What’s in my Pantry

What’s in my Pantry

My pantry may be a little different than yours but I am the kind of person that loves to experiment on recipes. I like to try recipes that I find in online and create them into low carb, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. I believe that we all have the right to enjoy our foods. Its sad that you have to take stuff away from us to feel better again in our gut and body.

Pretty much this is how this blog was created. I wanted a place that you grab a recipe and make it your own for you, your friends and family.

Before you start buying items from the list below, you have to look inside your cabinets and throw items out. Yes, you heard me right! Are you ready to make those changes so you’ll feel better again? Are you ready to make that leap in your food journey? It’s not going to be easy but I am telling you now that it will get easier in time and your body is going to thank you.

The most important thing is to avoid processed food and stick to whole, natural foods whenever possible and limit your carbohydrate intake.

When I started this journey, I was totally lost and doing this all by myself. It took a year for me to figure out what I was doing wrong and right in my journey. I don’t want you to go through this and feel the frustration on what to make for yourself or your family.

There is so many products out there it can be confusing. Some are strange that you may never heard of them before, so here is a brief description of some of the more ingredients used.

Almond Flour– Made with ground blanched almonds, almond flour is the most commonly used ingredient to replace regular high carb flour recipes. Compared to regular flour, it is richer in calories, fat and protein. 

Almond flour is available in health food stores, most supermarkets and online retailers but you can make your own too using a food processor. 

Coconut Flour– Fine, powdery and dense flour that substitutes high-carb flour. It has less calories, fat and protein but it’s richer in fiber. You can replace up to 20% of flour with coconut flour, adding an equivalent amount of additional liquid. 

Coconut flour is used in small amounts and you need to use more binders to keep the recipe to work well. It soaks up more liquid than the other flours. To compensate for this, recipes with coconut flour require more liquids such as water, oil or eggs.

Oat flour– Oat flour is a perfect gluten-free flour choice when a recipe doesn’t require gluten to rise. It adds a rich, nutty flavor to any recipe. For example, it’s great in cookies and makes them even chewier than normal. This flour is even better than regular oats in terms of digestibility — the nutrients, including all the vitamins and minerals, you find in oats are easier to digest in gluten-free oat flour. Oats also help lower cholesterol, provide fiber to keep you feeling full, increase immunity and more.

Lupin Flour– Lupin flour is one of the most popular new flours among keto dieters. It’s made from lupin bean, a low-carb, high-protein legume related to the peanut. 

With 11g of dietary fiber and only 1g net carbs per 1/4 cup lupin flour, this low-carb baking alternative fits the macros of a low-carb diet. You can use it to make a variety lupin flour biscuits, pizza crusts, muffins, tortillas, and more. 

Beef Gelatin- In baking it helps achieve chewy texture and a little goes a long way. Be sure to follow the recipe and dissolve the gelatin in boiling water before adding it to the batter or dough. Try grass-fed and pasture- raised beef gelatin for the most nutrition.

Chia Seeds- Chia seeds can be used in baking either in their whole form or in a powered form. They are great to absorb liquid, replacement for eggs in a recipe, and to give a chewier texture to baking goods. They are high in fiber and protein with 0 grams net carbs per serving, making them a great healthy option.

Xanthan Gum– A popular food additive that acts like a binding agent. It increases the thickness and prevents separation of food products. Xanthan gum contains 100% of your daily fiber and has 0 net carbs.

Xanthan gum works like a gluten, improving a dough’s texture by making it sticky and gummy. It is also great for sauces, dressings and gravies. It’s unique binding ability makes a great substitute for gluten in gluten-free baking.

Psyllium Husk Powder– An ingredient is commonly used as a  dietary fiber supplement. In recipes, it acts as a thickener that binds ingredients together. If you want a more natural approach you can use this as a replacement to Xanthan gum. I use this to make my homemade “pasta”.

If you use this to make pasta, discoloration can happen once they’re cooked. Their color usually becomes a grayish brown or purple but it’s yummy.

Cream of Tartar– This little thing was in my mom’s stuff when I was kid and I didn’t know what the heck this was. I now know and I love it. It stabilizes whipped egg whites and prevents sugar from crystallizing and also acts as a leavening agent for baking goods. If you don’t have this or want to use this at all, you can substitute with lemon juice or white vinegar. (½ teaspoon tartar = 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar)

Whey Isolate or Protein Powder (unflavored)- The main reason to use this is to make your food more protein-rich and it works like a gluten, binding all the ingredients together and improving the consistency in doughs, baking and some other cooking items that need more thickness in their recipes. 

Agar Agar Powder– A vegetable gelatin substitute with high gelling properties. It’s a great substitute for beef gelatin in any food application and makes an excellent thickener for soups, jellies/jams, ice cream and more. (1 teaspoon of agar agar = 8 teaspoons gelatin powder)

Arrowroot Powder– Gluten-free, grain-free and vegan. This makes a good thickening agent for sauces, pies, pudding, jellies as well as in ingredients in baked goods like cookies and cakes. It’s a popular replacement for gluten-free recipes.

