healthy living

12 Paleo Foods You Must Have in Your Cupboard

Making the decision the switch a paleo lifestyle may not be the easiest transition. But with a little prep and just the right ingredients in your cupboard; you will be cooking as natural as always with just a few paleo substitutions in no time, consider this Paleo foods. Stocking your cupboard with all of the necessary paleo and healthy ingredients can be as simple as starting with just 12 basic paleo must-haves.

 

  • Coconut Aminos  

 

    • Having coconut aminos available in your pantry could be just what you need to boost the flavor in your paleo dishes. Coconut aminos are useful in a number of ways; from sauces to stir fry’s, it will lend you a similar flavor to that of soy sauce. Coconut aminos is the raw sap of the coconut tree. Harvested, then allowed to age before being combined with sun-dried sea salt to accomplish its soy like flavor.
  • Ghee 

 

    • While if you are familiar with ghee, your first response may be that it isn’t paleo; this is arguably true. Made from dairy, Ghee is cooked until all of the milk solids are removed, making it part of the paleo diet. If you are willing to use ghee on a technicality, it can impart a great nutty flavor to many of your dishes. Just be sure not to confuse ghee with clarified butter, clarified butter has not had its milk proteins removed or cooked off!
  • Coconut Milk 

 

    • The most popular milk substitute used in paleo cooking. It is rich, creamy, and lends itself well to cooking and flavoring dishes. Coconut is a substitute for traditional cow’s milk and will leave you with a delicious outcome.
  • Almond Milk 

 

    • Almond milk is the perfect substitute for cow’s milk in everyday uses, such as drinking, baking, and other cooked or uncooked recipes. The best part is making your own un-processed almond milk out of almonds.
  • Nuts 

 

    • Keeping a stash of nuts around the house, other than peanuts, is a great handy snack that packs a much-needed protein punch. Using nuts in everyday cooking from stir fry’s to baking, even when to just add a tasty crunch. Nuts are highly regarded in the category of Paleo foods.
  • Almond Butter 

 

    • If you are searching for a healthy peanut butter substitute, almond butter is the top choice. It is rich, creamy, and nutritious. This can be made at home with no added sugar.
  • Coconut Creamer 

 

    • While coconut cream is similar to coconut milk, it’s much thicker and lends itself well to things such as paleo whipped cream. It is also great to use for paleo ice cream and other healthy versions of traditional sweet treats.
  • Almond Flour  

 

    • Known as almond meal or ground almonds, is a perfect grain-free flour substitute. Yes, Almond flour is a top pick for flour substitute in many different variations, such as baking or breading. Almond flour lends itself well to creating paleo bread, muffins, and cakes.
  • Coconut Flour 

 

    • Growing in popularity for its grain free properties and produced from dried coconut meat. Yes, coconut flour is grain free, gluten free, and high in protein value.
  • Dark Chocolate 

 

    • While it is important to purchase close to 100% dark chocolate as possible, dark chocolate is an easy paleo option for the sweetness you crave. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and great for eliminating free radicals in the body. Try this, in place of traditional milk chocolate or chocolate chips in everyday recipes.
  • Honey 

 

    • Chances are that you already have honey in your pantry, but you should check the label. The best choice is always local organic honey. Local organic honey is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and is the perfect natural sweetener for everything from drinks to sauces.
  • Maple Syrup

 

  • Similar to honey, maple syrup lends itself well to sweetening everyday dishes. It also has its own delicious maple flavor, perfect for introducing warm fall flavors. Maple syrup is also conveniently interchangeable with honey in nearly all instances.

Paleo foods are located in every home and most of us tend to forget that healthy alternatives are hidden away in our kitchen.

Is Chicken Paleo?

Chicken meal photo

Ah, those chicken wings—as a staple of the American diet, you can find them nearly everywhere: from restaurants to family get-togethers to big-game Sundays, but is chicken paleo? Health-conscious people are eager to tout the goodness of chicken as an alternative to red meat and as a delicious source of protein. But is chicken really all that nutritious, or does it have toxins that should make Paleo dieters wary?

Chickens are raised in a variety of ways throughout the country, with the most common suppliers of chicken growing grain-fed farmed birds in large quantities. These chickens are raised quickly on a predetermined diet and health plan that includes medications and little exercise. Other sources of chicken give the bird free range and allow them to scavenge, feeding themselves on bugs and whatever else they can find. These birds are markedly different from the chickens produced by large companies, and all of this difference can make it difficult to decide if chicken really should be a Paleo choice.

So, is it Paleo?

Chicken meat varies greatly in its nutritional profile depending on what sort of chicken you’re eating. Toxins abound in non-pastured chicken meat; these chickens were raised on a diet of grain and were given antibiotics to keep them healthy because of the insufficiency of their diets. Needless to say, eating an antibiotic-laced chicken will have some negative consequences for you, too. In fact, this study explores how arsenic is used to help chickens to grow quickly. Arsenic is that mineral used to make glass and wood preservatives. And if the chickens are getting arsenic, you probably are too.

On the other hand, chickens raised in pastured farms are rich in vitamin E and folic acid, which helps to prevent anemia and increases the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. Chickens that are not on a grain-based diet also have a much healthier omega-3/omega-6 ratio, which enables our bodies to process these fatty acids much more efficiently—the way nature intended. Many pastured chickens are antibiotic-free and will be labeled as such.

Because chicken seems to be a nutritious option if it’s bought from the right source, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great part of a Paleo diet. Despite its nutrition benefits and versatile uses in all sorts of recipes, experts do caution that chicken is only a great option if it is not grain-fed and if it is antibiotic-free. Go with pastured or organic if possible, and if not, at least aim for meat with as little fat as possible.

What do the Paleo gurus say?

Mark Sisson says: “Breeding, feeding and other poultry farming standards result in animals that scarcely resemble each other, let alone taste the same. [Pastured] is the label I suggest looking for, but don’t be surprised if the search presents a challenge. If conventional is all you can afford or have access to it’s better than no meat at all. Just eat the leaner cuts, since toxins concentrate in fat.”

Sarah Ballantyne says: “[If you have to buy conventional instead of organic or pastured], limit consumption of chicken and other poultry, which probably has the highest omega-6 fatty acid content of any of the conventionally produced meat and poultry.”

So Is Chicken Paleo?

Yes!

Because of its great nutritional value and very few toxins, Paleo experts agree that chicken is a great addition to the Paleo plate. Be cautious, however, of what sort of chicken you buy; if you cannot afford or find pastured or organic chicken, choose the meat with the least amount of fat and limit your intake, as conventional chicken does come from birds that have been medicated.

Issue No. 29