Many of these items have a link to the item Amazon. If you follow the link and order the item there, Amazon will give me a tiny percent of the purchase price. It’s not a way to get rich, but it does help to support this blog.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
See Cider Vinegar.
I think toasted almond butter tastes much better than raw, though if you are making vegan caramel for Banana Claw Ice Cream then either kind will work fine. Some good brands are Maranatha and Once Again.
I like frozen broccoli florets better than fresh. Broccoli that was frozen in the field right after it was picked may retain more nutrients than fresh broccoli that has been sitting in the grocery store. And florets take less preparation. So I usually buy frozen florets instead of fresh broccoli. I prefer “broccoli florets” to “broccoli cuts” — which often include a lot of pieces of stems.
Butler Soy Curls:
These dried strips of soy protein rehydrate into a pleasantly “meaty” gluten-free vegan protein that tastes great in chilis and casseroles. Here is Butler’s website, where you can order them. I don’t make any money if you order from this link — I am posting it here only because I like their soy curls: www.butlerfoods.com
Eden Cannellini Beans are organic and come in a BPA-free can. The link takes you to a twelve-pack. To prepare, open the can, put the beans in a strainer, and run water over the beans. Voila!
Non-organic canola oil is genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides, and then it is treated heavily with herbicides. Residues are left in the oil. So I recommend cooking with organic canola oil, which should have much less of that. Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with, because it is low in saturated fat and has a good mix of Omega 3’s. Face the Fats is an article from Nutrition Action Healthletter about which fats are healthy — see the chart on the last page.
As a child, the few times I tasted carob I thought it tasted like “fake chocolate,” so I avoided it. But I have some issues with chocolate, so recently I’ve been experimenting with carob. Foods Alive makes a raw organic carob powder that can nicely substitute for half of the cocoa powder in a recipe.
My kids take any non-dairy milk in the house, make it into cocoa, and then it disappears. Luckily it is super-easy to make your own cashew milk.
Equal Exchange brand is organic, vegan, and fair-trade.
NOW Foods brand is organic, gluten-free, and works great in recipes.
Let’s Do Organic shredded coconut.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, so I rarely use it. But it does make just the right consistency for the topping for Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie. Any organic coconut oil should work fine, such as Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil.
Curry powder is actually a mixture of spices. My partner mixes his own from scratch! As another alternative, I’ve been buying curry powder from Penzey’s — where all of the spices are gluten-free. However, I am still looking for a curry powder that is organic, gluten-free, and flavorful without being hot.
I’ve been ordering the five-pound bag of organic dates from nuts.com. It is huge and lasts a while. I also really love the pre-packaged bulk dates from Whole Foods, because their dates are huge and very soft. Usually bulk foods aren’t safe for people with food allergies, because of the risk of cross-contamination. But at my local Whole Foods store I asked an employee how they handle dates at their store, and I was reassured that the things I am allergic to weren’t likely to be in contact with the dates. But that is just one store. I recommend that you check with your own local store if you want to buy store-packed dates from them.
When preparing dates, if they have pits, cut them open to remove each pit. I also always check every date, because sometimes even if the pits have been removed a hard piece of stem is still attached. That stem needs to be removed before using the date in a recipe.
Annie’s Dijon Mustard is organic, gluten-free, and works well in recipes.
Please choose eggs wisely, so that you are not supporting the systematic animal cruelty of our country’s industrial chicken farming systems. Even words like “free-range” and “organic” may not mean that the chickens really do ever go outside. My local grocery store carries eggs from local Amish farmers. My family buys those eggs, in the hope that Amish farmers take more traditional care of their chickens than much of the industrial farming world does. Some of the best eggs I’ve ever had were from my friend Diana’s pet chickens. Their chicken named Shirley makes great eggs, and I know that Diana’s family takes excellent care of their chickens. Sometimes they post pictures of chicken antics on Facebook! :-) Of course, another option is to skip eggs altogether and use vegan Flax Eggs instead. See the next paragraph for more info.
Here is how to make flax eggs — a vegan replacement for eggs.
Here is a recipe and a discussion of what to put in a gluten-free flour mix.
Gluten-Free Flour Mix:
Here is a recipe and a discussion of what to put in a gluten-free flour mix.
I like Arrowhead Mills organic green lentils and Arrowhead Mills organic red lentils. Lentils are one of the few beans that doesn’t need soaking. You just add them to water and cook. Red lentils cook super-fast; brown or green lentils take 30 to 45 minutes.
The healthiest oils are canola and olive oils. My picks are Spectrum Organic Canola Oil, and any organic olive oil. Organic means that it was grown in ways that are good for the planet — and free of GMOs and residues from the pesticides that are used heavily on genetically modified crops.
When I was younger, I didn’t like olives. But other people did. So one day I tried my mom’s approach of sitting down with a jar of olives and eating one after another until I could figure out what it was that people liked about olives. It worked! Today I love the salty nuggets that olives add to a recipe. And I completely adore the brand Organic Divina pitted green olives. These are big meaty olives that stand up well to any recipe. They are very much worth seeking out!
I like Field Day Organic brown rice pasta. Note that the link takes you to a twelve-pack.
My favorite varieties are Yukon Gold and Yellow Finn, but any organic potato will do. Non-organic potatoes are grown with alarming amounts of dangerous chemicals, and residues of those chemicals stay in the potatoes even after harvest, so even if you don’t always eat organic it is worth seeking out organic potatoes.
Here is How to cook a pumpkin.
I think of salsa as “yummy pourable nutrients.” It tastes good, takes no preparation other than opening a jar, and can be added to lots of foods, such as my chili recipe. I especially like Amy’s Mild Salsa.
Currently I use Hain Iodized Sea Salt. Iodine is a necessary nutrient and there isn’t a lot of it in my family’s diet, so we pick salt with iodine added. However, along with iodine you also get: Calcium Silicate (Anti-Caking Agent), Dextrose, Potassium Iodide, and Sodium Bicarbonate — and I am not sure that I want my family to be eating all of those additives. Also, my friends with corn allergies tell me that with these additives also comes corn that they cannot eat. So I am interested in switching to another type of salt, but concerned that the iodine matters. If you have advice about this, I would be grateful to hear it.
Oh how I love smoked paprika!!! Everything tastes more amazing with smoked paprika!!! My pick is Frontier smoked paprika.
See Butler Soy Curls above.
See Tamari, below.
I use organic extra-firm tofu from the Michigan Soy Company — it has a panda on the package. Some people say that tofu is much better if you first press it, before cooking, by wrapping it in a dish towel and resting a weight on it to squeeze out water. The extra-firm tofu that is available here in Ann Arbor seems to be much firmer than tofu anyplace else, so I never need to press it. But tofu that isn’t as firm may need pressing, even if the package says it is extra-firm.
Nielsen-Massey organic vanilla extract is gluten-free, smells wonderful, and works great in recipes. The bottles do tend to dribble, though — I wish they would change their packaging.
White Wine Vinegar:
I use Spectrum Organic white wine vinegar. Note that the link takes you to a six-pack.