Staple Ingredients

These are just some of the ingredients that I use in the kitchen. I always try to opt for foods that are unprocessed,  or at least, as close to their natural form as possible.

I’ve chosen to introduce eleven ingredients that I use regularly, most of which are non perishable.
Poppy seeds:
Poppy seeds are tiny gems of goodness, packed with many beneficial properties.
The seeds have a unique nutty flavor, and I find that they add a lovely texture to cakes, bread, salad dressings, Greek yogurt and so much more.

Here’s a few reasons why I use poppy seeds: 

  • They act as an antioxidant
  • Help lower cholesterol 
  • Rich in omega 3
  • Contain fibre

You can even use them on your face too!

This is what I do:

I grind some poppy seeds with a pestle and mortar and mix with a few teaspoons of milk. The mixture forms a paste and acts as a skin renewing moisturizer, just add a little honey if you’ve got dry skin.  It really works a treat, and your skin will feel fresh and clean.

Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are the ultimate omega 3 booster,  omega is really important for brain health. So, if you’re not a fish fan, these are a great option to get that omega boost.

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These tiny seeds of goodness feature daily in my breakfast bowls. If you follow me on instagram, you’ll be familiar with how often I use them.

They can also be added to cakes, juices and smoothies, and I like to use them for my very easy Raspberry Jam recipe.

Raw Cacao Nibs

Another firm  favorite of mine to use in the kitchen. Cacao nibs are deemed a super food, they provide iron, lots of antioxidants (important for fighting off free radicals), and they’re also a great source of magnesium.

 Cacao nibs pop up quite frequently in my sweet treats and breakfasts. My famous Paleo Chocolate Brownie, which also features over on BBC Good Foods, contains these incredible mood enhancers.

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Almond Flour/Ground Almonds

I just can’t live without almond flour in my cupboard! It’s such a fantastic substitute for regular flour, and it provides many beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin E and calcium.

So, if you’re a coeliac, follow a grain free or gluten-free diet, almond flour is perfect for you. Cakes and bakes turn out beautifully moist and spongy, and won’t leave you feeling bloated.

Don’t be confused between almond flour and ground almonds by the way, they’re the exact same thing.

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Almond Milk

An amazing dairy free alternative to milk , and it will still provide calcium and vitamin E. It’s perfect for Paleo eaters and Lactose intolerant folk. I like to use the unsweetened version for my Paleo Porridge and lots of my breakfast smoothies.

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Nuts

Nuts about nuts!! I love all types,  and I find them really versatile for raw treats and eats. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and walnuts are always lurking in my cupboard. I use them for trail mixes, cake bases, salads and so much more. I do try to soak nuts for a few hours or overnight before use, as it helps to activate all those beautiful NUTrients! Nuts are a great source of heart healthy fats, vitamins and protein. A little handful during the day is the perfect snack to keep hunger at bay.

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Himalayan Salt

I’ve managed to convert so many people into using this salt and here’s why…

Himalayan Crystal Salt is a unique and wonderful holistic alternative to your average table or sea salt. It contains no pollutants and lasts for years.

The majority of salts that are sold in supermarkets have been bleached and processed, making them void of any nutrients. Considering the pollution that makes it’s way into our waters, sea salt can contain heavy metals such as lead, which may be harmful to your body.

Himalayan Salt is mined from ancient sea beds and contains no pollutants, it is pure and therefore retains its beautiful distinctive pink color.

Just take a look at all the wonderful things it’s capable of…

  • Supports thyroid and adrenal functions

  • Can alleviate sinus problems

  • Helps reduce cramping

  • Promotes a healthy sleep pattern

  • Creates a healthy libido

  • Helps keep a stable PH balance in the cells

  • Reduces signs of aging

  • Increases hydration

  • Lowers blood pressure

 So folks, I suggest you try to get some healthy salt into your diet!

 * My Tip*

When used in the bath or in a scrub, the salt has a detoxifying effect, it stimulates circulation and helps soothe aching muscles.

Some people also use this magic salt for air purification, particularly good for asthma sufferers.

Coconut Milk

Over the years, I’ve found so many uses for coconut milk. It’s a brilliant alternative for cream and milk, and again it’s great for Paleo and Dairy-Free diets. It can be used in soups, curries, cakes and smoothies. It’s so flavorsome and it’s packed full of goodies like vitamins, calcium and fibre.

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Coconut Oil 

Oh the wonder of Coconut oil! Deemed a super food, it’s another ingredient that I just can’t live without. As well as using this as a daily cooking oil for frying and bakes, I eat this wondrous oil by the spoonful, it gives me a natural energy boost which is great pre-gym.

It such a powerhouse of goodness, and a super alternative to butter. One of my favorite uses for coconut oil is to use it for making popcorn, it’s insanely delicious.

I switch between brands, but I find the Optima and Biona Raw Virgin Coconut Oil very good on flavor.

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Benefits of Coconut Oil:

  • Helps whiten teeth and reduces bad breath
  • It can stave off fungal infections like athletes foot and thrush
  • Provides a natural energy boost
  • Helps improve cholesterol levels
  • Can protect your hair from sun damage
  • A fantastic moisturizer for your face and body
  • Works as an eye make-up remover
  • It helps de-frizz your hair just like a serum.

 

Agave/Raw Honey/Maple Syrup

I very rarely use sugar in anything that I make, I prefer to use these natural sweeteners instead.  Agave is low GI, which means it’s a good option for diabetics. Agave tastes much sweeter that sugar, so you don’t need to go overboard when using it.

Raw honey is pure and unprocessed, and is simply divine drizzled over breakfasts or eaten off the spoon. It’s particularly soothing after a long day at work, add it to green or camomile tea.

Maple Syrup is really handy for sweetening bakes and drizzling over pancakes. However, I wouldn’t deem this as particularly healthy, it’s just a better substitute for sugar. It still contains a high sucrose content, so everything in moderation.

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