Keeping my pantry stocked with certain items allows me to consistently cook healthy, frugal, gluten and dairy free meals and snacks from home. While everyone’s pantry and stock pile list will look a little different based on other allergies, eating styles, etc., this is a list of 2 items that I always try to have on hand in my gluten and dairy free pantry!
Depending on the severity of your gluten intolerance you may or may not be sensitive to oats. If you are celiac you might have to spend a little more to get gluten free oats but if you are like me and just have an intolerance to gluten normal oats should do just fine. I use oats to make granola, healthy cookies, pancakes, just plain oatmeal and oatmeal bakes. I also love blending up oats to make oat flour in my Vitamix and I replace it 1:1 in a lot of recipes that call for whole wheat flour or gluten free flour. I use oats more often than a lot of other gluten free foodies probably do because I unfortunately can’t have almonds. If you can have almonds, almond flour is a great healthy option as well, although oat flour is usually cheapest.
Eggs are not only needed in a lot of baking recipes but they can be made in so many different ways to provide inexpensive, healthy meals for your family. Egg casseroles, eggs on gluten free toast and omelettes are all common, easy lunches or sometimes even dinners in our house! If you are completely vegan sometimes mixing flax seeds with water can be an alternative to eggs.
3) BAKING SODA/ BAKING POWDER
If you are going to be making a lot of home baked goods like gluten free cookies or muffins you are going to want to have a stock of these.
I absolutely love using bananas as an oil replacement in some of my recipes and as a sweetener in a lot of my recipes as well. We also are smoothie addicts in our house so bananas are a must for us! If I ever find myself needing to go to the store mid week it’s usually because we ran out of bananas.
5) PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
Vanilla extract adds such great flavor to so many different baking recipes!
Dates are an incredible way to make any recipe a little sweeter while also adding a mass amount of fiber into your diet (12g of fiber per 1 cup serving)! I love making homemade Lara bars, pie crusts or even just adding a few to our smoothies for some extra sweetness.
The three types of oils that I typically keep on hand are avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Avocado oil is great for anything because it is tasteless. I mainly use it for sautéing foods on my stove top or roasting foods in the oven because it has a high smoke point and can be heated to really high temperatures (up to 480 F) without losing its nutrient content or becoming dangerous for consumption. Extra virgin olive oil should only be used at temps under 220 F so I usually use it for making home made salad dressings (I was surprised at how many store bought salad dressings contain gluten). Coconut oil is my favorite for baking and adding to smoothies because it adds such a great flavor and texture to my recipes.
Salsa is a great way to add flavor to a lot of recipes! I try to always have at least one extra jar on hand because if I have rice, beans, veggies and mea (optional) I can throw together a Mexican dish for dinner in no time! Salsa is also great to add on top of salads or omelettes as a healthy option!
9) NUT BUTTER
Nut butter is an amazing way to add protein and density to a lot of gluten free recipes. I use nut butter to make no bake energy balls, smoothies, muffins and more!
Who doesn’t love a hint of cinnamon in their baked goods?!! Cinnamon is a great way to add a little extra flavor to a recipe without adding calories or sugar.
11) UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER
I love using cocoa powder to get my chocolate fix in without adding any additional sugar to my recipes! I’ll use it to make chocolate for chocolate covered strawberries, in our favorite chocolate smoothie, for healthy pudding and in my favorite Plus cocoa powder has 2g of Fiber for every 1 Tablespoon serving, which is AMAZING!
12) GLUTEN FREE PASTA
When I’m buying gluten free pasta I always aim to get one that is made with legumes, like red lentil pasta, because it packs so much extra protein. Ancient Harvest tends to have my favorite gluten free pastas!
13) VEGETABLES THAT CAN BE SPIRALIZED
If you want to be even healthier and save more money swap out your gluten free pasta for spiralized veggies!
Nuts are one of those things that can be expensive so I try to only buy them when they go on sale and when I buy them I stock up! Nuts can be mixed with dates to make a great gluten free dessert crust and are great add ins for muffins, cookies, granola or oatmeal. I even like to make creamy dressings and desserts by blending up cashews!
