Spring has (finally!), which means it’s time for some spring cleaning. Everyone knows to clean the kitchen, but what about the food that's inside the kitchen? Here are six easy pantry swaps you can make this spring season including some delicious recipes you can create using healthier ingredients.
1. Swap Highly Processed Oils for Natural Oils
Oils like vegetable oil, canola oil and corn oil are all processed to have a prolonged shelf life or to be more resistant to heat, but some of the measures taken to extend their shelf life can alter them more than you'd like. Ditch the these oils and switch to coconut oil or olive oil. Unrefined coconut oil is a stable, saturated fat that has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and to be full of antioxidants. Plus, it has a high smoke point, which means it’s a great option to use in high heat cooking such as roasting, pan frying or baking.
2. Swap Plain Grains for Nutrient-Dense Grains
Refined grains such as white flour, white pasta, white rice and white bread have all been stripped of their nutrients leaving behind nothing but a white carbohydrate. Swap these pantry items out for whole grains like almond flour, lentil pasta, or quinoa.
Recipe Recommendations: Spring Pea Cracker Bites, Smashed Chickpea and Sprout Sandwich or grab a box of our almond flour crackers or sprouted seed crackers and enjoy them with homemade carrot dip.
3. Swap Powdered Cheese for Nutritional Yeast
If you have any packets or plastic jars of powdered cheese, toss those aside and replace them with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is packed with zinc, selenium, folic acid and B Vitamins like Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Nutritional yeast has a tangy umami flavor closely resembling that of parmesan cheese and contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein all on its own.
Recipe Recommendations: Try sprinkling nutritional yeast on your favorite salads like this springtime Falafel Salad or atop this delicious Spring Green Pizza.
4. Swap Refined Sugar for Natural Sweeteners
Natural sugars are one of the top trends this year and we don’t see this trend going anywhere any time soon. Instead of refined sugars like white sugar or brown sugar, swap them out for natural sweeteners like raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, monk fruit or dates. Don’t forget that a touch of fresh fruit can add just the right amount of sweet to any springtime dessert.
5. Swap Processed Desserts for Healthier, Homemade Options
Most processed desserts or baking mixes have a list of ingredients that are unrecognizable to the human body. Instead of choosing baking mixes with white sugar, preservatives and other artificial ingredients, opt for delicious desserts with real, whole food ingredients that you and your body can recognize.
Recipe Recommendations: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfaits, Cake and Fruit Kabobs, Cherry Almond Scones.
6. Swap Chocolate for Raw Cacao
Many types of chocolate can be laden with extra sugar and artificial ingredients, but raw cacao is chocolate in its purest form. You can also swap your chocolate for cacao nibs if you prefer your chocolate to have an added crunch. A nutrient-packed superfood, raw cacao is a healthy pantry staple that can be used to replace traditional bars of chocolate or chocolate chips.
Step into the season with the Spring Issue of our seasonal E-book.