A few things to always keep in your pantry.
Now, you might not know this about me, but I am really into cooking and baking. This really all came about when I started dating Nick because I finally had someone who I actually enjoyed cooking and eating with. Since we’ve been together, Nick and I have dived deep into the world of cooking – trying tons of new recipes and making almost everything from scratch.
So today I want to discuss some of the things I always have on-hand in my kitchen. In part one, I focused on kitchen “gadgets” (think blender, dutch oven, cast iron skillet, etc). In this part two, I want to touch more upon ingredients.
- Salt – There is no cooking without salt. Again, there is no cooking without salt. It really is a must in any kitchen, and from reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (and watching the Netflix show) I’ve learned that not all salt is created equal. So what type of salt should you have on hand? #1: Kosher (use this for everyday cooking. Choose Morton or Diamond Crystal); #2: Sea Salt (use this to add a crunchy texture to your food. My favorite is Maldon).
- Organic Coconut Oil – This is such a great item to have on hand. I use it for body/face lotion, oil pulling, sautéing, and add some to my golden milk recipe. Not only does coconut oil add a nice subtle flavor to your sautéing, it also has a higher smoke point that other oils (like olive oil, which only should be consumed uncooked). It isn’t quite as heat tolerant as avocado oil or ghee (AKA, clarified butter and my personal favorite oil for sautéing), but is much cheaper and easily found at most grocery stores.
- Vinegar – It cleans everything! We keep white and apple cider on hand. We have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each morning, either mixed with water or in our green smoothie. There are lots of health benefits to having a little every day. As for while vinegar, we use it to pickle with and to clean with. Dish washer not cleaning great? White vinegar. Washing machine smelling weird? White vinegar. Burnt mark on your stainless steel pots and pans? White vinegar. It is non-toxic and the best cleaning product out there.
- The Rest – I’d also like to briefly mention fresh lemons, cracked black pepper, honey, chocolate, extra-virgin olive oil, all-purpose flour, onions, garlic, butter, cream, eggs, parmesan cheese, and sweet potatoes as my other essential pantry items.
But really, the best things to have ready in the kitchen are skills, clean hands, and an excited attitude. The skills are the hardest to get a hold of, but there is a lot of knowledge out there! I’d highly recommend reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as it truly does help you “master the elements of good cooking.” And I’ve been obsessed with Julia Child after finishing Julie and Julia. I’d recommend watching some of Julia Child’s The French Chef videos available on YouTube, she has a lot of great knowledge packed in each episode!
What kitchen essentials do you always keep on hand? Let us know below.