On this page you will find a brief summary of the items that we believe belong in a Traditional Wholefoods Kitchen Pantry. This is a guide only.
When choosing particular brands for a certain item we consider these 3 things:
- Less is best
- No refined sugar or sugar pseudonyms (read more here)
- No colours, preservatives or additives
- No canola, soy or vegetable oils (read why here)
- No refined salt (read more about salt here)
2. Packaging. Glass packaging is a safer choice for health and environmental reasons. If choosing a brand in tins, check that it is BPA free, although this is no guarantee of being chemical free. Certain products like nut oils, should always be in a dark glass jar to ensure freshness. Light will make these oils go rancid much quicker. (Read more about safe equipment here)
3. Place of Production. When possible by as local as possible. Be wary of international packaged items as many imported products may be exposed to radiation. Some countries also have laxed laws when it comes to labelling and certification.
For more detailed information on which brands to buy, see our BEST BRANDS page here.
MEAT , POULTRY & SEAFOOD
Fresh – It is important to source meat and poultry from pasture raised organic animals. If you can’t afford organic or if it is not available, always source from pasture raised even if non-organic. Avoid any animal products from grain fed sources. It is usually more economical to find some friends to go quarters or halves in a whole animal. Not only is it cheaper you will also get to use the whole animal. Fat, bones, organs etc. (Read more about pasture raised meats here)
Processed – sausages, salami, bacon, ham and other cured meats are culprit for containing sugar and added preservatives and chemicals. Always try to source from organic, free-range, preservative free and nitrate free products.
Seafood– always obtain wild caught local seafood (read more here)
DAIRY & EGGS
- Full fat raw milk (if can’t get Raw, next best is pasteurised) Avoid homogenised milk. (read why and more about milk here)
- Raw cream or full fat pure cream – watch for added sugar & thickeners.
- Cheese – Should have no more than 4 ingredients. Milk, cultures, rennet, sea salt.
- Yogurt – should be whole milk & live cultures. Watch ingredients carefully. (Read more here)
- Eggs – always from free range, organic & pasture raised animals (for recommended brands see here)
FATS & OILS
Always choose nature’s fats. Read more here. Avoid all processed, refined, industrialised oils.
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Macadamia Oil
- Home rendered tallow & lard
NUTS, SEEDS & COCONUT
Nuts and seeds are best bought in bulk through a co-op. They are best stored in the fridge/freezer for longer periods. Careful preparation of these items is essential to increase nutrient content and neutralise anti-nutrient properties (learn more about this here).
- Almonds/ almond meal
- Brazil Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Nut & Seed butters – ideally homemade
- Tahini – unhulled & organic
- Coconut – dessicated, shredded, flaked. Always organic to avoid preservative 220.
- Coconut cream & Coconut Water – our choice is BANABAN coconut cream and RAW C Coconut water.
GRAINS, LEGUMES & FLOURS
Grains, legumes and flours are also foods that require special preparation before use (read more here). Ideally it is best to buy the whole grain and grinding the whole grain to make fresh flour as flours notoriously loose nutrition and go rancid when milled long before use. Careful preparation by soaking, sprouting, fermenting will enhance nutritional properties and digestibility. Most grains and flours will store well for a short period in a pantry, but if buying in bulk you may need to refrigerate to increase the shelf life and preserve nutrition.
- Brown Rice
- Basmati Rice
- Masa Harina
- Spelt Grains
- Adzuki Beans
- Coconut flour
- Arrowroot Flour
- White Spelt Flour
Although these sweeteners are recognised as traditional foods, they are still to be used sparingly and should not make up a large part of the Traditional Foods way of eating. Read more about why here. These are our choice of sweeteners. They are natural, in as close to possible to their whole form.
- Raw Honey – non heated or pasteurised. Avoid all supermarket honeys. Read why here.
- Rapadura Sugar – is simply dehydrated sugar cane juice
- Coconut Sugar – is dehydrated coconut palm nectar
- Black Strap Molasses – white sugar is a by product of molasses.
- Maple Syrup – A or B grade and alway organic.
- Stevia – green powdered form only
SAUCES, VINEGARS & CONDIMENTS
These pantry items are the biggest culprits for adding hidden sugars and preservative, colours and flavours to your diet without realising it. Please read your ingredients carefully when choosing these products. Even organic brands can have added ingredients that are not desirable.
- Tamari – recommend Pureharvest, organic.
- Fish Sauce – recommend Red Boat
- Mirin – recommend Spiral
- Brown Rice Vinegar- recommend Spiral
- Balsamic Vinegar – recommend Spiral
- White Wine Vinegar – recommend Spiral
- Red Wine Vinegar – recommend Spiral
- Apple Cider Vinegar – recommend Braggs
- Homemade BBQ Sauce Quirky Cooking’s recipe here
- Homemade Tomato Sauce Quirky Cooking’s recipe here
- Mustard – recommend Global Organics, Spiral, Eden foods
- Fermented Veggies – home made or other artisanal local brands.
- Mayonnaise – home made only. We are yet to find a mayonnaise that is made with olive oil or macadamia oil.
- Olives – avoid commercially produced olives as they are cured in a caustic product called ‘Lye’ (read more here). We recommend Loving Earth or Rosnay Organic Olives
- Tomato Paste – should have one ingredient only (avoid brands with refined salt)
- Passata – Avoid brands with food acids and added salt, sugar, oils. Should be one ingredient only- tomatoes.
- Fruit Spreads – best home made with natural sweeteners, otherwise choose fruit juice sweetened varieties (no sugar)
HERBS & SPICES
- Celtic Sea
- Himalayan Rock Salt
- Vanilla Powder/Essence/Beans
- Turmeric, Garam Masala, Ginger, Cinnamon Quills & powder, Cumin, Coriander, Paprika (sweet & smoked), Cardamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Curry Powder
SEAWEEDS & SUPERFOODS
- Arame, Wakame, Dulse Flakes – are sea vegetables that contain trace amounts of beneficial minerals such as iodine that can be hard for us to get in our diet elsewhere.
- Maca, Mesquite
- Gubinge powder
- Spirulina & Chlorella (We love Shakti’s Super Blend which you can buy here)
- Bee Pollen
- Gelatine – our choice is Great Lakes from pasture raised animals
These items are not essentially ‘traditional foods’ in this form. Ideally we aim to make our own, however, these packaged items are the best of the worst when choosing commercial items like wraps, crackers & pasta.
- ‘Mountain Bread’ Rice or Spelt Wraps
- ‘Eat Rite’ Tamari Brown Rice crackers
- ‘Orgran’ Buckwheat Pasta
- ‘Orgran’ Brown Rice Crumbs
- Organic Preservative Free Red/White Wine
- Home cold pressed, vegetable & fruit juice – avoid all commercial forms.