Why Ingredients Matter :
Making better choices preserves ancient food producing methods , ensuring that food integrity is kept in tact , maintaining the art of sustainable farming practices .
Build a Better Pantry . Start simple . Focusing on the the basics . Everything else will fall into place .
Upgrade your salt to either Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt for their nutrient density ; the latter has a host of benefits . Celtic sea salt contains all eighty – two trace minerals . This helps with water – electrolyte balance & release . This is evident by the moist nature of the grains . Besides , salt is probably the one ingredient that can either make or break your culinary explorations .
I keep both types on hand .
Olive oil , is not a cooking oil . It is used as a finisher to compliment the finished product . When cooking , use a good neutral oil that can stand up to medium to high heat . Avocado , sunflower , walnut , or refined coconut ( this oil has had the overall coconut flavour refined out through natural means ) . Avoid hydrogenated oils , as the chemical structure has been modified to ensure shelf stability .
Medium chain fatty acids or MCFA are easier for absorption . These are minimally processed , usually through cold pressing extraction methods .
Keep in mind that oil has tendencies to go rancid & should be in packaging that blocks out light ; dark glass , airtight metal containers . Clear glass or plastic bottles are convenient , but if you are diving in & investing in a better product , careful packaging considerations should be taken .
Nutritional yeast . The secret flavour booster . This can be found prepackaged or in your local natural food store in the bulk section .
Tamari . Soy sauce was designed to be the ultimate experience in umami , 旨味 ( Savoury , one of five basic tastes ) next to salt , this ingredient adds depth & flavour to all your explorations ) . San — J is an exceptional choice in that they use old world brewing standards . A little goes a long way . Parmesan cheese from the Parma region of Italy is possibly the only other food that contains natural umami .
Produce should be fresh & organic . There are many family farms out there that produce organic goods ( the craft food movement is burgeoning , as more & more people are looking into knowing the source of thier food , as well as those who produce it ) . Seek them out . To ensure freshness , purchase the day of use .
Flour . There are so many options for flour these days . For bread & pasta , I use a good Italian Tip 00 ( extra fine grind ) . I don’t know what it is , but the Italian production method for producing this flour seems not to affect those who are gluten sensitive ( possibly because the Italians are obsessed with the regional integrity of their food sourcing & are not concerned with utilising modern , industrialised farming practices such as genetically modified organisms , or GMOs ) .
Spices . These are easily acquired at your local natural food store , in the bulk department . They should be organic & as fresh as possible .
Frontier Co — Op is an excellent source for herbs & spices , including blends ; as is EdenFoods ( they were ensuring seed to farm to consumer tracing bebfore it was cool ) .
Sweeteners make dessert . If you have made it this far into this article , you are well on your way to making small , positive changes into enhancing your overall culinary explorations . Agave is a good sweetener as it is syrup like in nature & has notes of vanilla & caramel in the profile . Coconut sugar adds a nice toasted , nutty profile, stevia is probably the best sweetening alternative , but it is definitely an acquired taste ; as is monk fruit . For these items , Wholesome does an exceptional job .
Get out & explore your local import grocers , the prices may be a tad higher , but the end result is worth it . You owe it to yourself to know the sources of the things that you consume .
As mentioned previously , The Italians are really passionate about their local & regional food culture , as are the Japanese , & sourcing certifications are important to the former , ensuring that the item is what it claims to be & that you are not eating pencil shavings posing as parmesan .
The American culinary scene is catching on & the market is full of exceptional products , it just takes a little digging , like anything of value .