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Creating a more natural home can seem a bit overwhelming if you’re just starting out. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you start small and keep it simple.
A great place to start is with your kitchen staples.
We replaced a lot of items in our kitchen – foods with MSG, refined sugar and highly-processed anything. Here’s what we keep in our kitchen now that we can’t do without.
Immune-boosting and delicious, this herb goes in almost every savory dish we make. We keep a few bulbs on hand at all times because the majority of the dishes we make, especially Thai food, call for a few cloves of garlic.
2. Coconut Oil
Useful in cooking, natural remedies and, well, all over the house, coconut oil is one of my favorite staple items. We cook just about everything in it and substitute it for butter often in baking.
Did you know it’s an excellent source of healthy fats and good for your thyroid, too? Buying it in bulk saves us a lot of money – we get it through our local buying club and our Costco just started carrying large tubs of coconut oil.
3. Lemon or Lime
My dad’s from Mexico and is a great cook. But I never understood why he put lime on everything. Until I grew up, that is. Adding that lovely little squirt of lemon or lime juice makes so many dishes taste even better!
They also promote healthy digestion and alkalize the body. No wonder they’re one of the world’s most popular seasonings. These handy little citrus gems are a must in our home.
This also made a frequent appearance growing up. Not only does it give dishes a lovely burst of color, but the smell is wonderful. And the taste? Mmmm. Cilantro is so good. Add it to stir fries, Asian noodle dishes, soups and, of course, Mexican food.
Onions add great flavor to food and are super healthy – lots of vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory properties. We use them a lot in savory dishes.
6. Chicken Stock
After roasting a chicken, we put all the bones in our crock pot with some water and let them simmer for a day or so. We use the rich stock to flavor meals, cook rice and of course, make soup.
7. Sea Salt
We just picked up some pink Himalayan sea salt last week and not only is it pretty, but it enhances food well and I don’t need to use as much. (Which is good, because Ian often raises his eyebrows at me while I’m shaking away with the salt shaker).
8. Raw Honey
We buy raw honey buy the gallon because we use it so much in our home. Sweeter than sugar, I use it as a substitute a lot in the kitchen. Raw honey is antibacterial and a good source of antioxidants, too, so don’t feel too guilty if you feel your day just needs a spoonful of honey.
We use honey in: sauces and dressings, to sweeten coffee, to make simple syrup, in baking, to make cough syrup and I even add it to my sugar scrub. It’s a great multi-purpose food item that can be used outside of cooking as well.
I’ve just learned to appreciate a touch of spicy. Just a touch, though. Thanks to my husband, I’ve realized that many meals can be made even better with a dash of sriracha or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. If it’s too hot, I have to remember that it’s increasing my blood circulation.
This one was going to be coconut milk, but we ran out a day or so ago and there have been a lot of dishes we couldn’t make because of it. And while coconut milk is delicious, we use eggs way more.
They’re a great source of protein and contain lots of vitamins and minerals. We get free-range eggs from my mama and add them to breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Absolutely essential.