Organizing the Paleo Pantry

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After dumping all the pre-packaged foods, the shelves will be rather empty, so it’s the perfect time to refill them with healthy food choices.

Paleo eaters use a food model that dates back to pre-agricultural times, because human physiology has remained the same for eons. The Paleo diet focuses on meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts, while avoiding grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods.

Those who clear the pantry of meal stretchers like cereals and pastas and replace them with nuts, dried fruits, beef jerky and other Paleo friendly foods often find themselves losing weight and feeling healthier. Let’s look closer how a Paleo pantry can be stocked.

Good Fats – Avoid fat that comes from vegetable oils, canola oil and hydrogenated oils. Use oils made from avocado, coconut and olives.

Herbs and Spices – Spices and herbs are important. Whenever possible, choose fresh herbs, which will last about a week when properly stored. Fresh spices are best, too, but if packaged spices are used, buy them in small quantities so that they are replaced often.

Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds satisfy hunger cravings, provide healthy fats and satisfy the crunch factor, which you might miss when you avoid grains. Try to buy nuts and seeds raw and roast them yourself. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

Dairy Products – Dairy products are eaten only in moderation. Non-dairy milks can be an excellent alternative, especial almond or coconut (but not soy or rice). Try to buy organic dairy products. Aged cheeses are best, and choose only unsweetened yogurt. Butter is okay, but no margarine or other hydrogenated products.

Broths – Broths should be organic, low sodium and no MSG. Consider making your own. You can freeze broth in small quantities, and have it handy to add flavor to dishes.

Sweeteners – Avoid refined sugar and all artificial sweeteners. Choose raw honey, raw sugar or maple syrup, and use in moderation.

Meats and Fish – Meat, fish, eggs and poultry are good sources of protein. Try to buy organic or visit a local farmers market where hormone-free, grass-fed meat products are available. Dried meats and fish keep well, too.

Vegetables – Your Paleo pantry should contain fresh vegetables. Canned vegetables contain preservatives and are to be avoided. No beans or legumes. Yams, sweet potatoes and potatoes can be eaten occasionally, but better still is squash or cauliflower. Also look for sun-dried tomatoes or shitake mushrooms that store well.

Flour Alternatives Nut flour, nut meal and coconut flour are good alternatives to grain flours, which are not allowed. Remember you will have to store these in the fridge.

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Ida Cavemen

IDA is the kind-hearted cook who also takes care of the children. This is perhaps the most difficult job in the tribe.

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