Have Now: 5 Healthy Things for the Pantry

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Maca Powder – this powdered superfood has amazing flavor. I’ve raved about it in recipes on the blog before, and now I find myself adding it into everything. While boosting energy and packing in vitamins, maca powder has a nutty flavor that makes a great addition to shakes, cereals, muffins, creamy pasta sauces, and more. One of my favorite ways to use it is in tea. Brew your tea like normal. While brewing, heat up about ½ cup of almond milk in a sauce pan. Whisk in ½ tbsp of maca powder until it dissolves. The almond milk should froth up a bit. Pour the mixture into a mug, and top of with your tea. It’s full of energy and delicious! I use the Navitas Naturals Raw Maca Powder.

Almond Milk – Who doesn’t love the creamy flavor of rich milk? Unfortunately, we most all do, but if you’re anything like me, you tend to stay more and more away from dairy. As a substitute, I love to use almond milk. I prefer it over soy because it keeps my soy consumption low, is less dense, lower in calories, full of protein, and – in my opinion – more delicious. Cereal with soy milk can get a bit rich, but cereal with almond milk is light and delicious. Also, use it instead of creamer in your coffee. The flavor is so good! I usually buy the Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened but the non-refrigerated types are fine too.

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PB2 – If you’re one of those women (like me) who will dip a spoon into a jar of peanut butter and suck on it like a lollipop – this stuff is for you. I use the Bell Plantation brand. Essentially, they remove most of the fatty oils by slow roasting and then pressing the peanuts. The result is a powder-like peanut-flavored ingredient that you can do all sorts of things with. You can simply add a bit of water to make it creamy like peanut butter, or add it into things like shakes. Best part? It’s an all natural way to a lesser fat, lesser calorie option for peanut butter. Try that with some banana and wholegrain toast!

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Citrus Kombucha – I prefer the citrus flavored Kombucha because of the added benefits of citrus. In general, citrus is a really great thing to have for the digestive system. It helps to fight grease, aiding in the digestion and utilization of fat in the body while maintaining pH levels and detoxifying your system. In general, it’s also a great source of soluble fiber, potassium, and other important minerals. Combine this with the live cultures in Kombucha, and your digestive system is good to go. I usually buy GT’S Organic Raw Kombucha, but you can also make your own!

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Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a great vegan alternative to butter, and it can also be substituted for oil. There is some debate over how healthy the stuff really is (see article here). It does still contain saturated fats, but the flavor that this stuff has is awesome. Slip some coconut oil into a dish strategically, and you can give it an entirely new spin. The delicate underlying coconut flavor adds a perfect touch of gourmet. Try roasting some sweet potatoes in the oven with coconut oil, or fold it into a pie crust, and you’ll see what I mean.  I usually pick up Spectrum brand or whatever is cheapest – just try and stay away from the refined stuff. Stick to unrefined or “virgin” coconut oil.

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Comments

alexis -February 21, 2012, 2:15PM

I LOVE LOVE LOVE kombucha, but please please be VERY CAREFUL if you homebrew it!! It’s easy to screw up and if you do it wrong it can be disastrous. I have a friend who has an incurable fungal infection in his lungs that was caused by improperly made homebrew kombucha. No joke. If you homebrew, get someone who really knows what they’re doing to show you, in person, step by step how to do it properly. Just a word of caution.

Enid Kypragoras -February 22, 2012, 6:46AM

Must try the PB2!.. Been doing unsweetened Almond Milk and kombucha for years.. I stay away from coconut oil, however in favor of olive or sesame.

megan -February 22, 2012, 1:51PM

Trader Joes has organic coconut oil at a great price…I have been using it in food, tea, and on my skin. Love the scent and flavor!

Chelsea -February 23, 2012, 9:47AM

PB2 is an awesome choice, I like the chocolate bt the originals good too. I got it from Amazon.com and it’s sorta expensive…any betr places to get it?

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