It’s a great replacement for cornstarch. It has no taste, leaves food glossy and clear and makes things crispy and crunchy. Arrowroot powder is a great source of potassium, iron, vitamin B and boosts the immune system. A great use, for example, is coating sweet potato fries or as a coating with herbs for chicken. 

Soy Flour– Another low-carb flour alternative, it’s made from ground soybeans. It is richer in protein than some flours and is a good source of fiber. This absorbs a lot of liquid just like the coconut flour and requires more water.

Flaxseed Meal– This is a vegan egg replacer and contains a wealth of nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. It can replace a small amount in a flour recipe (¾ cups gluten free flour and ¼ cup flaxseed meal). You can add flaxseed meal to breadcrumbs in 1 to 1 ratio of a ¼ cup or replacement for xanthan gum. (1 tablespoon of xanthan gum= 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and 2 tablespoon of water and stir well)

Nutritional Yeast– Popular amongst vegans and it’s also gluten and dairy-free. This is a deactivated yeast made from saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. This is a plant-based protein source known to have a tangy, nutty and cheesy flavor and a creamy texture. This is a great cheese substitute in vegan and dairy-free recipes.

It’s also good for popcorn, salads, roasted veggies and as a vegan cheese substitute.

Gluten-Free Flour– 1:1 substitute for flour; you need to add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum if the flour doesn’t have it in the ingredients.

This flour has a combination of amaranth, buckwheat, corn,millet, quinoa, and rice flours. For each cup of gluten-free flour mix, add 1 teaspoon for gluten substitutes like xanthan gum or guar gum.

Pork Rinds– A great way to make a good breadcrumb substitute for foods like meatballs, meatloaf,etc. It’s high in protein and fat and contains no carbohydrates.

Eggs, Cheese and Cream– Many recipes need ingredients like eggs, cheese and heavy/whipping cream, particularly cream cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Recipes with these ingredients usually don’t require a binding agent. You may also use sour cream, cheddar, parmesan, Swiss, feta, colby, etc. 

Fats and Oils– The butter I use pretty much in all my recipes is Kerrygold butter from grass-fed cows and it is yummy. There are alternative ones for non-dairy and vegan plant butter like Earth Balance, Pure Blends and a few others. Just check to make sure there are no hidden ingredients.

There are some more natural items you can use like avocado oil, almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, Macadamia oil, sesame oil, butter, coconut butter, duck fat, Ghee and lard

Non-Dairy Milk– Milk alternatives we have are oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and hazelnut milk. 

Nuts/Seeds– The best thing about this group is that you can have pretty much any nut or seeds if you are not allergic to it. The ones you’ll see in my pantry are almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, pine nuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.

Stevia- A sweetener that comes from the leaves of plant. Stevia is used as a sugar substitute, but tastes much sweeter than cane sugar. It can have a bitter aftertaste. There is different forms of stevia, such as liquid, stevia glycerite and powered stevia. In its powered form uses a combination of another sweetened such as erythritol, to reduce the bitterness. Be on the lookout for stevia blend that contain maltodextrin or dextrose, both of which contain calories and elicit an insulin and glucose response.

Erythritol- This sweetener is becoming popular to the market. It is very popular in Keto and low-carb baking because its very low glycemic index. Erythritol is not an artificial sweetener; rather, its a sugar alcohol derived from corn or sugarcane. It is 70% percent as sweet as sugar so you will need to increase the amount when swapping it for sugar to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Monk Fruit- Native to China, monk fruit is another sweetener that’s used as a sugar substitute. The sweetener has no calories or carbs, and doesn’t impact blood glycose levels. Using this in sweetener in baking, it can crystalize faster than the other sweeteners, be careful when you use to make caramel, flans, jams, jellies and cakes.

Allulose- Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that doesn’t count towards your sugar intake. This naturally-occurring sugar substitute doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, making it perfect for low-carb diets like the keto diet. As a bonus, it lowers your blood sugar and enhances fat-burning.

Plus Net Zero sugar-free maple syrup, monk fruit gold (aka brown sugar), Lily’s chocolate chips, Flavored drops like sweet corn, apple pie, almond, etc.

It’s been so much fun creating and crafting the recipes because I’ve truly come to appreciate the fundamental fact that this can help others in their healthy food journey. If you are going through Keto, low carb, gluten-free or dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, you know it’s hard to integrate certain recipes in your life. A lot of us are busy with our family, work and outside activities resulting in eating the wrong stuff, and the outcome is not good. 

Discovering my love to take recipes and adapting them to make them low-carb and gluten-free was an obstacle but it was a journey where I wouldn’t change a thing. I have been empowering and inspiring people to say the least. I enjoy this and no complaints yet from my family.

If you any questions or would like to add some things that you are using comment on the blog thread or send me an email at lchesna@gmail.com

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