5 Must-Have 'Staples' for a Healthy Kitchen

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A healthy kitchen (and diet) is always one that is rich in plant whole foods - but there's more to the equation than just FOOD.

Your health thrives on a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and macro-nutrients that can only be obtained from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains.

And these should account for a large portion of your diet.

In addition, there are certain 'staple' items that should compliment your healthy eating plan and accompany the majority of your meals.

Broadly speaking, these categories are oils, salts, spices and fermented foods...but not just any 'ole varieties of these things.

Raw versions of these complimentary staples, not only lift the taste of your food, but also add tremendous benefits to your health.

Build the foundations of your healthy kitchen around these five versatile, 'stand-out' complimentary, natural foods

1. Organic Coconut Oil

For centuries, coconut oil has been used traditionally by cultures around the world, not only for everyday nourishment, but also for its medicinal properties.

The high “good fat” content in Coconut Oil, along with potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, make it a nutritional and 'self care' remedy powerhouse.

Creamy and delicious, add Coconut Oil to whole food smoothies, raw deserts or spoon it straight from the jar for sustained energy.

Additionally, its high 'heat point' makes coconut oil the perfect, healthy oil for frying and baking because its nutritional structure remains intact, unlike other oils which alter chemically under heat stress. 

Make sure you ONLY use Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil!

Health Benefits:

  • Promote fat burning & weight-loss
  • Kill bacteria, fungi & viruses
  • Lower levels of “bad” cholesterol
  • Boost immunity

Culinary Uses:

  • Salad dressing
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter & margarine alternative e.g. toast
  • Smoothie additive
  • Dessert flavouring
  • Magic Bullet Coffee

Learn more in The Amazing Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

2. Nature-Made Salt

Every healthy kitchen needs nature-made salt.

Good salt not only transforms the taste of just about any food, but it is also vital to your sustained health and longevity.

There’s one caveat though, the most commonly used salt, "table salt" (that you'll commonly find on your supermarket shelf or cafe), is generally heavily refined, has chemicals added so that it doesn't 'cake' and is actually harmful.

Choose nature-made salts in their original form, which have not been refined or tampered with, as they still contain all the essential minerals in order for you to receive the health benefits.

Three of the best include:

Health Benefits:

Culinary Uses:

  • Flavour enhancer
  • Seasoning
  • Reduce bitterness
  • Fermenting agent & preservative

Learn more in The Truth About Salt

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Made only from chopped apples and filtered water, it’s the 3-4 week fermentation process that helps give this ancient elixir so many health properties.

Serving as a “prebiotic”, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) will feed the “good” bacteria in your digestive system, a vital factor in the proper functioning of your gut and major precursor to good health!

Thanks to its tangy taste, in small quantities it can “add a bit of bite” to certain dishes.

You can also use it as a “rinse” for your 'non-organic' fruits and veggies, by adding to a tub of clean water, to help remove pesticides and herbicides before refrigerating or storing them.

Learn more in Organic Versus Non-Organic

When choosing your ACV, make sure that it’s not only organic, but also contains “The Mother” which is a colony of beneficial bacteria that help to ferment and create vinegar.

One of the best brands which we stock, use and recommend is Bragg Raw & Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.

Health Benefits:

Culinary Uses:

  • Salad dressing
  • Sauces & chutneys
  • Natural food preservative

Learn more in The Self Care Powers Of Apple Cider Vinegar

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rich in antioxidants, good fats and vitamin E, olive oil along with being a delicious addition to food, it also has strong anti-inflammatory and health-protective qualities.

Used for thousands of years in the Mediterranean region where the olive tree originates, it has been linked as one of the key factors that promote longevity associated with cultures in this same area.

Whilst olive oil is widely used in cooking, its best to only use cold-pressed, extra virgin varieties, RAW, rather than for cooking, due to their lower 'heat point' which can alter the chemical structure and nutritional qualities of the oil.

Health Benefits:

Culinary Uses:

  • Salad dressing
  • Sautéing
  • Dip

Learn more in Pour On The Olive Oil: 5 Ways It Keeps You Healthy

5. Pure Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated, pure extracts from plants that are 50-70 times more potent than plants.

Not only are they nature's true medicines, delivering a host of therapeutic and health benefits, they're a perfect companion in the kitchen.

If you don’t have access to certain fresh herbs, a few drops of pure essential oils into a soup, salad or sauce will add amazing nutrients and flavour to your cooking.

Essential Oils have an abundant shelf life, providing the perfect solution to all of those packs of herbs that you buy, use only a small amount and leave the rest to wilt in the fridge!

Not all essential oils are created equal and it’s vital that you only use pure essential oils, such as dōTERRA if you are going to consume them internally or use them in cuisine!

The following “herbaceous” varieties are a great addition to add to dishes for extra flavour:

These non-savoury oils come in handy to add to water, beverages and even desserts:

Health Benefits:

  • Support immune system & function
  • Protect against free radicals
  • Digestive aid
  • Promote internal detox & cleansing

Culinary Uses:

  • Pasta sauces
  • Dips & spreads
  • Raw treats
  • Teas & infusions
  • Beverage & coffee flavouring

Learn more in 6 Pure Essential Oils To Support Gut Health

If you’re looking for some extra healthy whole food options as a base for your meals which will not only provide optimal nourishment but are readily available, check out these 10 Self Care Superfoods For Health & Healing.

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