There has been a recent shift in awareness regarding the necessity of sustainable “life-friendly” agriculture. Eating whole food diets to maintain the integrity of our personal health, as well as to preserve the health of our planet has been recognized as a fundamental urgency. A growing revolution is being driven by heartfelt individuals and humanity’s desire to become more ethical, rather than detrimentally influential on society. Connection to primordial needs, mainly health and safety, as well as a desire to have a more natural connection to nature has been the driving force. Many of us are making the shift into more natural eating habits, thereby removing the fierce clutch of industrial big business food and their biochemical operations.
It is worthwhile to keep the kitchen well stocked with whole food pantry essentials to have on hand to make healthy, natural cooking easy and well, natural. Keeping the home full of good choices will not only make you feel better, but will greatly reduce the chance of being tempted by “easy” bad food choices.
We at the Sunchild Flourish Farmstead do not support a whole-food group restrictive diet, instead, we implement foods from all food groups in balance and moderation. Understandably, individual’s personal ethics, background, and food sensitivities will determine their personal diet decisions and restrictions. Use personal discretions when examining our recommendations.
Note: Food can be addicting, especially food produced and designed to be extremely high in fats, sugars, salts and synthesized non-food, body-chemistry-altering “flavor enhancers” and preservatives. It is advised to REMOVE all foods that do not adhere to your individual food preferences and ethics.
Without further adieu, beneath is a comprehensive inventory list of pantry items we keep on hand at the Sunchild Flourish farmstead.
Vinegar is an amazing and ancient found gift from nature. It is both multifaceted and powerful. It’s numerous health benefits and cleansing capacities have benefited humans since the recording of written history, beginning around 5,500 years ago. To say the least, vinegar is something we definitely keep well-equipped in our pantry.
Here are some of our household favorites:
White Vinegar: A staple for homemade cleaning products, food preservation, and health.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Regularly used in both recipes and health tonics. One of the most ancient forms of vinegar used by man, and also one of the easiest to forge.
For an Old-Fashioned Cider Vinegar How-To:
Balsamic Vinegar: Not a true “vinegar”, but still it is wonderful and delicious. Beware, there are a lot of imitation balsamic’s on the market. When purchasing, look for the keywords “grape must”, “aged grape must”, or “Mosto d’Uva” on the ingredients list. Otherwise, you may be purchasing cheap wine vinegar with added food coloring.
Rice Wine Vinegar: A staple for many Asian recipes. We like to always keep this on hand.
White Wine Vinegar: White wine vinegar adds a fun kick to cooking.We add a splash to sauteed vegetables, mushrooms, and in some Italian sauces. Be sure to look for bottled white wine vinegar without added sulfites if possible.
Unhealthy bleached sugar, often produced through slave labor conditions, is all too prevalent in today’s foods. Increased sugar intake has been linked to cancer, diabetes, liver disease, addiction and hormone disruption. Sugar intake can be controlled by consuming homemade goods using natural sweeteners.
Raw Honey: Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and delicious. Raw honey is another miraculous gift from nature that can and has been used medicinally in a multitude of ways. Warning, the many benefits of honey are extinguished when heated. Therefore, limit usage in baking, and be sure to purchase “raw” and/or “unpasteurized” honey. Honey also has a high glycemic content so use sparingly!
To learn more about the amazing powers and uses of honey see:
Coconut Sugar: To be used sparingly, but a healthier, more natural alternative to cane sugar. Evaporated palm syrup from the tree still retains some minerals (Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium) and antioxidants. While added sugars are still to be shyed away from, coconut sugar is a more natural alternative, and is lower on the glycemic scale. Coconut sugar can be substituted with both brown sugar or white sugar on a 1:1 ration in any recipe. Note: Coconut sugar has a more coarse texture than white sugar and when used can slightly alter consistency. It also leaves a yummy slightly caramel/butterscotch flavor.
Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses: High in trace essential minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. Aids in treatment for medicinal ailments ranging from acne to cancer. Plants Love it.
To learn more click:
Natural Maple Syrup: Grade B is preferred as it is more nutrient dense. Contains anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and anti-diabetic properties. A truly natural sweetener straight from the tree.
Dates: Date fruit puree can be used as a whole food sweetener. Dates have a long shelf-life ranging from 45 days at room temperature; 6 months refrigerated; 1 year frozen. They can be eaten plain and are very delicious and are great in natural baked goods.
Sorghum: Sweet sorghum is a natural syrup made from sorghum grain. It is truly a homesteaders delight! Sorghum is a space-efficient, dual-purpose grain that provides both gluten-free flour and whole-food natural sweetener. We can now grow and produce a gallon from a 10×10 plot on our farmstead.
Bases are used to create culinary sauces and soups.
Vegetable Stock: A common base ingredient for many recipes and incredibly easy and cheap to make at home. We strongly suggest making homemade vegetable stock, as many of the store-bought vegetable stocks can contain MSG and less than ideal amounts of sodium. Vegetable stock can be created easily from vegetable trimmings. Vegetable stock is also wonderful for the garden as well. Instead of throwing those veggie scraps into the compost pile, try making some vegetable stock compost tea and nourishing your body and your garden.
