One of the things that overwhelmed me most when getting started on our real food journey was all the different items I read that I needed to have in my pantry or on hand at all times. I wish you could have seen the list I made from all the different blogs I read. It was crazy and would have cost me hundreds of dollars right off the bat for things I didn’t even really know how to use. That’s why I want to write this blog for you. Who knows, you’ll probably read a million other real food blogs and make you own list, but this one is a little different. Instead of writing the things you should have, I’m going to write about the things that made me feel different almost immediately and the things that were simpler changes to make.
1. Coconut oil – This is by far the number one item in my pantry. I buy it in bulk at Costco. I have yet to find it cheaper elsewhere. It lasts forever and I use it for everything. I use it for everything from frying eggs to baking and sauteing veggies to body lotion and makeup remover. I have since started using ghee to fry my eggs in, but if you’re just looking on a way to eliminate the hydrogenated oils from your diet and make a significant change, this is the way to go. This is also one of the biggest changes I felt in my body once I switched from Canola oil and Vegetable oil. I actually feel the difference.
2. Coconut sugar – I use this in place of normal sugar in a ton of recipes…plus, if you’re a coffee drinker like me, the biggest task in this whole journey can be figuring out how to keep your morning coffee (flavor and all) I know there are a lot of different views on coffee drinking, but this is just something I am not willing to give up. I LOVE it. That being said, I still want it to be real. Coconut sugar is the only sweetener I’ve been happy with. Everything else leaves an aftertaste for me. The coconut sugar tastes no different to me than regular sugar, but I also have to have cream…which leads me to the next item on the list.
3. Raw milk – This is definitely a topic to research and see if it is right for your family, however it has been huge for us. I use it as the cream in my coffee, for baking, cooking and for oatmeal…the kids eat oatmeal almost every day. They love it and they really love it with raw milk. Once you switch, I bet you never go back. It is so creamy and delicious! Also, raw milk doesn’t spoil like pasteurized milk. Once pasteurized milk goes bad you cannot use it for anything else, but when raw milk sours, you can use it for so many things! There’s a great list here on The Healthy Home Economists blog. We also do almond milk and coconut milk.
4. Whole Chicken – I buy one of these a week and put it in the crock pot. Once the meat is done and I de-bone it, I put the meat in the fridge to be used for meals later in the week and return the bones to the pot to cook for another 20 hours. I don’t know what I would do without my bone broth each week. Read more about that here.
5. Fresh Eggs – Ok…so I was buying my eggs fresh from a local family. They of course met all of the real food guidelines, but since the price of feed went up, neither one of my sources are selling them anymore. If you think the switch to real food is hard and tastes different, I promise you will be more than pleasantly surprised by this switch. There is a HUGE difference in the taste of a fresh egg as opposed to those you would buy at the grocery store. We go through 3 dozen a week here…at least…with lots of butter.
What are your Everyday Real Food Essentials?