Last week’s post on ways to get moving at work was a fantastic way to kick-start our #simplelife blog. Here at Simple Mills, we’re all about leading a happy, healthy life. We always try to keep in mind that it’s the little things that count. Lots of seemingly trivial changes can lead to significant results.

One small way to improve your quality of life is to take a critical eye toward your pantry. What’s in there? If you’re ready to take the plunge with us and get rid of all of those processed ingredients and toxic chemicals, read on. Or if you’ve already cleaned the pantry out, and you’re not sure what to fill it with, I’ve got some suggestions (that do not include the obvious, SIMPLE MILLS MIXES)! To help you lead a healthy, happy life, always keep these 5 things in your pantry:

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Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world. I use it for everything. From sautéing to frying, Coconut Oil is great for cooking because of its high smoke point (higher than Olive Oil). It also adds a delightful coconut flavor to anything it is baked into.

Coconut Oil can also be used as a moisturizer – from dry, cracked feet to a flaky scalp, it will make your skin softer than most lotions (and without the parabens).

I like to buy my Coconut Oil in bulk from Costco because I use it so much! Trader Joe’s has a smaller jar, and it is extremely affordable!

 




Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is great for so many reasons. Have a dish that’s tasting kind of bland? Add a splash to any almost-finished dish to bring out the flavors. You can also add Apple Cider Vinegar into your morning smoothie to sweeten it up. Mix a few teaspoons into a glass of water to balance pH levels and replenish some key minerals after a night of drinking. And my favorite – add a dash dish of soap to a ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to trap pesky fruit flies.

We even keep a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in the office.

Coconut Milk

Another coconut product?! I use Coconut Milk daily (thank goodness you can order in bulk from amazon)! You’ll want to make sure you’re using a full fat Coconut Milk from a can. I like Native Forest brand because their cans contain no BPA or emulsifiers/gums, a real rarity. The effort put into mixing the separated cream and water is 100% worth it, in my opinion. Coconut Milk is great for thickening a hearty carrot or kale soup, and is a healthy base for Curry. Replace the half-and-half (and add some coconut flavor!) in your coffee. Use it to thicken your morning smoothie, or add a teaspoon of vanilla and whip it up into a guilt-free frosting!

Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle

This wonderful seasoning is everything you’ve been looking for! With tons of different herbs and spices, it can replace many of those spices that you’re not quite sure what to do with. I put it on any meat and all veggies, and it always guarantees deliciousness.

High-quality dark chocolate

Sometimes eating a healthy diet is hard, and that’s where chocolate comes in. If you’re not used to it, working up a taste for dark chocolate can take some time. You should always seek a 70% or above. This ensures that you’re getting lots of good antioxidants and not a lot of the other bad stuff. One of my favorite dark chocolate is Theo’s Ultimate 85% Dark Chocolate bar. They never use soy lecithin, which is great news in my book! And not to mention, it’s for a good cause.


 

Oh – can I add in a 6th cabinet item for good measure? A GOOD MULTI-VITAMIN!

Extra vitamins and minerals can be the simple remedy to so many problems that we overlook every day, such as the common cold, headaches, drowsiness, bad mood, trouble sleeping, chronic pain, and so much more! If you'd like to get some more information about multivitamins, here's a great article from Mark's Daily Apple. 

So, that's it! Five simple (okay, six!) things to keep in your pantry. What are some of your pantry essentials? 

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