So Many New Paleo Products
Not so long ago, the pantries of Paleo diets consisted of coconut oil… and not much else. But the last few years have been quite a bounty of Paleo-friendly options to keep in our cupboards. So now it is possible to have a fully decked out Paleo pantry full of helpful cooking items and snacks that make maintaining a Paleo diet way more helpful.
Paleo-Friendly, but not Really Paleo
I like these almond flour crackers. Trying to eat tuna salad without some crunchy crackers is terrible. I speak from experience. But are they really Paleo? No. Our ancestors did not grind almonds, add like 5 other ingredients, and cook them into perfectly square crackers. However, our ancestors did consume nuts and salt. These crackers contain no industrial seed oils, sugar, soy, or gluten. They are, therefore “Paleo-friendly.” They should not cause major intestinal distress or contribute to major weight gain or autoimmune disease as long as you aren’t allergic to almonds. But they aren’t Paleo, nor are most of the pantry items I’m about to list. They probably live more in the 20% section of 80/20. You should keep that in mind. A proper Paleo diet is mostly wild meat and organic veggies. You should not subsist of tapioca flour and almond crackers alone. They are special treats that won’t screw up your dieting efforts. If you’re inhaling a box of almond crackers on the daily, you need to step away from the ‘paleo-friendly’ packaged yum yums for a while.
Thanks to some awesome work by companies like Primal Kitchen, there is an ever-expanding choice of Paleo-friendly, healthy sauces, dressing, toppings and staples. The most amazing development was their mayo. Have you tried to make “Paleo-Friendly” mayo? It’s horribly difficult and miserable process that usually isn’t even good tasting. And don’t get me started on the list of horrors on regular mayo. And now nobody needs to deal with any of that. Because Primal Kitchen came out with some delicious, avocado oil-based mayo that lasts a long time in the fridge and works the same exact way normal mayo works. Meaning yay Tuna salad, dipping sauces and the like. Here is my list of my favorite Paleo condiments which I encourage you to copy:
Primal Kitchen Products – Many of these products, especially the mayo, were a GAME CHANGER for me. Have you tried to make your own Paleo mayo? Don’t. It’s a horrible experience. Just get it Primal Kitchen! Ever expanding their line of products, they have mayo, spicy mayo, salad dressings (including ranch!) and more. Made by Primal/Paleo superstar Mark Sisson, they are all uber healthy and can safely live in the 80% zone of your 80/20 Paleo diet. They are available at Thrive market (link) (usually the cheapest option), Primal Blueprint (link) and some Whole Foods.
Red Boat Fish Sauce (A nomnompaleo.com staple, great for adding umami flavor to dishes). Available everywhere.
Coconut Aminos – By Coconut Secret. This is like Paleo-friendly soy sauce. Great for sauces and slow cooking. They have it at most health-focused grocery stores and thrivemarket.com has their own brand of it. They also make a higher carb, but delicious, teriyaki sauce version.
Organic, Sugar-Free Marinara Sauces – Not hard to find at all. Lots have sugar, but plenty don’t. Just read the ingredient lists. They store for a long time and are great to add to paleo pasta, dip Paleo meatballs and Paleo fries in etc. I always have a few bottles in my pantry.
Bubbies Pickles, Pickle Relish, and Sauerkraut
Did you know most pickles are fake pickles? They are just soaked in vinegar and full of added crap. Proper pickles are sugar-free, fermented, and full of healthy probiotics. Bubbies pickles (and sauerkraut) are legit and available at most grocery stores. These products are great on burgers, in Tuna Salad and deviled eggs, and Paleo hot dogs.
Safe Catch/Wild Planet Tuna – These brands of tuna are extra low in mercury and practice sustainable fishing practices. They are chock full of Omega 3’s, last a long time in your pantry, and are easy to use to make tuna salad thanks to Primal Mayo. You can find them at Thrivemarket.com, Whole Foods, and even sometimes Costco.
Organic Tomato Paste – A great sauce base. Stores for a long time.
Organic Coconut Milk – You want BPA free cans and no added ingredients that water it down or add weird thickeners. Trader Joe’s and Thrivemarket.com have good options.
They aren’t cheap but they are really high-quality, organic, and delicious. The Vanilla powder is amazing and unlike vanilla extract is alcohol-free.