Potatoes are a great, cheap option that will fill you up! I love slicing sweet potatoes and using the slices as toast, spiralizing sweet potatoes to put in pasta and making my own hash browns to go with eggs or in casserole recipes. You can also boil potatoes and blend them up with different herbs and spices to make a creamy dressing, dip or soup!
16) BROWN RICE/ QUINOA
Brown rice and quinoa are great, inexpensive sides to go with any gluten free meal!
17) COCONUT AMINOS
One of the hardest things about first going gluten free is discovering that gluten is hidden in SO many things, soy sauce being one of those things. Coconut aminos are a great gluten free swap for soy sauce that provides you with a lot more health benefits, which is a great bonus!
When you aren’t using dairy sometimes you miss the extra punch of flavor that cheese would add to a recipe or the creaminess that milk would add. Avocados have been a great option for me to use in making creamy salad dressings, to put on top of eggs or Mexican food instead of cheese and even to make creamy chocolate mousse. I also love all of the healthy monounsaturated fats that avocados contain!
19) A MILK ALTERNATIVE
I honestly find myself mostly using water in recipes but if I do need to use milk or want to use milk to add more calories or creaminess I will usually use canned full fat coconut milk or make my milk using oats, coconut flakes, or any nuts that I might have on hand. If a carton of nut milk is on sale I will buy it sometimes but those often contain ingredients I don’t love like carrageenan, natural flavors and guar gums. You can also make your own yogurt using these milk alternatives if you have probiotics on hand.
If you eat a lot of meat then beans won’t be as necessary but I love having multiple types of beans on hand because they are a great frugal and vegan alternative to meat. Also my pregnancies have made me a crazy person when it comes to food aversions and have kind of ruined meat for me at home so beans are a great option for some extra plant based protein!
Lettuce wrapped everything became my new best friend once I became gluten free. Now I honestly don’t even miss the bread in most scenarios! Salads are also a great staple item for anyone trying to eat clean and on a budget. I only buy lettuce though if I’m for sure going to be cooking a meal that I might need it for because as you know it doesn’t stay fresh for long.
22) HONEY OR MAPLE SYRUP
I love having a container of each of these (I get the big versions at Costco). I use them mainly for baking healthy gluten free desserts but they are also great to have if you are making homemade salad dressings.
23) BOBS RED MILL GLUTEN FREE 1:1 FLOUR
As I mentioned above there are so many healthy alternatives to bread if you get creative but if you find yourself wanting some I love using this flour to do it! You can also use this flour to make more traditional versions of common desserts like brownies, cakes or cookies!
24) CHOCOLATE CHIPS
I like to use the Enjoy Life chocolate chips or the Kirkland Brand chocolate chips from Costco because both are dairy free. Chocolate chips are something that got added to this list more so when I started baking for my little munchkins. When I add a few chocolate chips to a muffin, healthy cookies or their gluten free banana pancakes everyone gets a little more excited!
Yeast is a great ingredient to have on hand if you want to be able to make your own pizza doughs and breads! I try to make homemade versions of these items whenever I can because buying the gluten free options can be outrageously expensive!
26) FROZEN FRUIT
As I mentioned before we are obsessed with smoothies in our house! I buy a lot of frozen fruit from Costco because it is a great way to get Organic fruit at a lower cost! I also blend up frozen fruit with a little coconut milk to make a healthy version of “ice cream” for our family! If I ever see organic fresh fruit on sale at the grocery store I will almost always buy it in bulk and then freeze it to use later on.
27) CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are a super fun way to make healthier versions of jam and pudding! They are also a great addition to smoothies or mixed into some baked goods for extra omega 3-fatty acids!
Hummus like avocado is a great healthy alternative to milk-based products that can add creaminess and flavor to a lot of recipes! Store bought hummus can be expensive at times so I like to buy dried garbanzo beans to make my own at home!
29) DRIED HERBS
Herbs are of course a great way to add flavor to any recipe! I buy fresh herbs sometimes but dried herbs tend to last much longer and are more budget efficient.
30) DIPPING AGENTS
This one might count as multiple items but hey it’s my blog so I’m going to categorize them all as one. Things I would put into this category would be vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, snap peas and celery, gluten free crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers are my fav) and vegetable or corn based chips. Vegetables are of course the healthiest option and usually they are the most budget friendly option as well!