my parents’ home. After they moved to a retirement home that had public water, I used a filter. It was my understanding that water with the naturally occurring minerals in it was usually healthier, that distilled could pull the minerals from your body. But that was something I read a long time ago and haven’t verified, so obviously could be wrong on that part. Do you distill your own or get it in glass bottles? My concern is the chemicals that could leach from plastic bottles. We also use cast iron cookware, ceramic, glass, or stainless steel. We are not at all convinced that teflon-type non-stick coatings are really safe. I’m interested in other peoples’ opinions on these things as well. Thanks
We are fortunate enough to be able to buy the big 3 gallon jugs from a local water supplier. We have a water dispenser that is ceramic. It’s always better to avoid plastic of any kind. That said, you have to be realistic too. I cut back on plastic as much as I can, but sometimes, it’s more trouble than it’s worth to avoid it.
Thanks so much for this! Also-Ange’s idea of a pantry full of Mason jars is wonderful!! Looks like I found my next inexpensive project! 🙂
Jen – Ange’s idea is FABULOUS! I encourage everyone to try it. If nothing else, you’ve got some great storage!
I have been revising my diet toward clean eating for the past few months (and dragging my husband and 2 kids along with me!). I haven’t felt or looked better in years. As I continue to learn, and to expand my repertoire of foods/recipes, I’m trying to figure out Soba (or Buckwheat) noodles. Can you tell me what you know? As I understand it, Buckwheat is not really a wheat/grain, but a nut. But also many of the noodles do have some ‘regular’ whole wheat flour in them. Do you think they are more or less or equally ‘fattening’ (hate to use that term but I think you know what I mean) as evil old white pasta? Or comparable to whole wheat pasta? Or just sort of their own thing? Any wisdom you can shed on this would be appreciated (cuz boy are those Soba noodles tasty and I’d LOVE to eat them weekly if it didn’t feel like ‘cheating.). Thanks!
Caroly – Good question! Actually, most soba noodles are not clean. You have to find soba noodles that are 100% buckwheat, and that’s not easy to find! But they do exist. Check with your local health food store. They are the most likely to have it. If you can find them, then yes, they are clean. Hope that helps!
The soba noodles I use contain buckwheat and whole wheat flour. Is that okay?
LM – As long as those are the only two flours listed, then yes.
Something that I learned is that “Whole Wheat Pastry Flour” can also be labeled “Whole Wheat Soft Flour”. I was going all over the city to find WW Pastry Flour, and couldn’t! When I asked one day at a Health Food Grocery Store, I was told it is also called “Soft Flour”!! I’ve baked with it with successful results!
Natalie – I had no idea! Thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad it working out for you. I love that stuff.
Thank you for assembling this info. I think what you have is a great summary and exactly enough info to get started with out getting overwhelmed.
I just started this switch (with the March Supermoon). I can’t afford to throw food away, so it will take a little longer to switch everything. My biggest questions are about things like Fish Sauce, soy sauce and vinegar which I use quite a lot.
I was also wondering about the sugar thing. I understand why too much sugar is bad for one’s health. But is it the sucrose that is problematic or where it falls on the GI or something else?
Cymalin – I don’t use fish sauce, so I’m not sure. But read the ingredients. Any listed sugar or unpronounceable ingredients means it’s not clean. You should recognize each and every ingredient as something you could buy individually to cook with in your own kitchen.
Soy sauce is fine in small amounts, providing it’s low sodium. Vinegar is great! I use it all the time.
Sugar is a “processed thing”. Natural sugars like honey are considered clean. Regular white sugar is processed. Therefor, not clean.
Hope that helps.
Hi. Is it okay to substitute Goat’s Milk for Cow’s Milk?
Leslie – Definitely!
Sucralet (sp?) is another sugar you can get at a health food store. I use it as a sugar substitute in some baked things.
Gail – Never heard of it. Do you have a link to share?
momof4 – That’s awesome! Good for you for making those changes for your son. You’re a great mom!
Where can you find all those different types of grains… I found a few at Henrys but not all of them????
Heather – It will really depend on what types of stores you have available to you. Many health food stores will carry them in bulk or in packages. But you may find you either have to go to a few different stores to find all of them, or you may even have to order on line if your store selection is limited.
Gina – Not specifically, but I can work on it. I typically cook my brown rice with chicken broth instead of water. You can even add a few of your favorite herbs to that. It’s yummy!
MKM – Glad you like it! Enjoy!
What about TRUVIA as a natural sweetener?
Melanie – Stevia is a plant, Truvia is a sweetener made by the Coca Cola company. Truvia is definitely not something you want to use. Stick to 100% stevia.
Joey – Awww, thanks so much!
Kami – Sounds delicious!
Stowers – Honestly, I would talk to a doctor. Sounds like there’s something not quite right there.
Stevia is a plant. It’s perfectly healthy. However, in order for it to be clean, it either has to be green liquid or green powder form.
I was looking for smoothie recipes and found your website. Thanks to that I changed my breakfast habits, and this really helps. Since my pre-diabetes diagnosis in February I have already lost 15 lbs and now with these delicious smoothie recipes and other foods from you site I’m sure I can get this under control soon. Thank you!!!
I am also extremely lactose-intolerant. Yogurt is the only thing that does no damage and I’ve discovered Feta and Pecorino cheeses are OK, too. But – can I use Kefir?
Best wishes for your success with this page! Sharon
Sharon – I honestly don’t know. Kefir is a soured milk much like yogurt, but you would have to ask your doctor to see if it’s an acceptable substitute.
Are raisins clean?
As far as I know, yes.
I would say yes, they are as well as most dried fruits.
I am so excited to start this. so tired of going through the heavy cycle of not eating well. reminds me so much of the Daniel Fast that we do at church. j
I have a free getting started guide (on the home page in the sliding photos). Check out my clean eating 101 section as well. If you want an actual physical book, I recommend Tosca Reno’s books. The “Recharged” book is very good.
You do have to watch the salt content. Salt by itself is not “unclean”, but you obviously don’t want to eat too much of it either. All things in moderation. As for the canned goods, you have to read labels. Some are clean, others are not.
I went to a conference this past weekend and learned something new about salt. Using Celtic salt or Himalayan Pink salt is better for you than regular salt or Mediterranean Sea salt. They haven’t been processed and contain more minerals.
I mention this because I drink water nonstop. Yet, I always feel thirsty, and I’m not diabetic. I found out that the water I drink is not entering my cells. (There’s a scientific reason, but I don’t want to bore you with the details.)
Lori – Really? That’s truly interesting because I am experiencing the same thing. But I do use good salt, so maybe that’s not it. Thanks for sharing!