Welcome to the raw foods corner of Live Eat Learn! I hope to make this an ultra-informative place for you to come for all things raw eating. Let’s jump to the good stuff first:
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How to stock a raw pantry
While my pantry is not completely raw foods, the following are some of my raw-specific pantry and refrigerator staples for a well-balanced raw foods diet. Note that this isn’t absolutely everything you need in your pantry, just a few very raw-specific staples to help you keep good nutritional balance and make really tasty raw food!
- Canned and Dried Beans
- Canned chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans: Packed with protein and fiber, beans are an easy way to add a nutritious boost to just about any meal.
- Grains and Flours
- Oats: Rolled, instant, or steel-cut doesn’t make a difference apart from the texture you’re going for! Learn more about them here.
- Oat flour: This is simply oats ground into a fine powder. Perfect for thickening up liquid recipes, like smoothies or cold gazpachos.
- Buckwheat flour: Despite the name, this powerful ingredient is wheat free!
- Almond flour: This is simply finely ground almonds, but makes a great substitute or addition to baked goods.
- Nuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruits
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, hemp, cashews (especially for vegan dairy alternatives), macadamia, pine): Stock up on nuts for snacking, adding crunch to meals, or for making dairy-free alternatives (like this Vegan Cheesecake from Minimalist Baker). If you’re soaking your nuts, store them in the fridge.
- Seeds (pepitas, hemp, chia, flax, sunflower): Like nuts, these tend to be nutrition powerhouses that can easily be worked into a lot of dishes. Flax seeds are especially important for use in binding foods together (instead of eggs).
- Quinoa: Technically a seed but treated as a grain, this contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Work it into granola bars or sprout it!
- Dried cranberries, cherries, raisins: Add sweetness to porridge and salads!
- Apple cider vinegar: Great in salad dressings or to bring a tart sort of bite to vegan cheeses.
- Olive oil: My go to for almost all stovetop cooking.
- Extra virgin olive oil: An important member of the oil team for cold dishes, like salad dressings. This one has a lower smoke point, meaning you can’t heat it quite as high.
- Safflower oil: With almost no flavor, polyunsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and a high smoke point, this is your oil for healthier frying.
- Sesame oil: This also has a high smoke point, but brings a really sesame, nutty taste. Super tasty in Asian dishes!
- Coconut oil: This has a high smoke point and a distinct coconut aroma and taste. It’s high in saturated fat, so use it in moderation.
- Maple syrup: Use a touch of maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar for a more rounded taste and more phyotchemicals and antioxidants than table sugar.
- Medjool dates: Soak these to get them nice and soft then remove the pits and blend into a date paste. This paste works wonders for sweetening things like baked goods!
- Stevia: The leaves of the stevia plant are dried, ground up, and sometimes removed of their color to create a substance that can be substituted for sugar.
- Raw agave nectar: A sweet syrup from the agave plant that’s actually sweeter than sugar, so you need less of it.
- Honey: Because maple syrup can be pricey, I tend to use honey a lot more in place of sugar. Also brings a more rounded flavor to things like baked goods, smoothies, and soups without the refined sugar.
- Odds and Ends
- Nutritional yeast: A deactivated yeast that has a cheesy/eggy/savory flavor.
- Raw cacao nibs or powder: While cocoa has been roasted at a high temperature, cacao is raw, so a lot of the nutrients are still well and intact. You can use cacao and cocoa interchangeably in most recipes.
- Coconut milk (full-fat and light): Skim the cream off full-fat cans to make dairy-free whipped cream, or use light coconut milk to add a lot of creaminess to soups or smoothies.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Bring major favor and smokiness to your recipes.
- Condiments and Sauces
- Miso: An umami-rich paste made from fermented soybeans. It’s great for adding salt/savory/umami to soups, dressings, marinades, the works.
- Dijon mustard: Adds a bit of spicy intensity to dishes. Even if you don’t like mustard (like me), this is an important one to have for general cooking.
- Tahini: Made from sesame seeds, this is a potent little sauce that I incorporate into Asian dishes and baked goods alike. It’s sold both roasted and raw.
- Hummus: Made from chickpeas and tahini, this is a protein-packed spread that’s great in sandwiches or as a veggies/pita bread dip.
- Tamari: This is a sauce made from soy beans that is a lot like soy sauce, but a bit thicker and smokier. It’s free from gluten and has a lot less sodium.
- Coconut Aminos: This is a sauce made from coconut sap that is interchangeable with soy sauce or tamari!
- Alterna-milks and Dairy
- Fruits and Veggies
- The produce section is your best friend! Stock up on leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce), crunchy veggies (beets, carrots, zucchini, cucumber), dreamy creamy produce (avocados, bananas) and lots of fruit (apples, oranges, berries).
- Use aquafaba (chickpea water) to get a similarly fluffy result!
- Whipped Cream
- Use agar agar, a seaweed derivative, for thickening similar to gelatin
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P.S. Have an awesome raw foods tip that’s not listed here? Send me a message and I’ll include it so we can all learn from each other!
P.S.S. This post contains affiliate links for products I love, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.