A Naturopath's Pantry.
As a naturopath, I often get asked what I eat and what I keep in my cupboards. Most of the food I love and buy every week are fresh, perishable foods that are in season. Today however, I’m going to share with you the few things that I never go without.
Apple cider vinegar:
This little gem I was not a fan of at first, but now I can’t live without having 3-4 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar in water in a day. I always start the day with 1-2 teaspoons in a big glass of luke warm water, to get my digestion awake and firing! You can use ACV to wash your fruits and veggies.
Chia seeds pack a powerful punch of both protein and essential fatty acids, making them a favourite to include in my breakfast. At night, I’ll add 2 tablespoons of chia into a small jar filled ¾ with milk, cinnamon and berries, then shake! That goes into the fridge overnight and coming a delicious pudding for the next morning. Also easy to grab on the run during those busy mornings!
Coconut oil, ghee, extra virgin olive oil and nuts:
Don’t be afraid of fats! I most often cook with ghee or coconut oil, as both of these have a high melting point. They also provide some amazing flavours that you don’t get from other, more refined cooking oils. Olive oil and nuts I love to drizzle and sprinkle over salads, and make into salad dressings!
A great source of magnesium and antioxidants, a treat for you and your body! Go for at least 70% dark chocolate, or try making your own by combining cacao, coconut oil, nut butter and pure vanilla essence to taste.
Not technically an ingredient, but something that always presides in my cupboard nonetheless! Being an essential oil, eucalyptus oil is a natural anti-bacterial agent making it the perfect option for cleaning. Plus, it makes the house smell amazing.
Greek yoghurt is a perfect option for breakfast, added into a smoothie or combined with a little honey for a sweet treat. I also use it in place of sour cream in dips, curries and soups. In summer, you can freeze it to make home-made frozen yoghurt, perfect with berries pureed in!
Talk about a versatile food! Not only is it delicious, it’s a good source of easily digestible dairy and live cultures that we need for a healthy gut. Be sure to check your label to ensure it contains these good bacteria, and opt for choices with minimal sweetness added in (none if possible!).
In-season veggies and fruit:
A colourful range of veggies is always my plan, but the plants themselves change with the season! Shopping at local markets means you don’t need to decipher what is in season or not, they generally only sell in-season produce. However, a few key options I look for according to season are:
- Summer: Corn, beetroot, eggplant, rhubarb, melons and berries.
- Autumn: Beans, pumpkin, capsicum, mushrooms, pears and apples.
- Winter: Broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, leek, citrus fruits.
- Spring: Zucchini, silverbeet, potatoes, artichokes, peaches and plums.
Can’t afford to eat all organic? You don’t need to! Some tips on what veggies to look for and to keep your shopping under budget here.
As they say, variety is the spice of live, and I like to include as much variety in my spices as possible! However, I always have a bunch growing next to my kitchen, including those that I tend to run through most often. They are fresh basil, rosemary, garlic, ginger, turmeric and paprika.
Sustainable tinned fish:
Lunch at work is usually leftovers from dinner the night before, I make a point to make extra for the next day! However, sometimes when I’m not organised or am in need of a snack at work, I turn to the tinned fish (salmon most often) I keep in the drawer.
Tea, tea and more tea:
All of them, all day. Specifically though, dandelion root tea would have to be my favourite. It tastes a little like coffee and is a warming treat on a cold day. Matcha green tea is fast becoming a favourite also as you can have this with or without milk!
Dinner is usually an affair of meat, poultry or fish and cooked or fresh veggies. I like to include some nutrient-dense carbs as well, going for quinoa, basmati rice, bulgur and wholegrain pastas. Usually, there’s at least two of these on rotation at a time!