My mom is a cookie-baking maniac. After I coerced her into doing the Paleo diet, she tried like every almond flour ever until landing on this one as the lightest, fluffiest option for cookies and baking. I keep it in the fridge to avoid oxidation. Available on Amazon.com.
Tapioca Flour, Cassava Flour
These flours are part of your 20 in the 80/20. They are on the higher carb side of things but are considered ‘safe-starches’. They are much lighter and doughier. Tapioca flour is so light and fluffy I make a giant mess every time I use it as it gets bloody everywhere. But it’s great for crepes and other desserts. Cassava flour makes some awesome tortillas that actually bend and stretch! (A true rarity for Paleo bakers).
It’s very dense, absorbs tons of liquid, and has a weird flavor but works when you mix it with other flours in various baked goods. By itself, I’m not a big fan.
My new favorite cooking oil, it stays liquid, no weird taste, good for super high temperatures. Other new brands are popping up now too but I’m not sure they are made to withstand high cooking temps as they don’t call it out like the Primal brand. Available at Thrivemarket.com, Primalblueprint.com.
I used to cook with regular coconut oil. It’s cheap, but it’s solid at room temp, has a weird aftertaste, and gets these weird hard bits in it after a while. F that. I found Nuco on Thrivemarket. It’s pure MCT oil (but wayyy cheaper than most other brands) and is great to cook with.
(I like Bulletproof coffee as I’m a snob). Available everywhere.
If you love your carbonated beverages, these SodaStream add-ins are sweetened with stevia and erythritol making them Paleo-friendly in my book. You don’t need a Soda Stream technically, you could just buy soda water and add them. Easy peasy. Available at Bedbathandbeyond, Target, Walmart and more.
If you just aren’t ready to drink plain water, these are a great way to transition off flavored beverages. They are available everywhere and sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
Protein Bars and Powders
These are yummy, filling, super low carb, and full of healthy fats (yay). They’re on bulletproof.com and at some Whole Foods.
High quality, pastured, yummy, pure and expensive. Available at bulletproof.com
These are too chewy for my liking and don’t taste chocolatey despite being chocolate flavored. But some people like them.
These are flavored so they’re sweet and yummy without having sugar or artificial sweeteners. They are pastured and organic and very Paleo. Available at PrimalBlueprint.com and Thrivemarket.com
Remember, these are a treat, not an excuse to eat a whole box a day of crackers! But they are great when you’re missing the normal crunchy grains of your former SAD diet. They have tons of flavors and kinds now. Available at Thrivemarket.com, Whole Foods and more.
Finding pastured broth pre-packaged went from like impossible to find to easy to find over the last year. It’s pretty awesome. Bone broths are an amazing way to add flavor and health to tons of recipes. Bone broth has amazing healing powers and is full of collagen, gelatin, and other nutrients. And it’s delicious! And now you can get it in a box! Thrivemarket.com has several brands including Kettle & Bones, Epic and their own. They vary in taste. Feel free to experiment!
They’re better raw with just salt as the second ingredient. Avoid the ones with weird stuff added like MSG, sugar or fillers. Macadamia nuts have the best oil ratios (more omega 3, less omega 6), but are pricey, unless you live in Hawaii. I like to keep raw cashews around in case I feel like making some Paleo ice cream. Available at Thrivemarket.com, Trader Joe’s, and more.
Sweet Potato Chips, Cassava Chips, Plantain Chips, Kale Chips.
Your requirements for chips are thus:
NO industrialized seed oils rich in Omega 6. That means no chips fried in canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, etc. You want coconut oil, avocado oil or palm oil. Brands like this (link) use coconut oil. Also, make sure they are zero sketchy ingredients. It should just be the vegetable or starch it’s made from, salt, maybe some herbs. And be careful as many of these chips do have a lot of carbs but they are fun occasional snacks.
Uncured Deli Meats
There is debate over whether ‘uncured’ is any better than straight nitrates or ‘cured’ deli meats but I prefer them. Good luck finding ‘pastured’ deli meats. I have yet to find any. But having portable meat you can eat out of a bag is pretty handy sometimes. Just eat them in moderation.
These are kid-friendly, easy and yummy. Available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and sometimes Costo.
Check out the rest of the Paleo Diet in the Modern World series: