10 Pantry Staples Every Whole 30-er Should Have On Hand
Congratulations! You’ve committed to doing the Whole30! Cue the fireworks!
You’ve bought the books, you’ve found your in-person and online support, you’ve ordered some meals to have on hand from Kettlebell Kitchen’s Whole30 Approved plan and now, it’s time to go food shopping.
In addition to the ingredients you need for any recipes you make, it’s important to have a well-stocked pantry. Being prepared is the key to success on Whole30.
Here are my Top 10 “Must Have” items (in no particular order) to keep in your Whole30 pantry:
Olive and Avocado Oil
These are workhorses of a Whole30 kitchen. You will use these oils all the time. For olive oil, be sure to grab both extra virgin olive oil and light olive oil.Use the EVOO to roast vegetables or whip up a quick salad dressing using any combination of EVOO, compliant balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, compliant mustard, apple cider vinegar, and spices. I use the light olive oil for homemade mayo and dump ranch (a dairy-free version of traditional ranch.) I use avocado oil to fry eggs, and saute things like compliant chicken sausage and Brussels sprouts.
Whole30 encourages you to go easy on your nut consumption, as these can add up quickly, but there have been many times when I’ve added a handful of cashews to my meal for a quick fat. I also love raw almonds and walnuts. Nuts are great on top of salads or mixed into dishes like a deconstructed egg roll in a bowl. Keep some raw nuts in your purse and at your desk at work is a good idea too, just in case of a hunger emergency.
I keep no fewer than four cans of unsweetened full-fat coconut milk in my pantry at all times. I use coconut milk in my coffee and to make scrambled eggs and egg bakes., I also use it in several recipes, including dump ranch, which I almost always have on hand.
A staple for so much in Whole30 — cook your eggs in it, put it in your coffee, use it in recipes, and even put it on your face to moisturize.
Having some basic spices at your fingertips is so important on Whole30. Make sure you’re stocked up on salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, cinnamon, and Italian seasoning. I also like to have a variety of compliant seasoning blends in my pantry, from brands such as Paleo Powder, Primal Palate, and Tiny Little Chef. Check your labels to make sure everything is compliant. If you want to add a few more, grab some mustard powder, dried chives, cumin, and paprika. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, check out their “Everything But the Bagel” blend, their Seasoning Salt, and their Mushroom & Company Umami seasoning.
Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Whole Squash, and Onions
These veggies keep for a very long time and you can easily cut them into chunks, spread on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper (or the spices of your choice — see above) and then roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. You can also microwave a sweet potato or potato (be sure to poke holes in it first) for about 8-10 minutes and serve with ghee or olive oil, and salt and pepper to take care of part of your veggie and fat requirements. If you have more time, you can slather coconut oil on your potatoes or sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and cook them low and slow in your oven — 200 degrees for 2-3 hours.
There will come a night when you are too tired to cook dinner. Either grab a Kettlebell Kitchen meal or be prepared with some emergency protein, such as compliant hot dogs, frozen chicken or beef burgers, or canned tuna or salmon. Some tuna contains soy, so be sure to read your labels. Heat up some hot dogs/burgers and serve with some easy veggies and fat. Or open a can of tuna and mix with your homemade mayo or dump ranch and you’re are good to go!
When I first started Whole30 in 2015, I was not a fan of ghee. To be fair, I was using a ho-hum store brand. My world changed when I tried good ghee, and now I’m hooked! My favorites are local Boston-made Gather Superfoods and Fourth & Heart’s Himalayan Pink Salt ghee. Add ghee to your coffee, throw some on a baked potato, use it to make homemade buffalo sauce (with compliant hot sauce), or just add a dollop to the veggies already on your plate. It’s that good. I make a lot of salmon cakes, and ghee is great in these. You can also make "fried" zucchini by sautéing zucchini, almond meal, ghee, and salt and pepper until it gets nice and browned.
One of the first mistakes I made on Whole30 was that I overbought fruit, and it went bad. I tend to eat fruit at one or two meals daily because I enjoy it, and I’m fairly active. Fruit like apples, oranges, pears, and bananas tend to stay good for a while. Another idea is to keep shelf-stable, no-sugar-added applesauce pouches and raisins in your house for emergencies. If your fruit starts to go bad, you can cook it up in some water (add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc) and make your own makeshift apple/fruit sauce. Just remember to eat it with your meal and not as a post-dinner treat.
Compliant Chicken Sausage
About once a week, I cook up a package of compliant apple chicken sausage. I either cut it into rounds and sauté it in avocado oil with diced green apple and onion and salt and pepper, or I turn the chicken sausage into a sheet pan meal, adding whatever veggies I have on hand, light olive oil, and Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning blend. Bake it at 400 for 30-40 mins (I like mine nice and crispy). Whichever version I make, it becomes an easy addition to breakfast with eggs or a quick lunch to pack for work. So good and so easy!
About the Author:
Judith Forman is a mother, nonprofiter, fitness enthusiast, and meal prep queen who discovered Whole30 in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. For more tips on Whole30, visit Judith’s blog at www.everydaywhole.com. To learn more about Judith’s Whole30 coaching, check out https://coach.whole30.com/coaches/judith-forman/. Follow Judith on Instagram at @jujuswhole30 for more Whole30 inspiration!