Animal Bone Stock: Animal stock is also easily made at home. It is a cost-effective and suitable way to expend the animal life given by reaping extra nutrients and minerals into your meals from otherwise discarded animal bones. The gelatinous bone marrow, glucosamine, and collagen found in beef, chicken, fish, and pork bone stocks are proven to be beneficial to the gut, joints, immune system, skin, hair and nails.
-For a Quick and Easy Stock How-To-
Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is a quick and wonderful base for many different styles and compositions of curries+ from around the world.
+Curry is an oriental-inspired dish that is heavily spiced, traditionally with chile peppers, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. It is comprised mostly of vegetables, with some omnivore choices, and is usually served with grains or other starches such as lentils.
Thickeners are used to create jellies, thicker sauces, soups, gravies, creams, custards, and puddings. The starch powder can also be used as a binding agent, gluten-free food “breading” and flour replacements.
Arrowroot Flour: Arrowroot is a neutral tasting old-time medicinal root used as both a detoxifying agent and a food source. The starch derived from the arrowroot is used as a gluten-free thickener and jellifying agent that thickens at low temperatures. Predominantly GMO-free.
Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour is derived from the cassava root, which is a common food staple grown around the world. Like arrowroot, also neutral in flavor and thickens at low temperatures. Gluten Free. Predominantly GMO-free.
Organic Corn Starch: Be sure to use only organic non-gmo. As well as a thickener, cornstarch can be used to heal rashes, aleviate burns and bug bites, treat stains, make dry shampoo, combat body odor, and underarm sweat, make baking powder, make non-toxic finger paint, and more!
Cold-Pressed Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil: Most individuals have heard of the miraculous benefits and uses for coconut oil. In case you haven’t or want to check out some other coconut oil ideas check out:
But in the kitchen, coconut oil is one of the best and most versatile oil suited for high-temperatures, such as in baking and frying. Make sure the oil you obtain is both organic and UNREFINED. Use in place of butter or vegetable oil 1:1.
Cold-Pressed Unrefined Organic Olive Oil: Olive oil is highly nutritious if unfiltered, fresh, and packaged and stored properly. There’s been some recent debacle regarding the purity and freshness of leading olive oil producers in the U.S. for a up to date resource on the best oils. Be sure to research olive oil to avoid purchasing false oils using toxic fillers.
Olive oil is a delicious oil that is best suited as a finishing oil, but is oftentimes abused by heating to too-high of temperatures. Olive oil can keep its structural integrity by slightly heating at medium low to low temperatures.
Lard, Tallow, Duck Fat or Schmaltz: Whole foodies we commend you! Whether or not you ingest in animal products (with animal welfare and environmental impact regarded) is a individual choice tied to one’s heritage and personal ethics. But there is little disdain for the use of animal fats in traditional and gourmet cooking by chefs, food bon vivants, and traditional cultures alike. We love to use some animal fat occasionally when cooking lean meats, with beans and with some vegetables.
Finishing oils are a great addition to salads, fresh fruits and veggies, and to sauces. We grow a lot of oil crops at Sunchild Flourish Farms and we like to extract and try new flavors. Below is a list of some noteworthy oils to try. These oils are not to be heated to high temperatures. Try some of these oils to learn their distinct flavors and your preferences, but be sure to look for cold-pressed, organic choices:
Pumpkin Seed Oil
We have really become a fast-paced, on-the-go society, and snack foods have become some of the most addictive foods on the market. It is wise to keep your pantry full of available snack foods, so unhealthy choices will stay out of sight and out of mind. 1ase
Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These are a fabulous dried fruit to have on hand and are very easy to make at home. Sun-dried tomatoes are great in salads, on pizzas, and in pasta.
Dried Snacking Fruits: Kids love dried fruits, and they are a great transitional food for people who are used to unhealthy snacking. Most all fruits can be dehydrated and stored for snacking and fruit/nut mixes.
Fruit Preserves: Once you begin growing your own food or you’ve located a real food producer, when fruit is in season and you have an abundance, preservation is a must to beat spoilage and is nice for those cold, dreary winter months. While fruit is usually preserved with high amounts of sugar, it is best to make your preserves at home so that you may monitor and control the amount of added sweetener you add and ensure that it comes from a non-toxic source.
Nuts/Seeds: Nuts and seeds are high in fiber and are an excellent snack. They can be added to salads, casseroles, baked goods, and just eaten plain. Nuts and seeds are multifaceted, providing us with natural oils, butters, milks, and protein. Make sure your portions are appropriate, as they can be easily over consumed.
Dried Meat Jerky: Disregard if you are supporting a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but for conscience omnivores, jerky is a respectable snack. Jerky can be easily made from many animals both hunted from the wild and from livestock animals. It is a dried food that can be taken out on the go or on the trail, and can be made from less desirable meat cuts. We at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead believe that if an animal or plant is to be sacrificed for you to eat, it is only respectful to utilize all that you can, with very little waste. We have experimented and very much enjoyed rabbit jerky, deer jerky, and turkey jerky.
Dried Popping Corn: Popped corn is an one of our all-time favorites. It always takes me back to times spent with my grandmother during my childhood. It came to our attention that some people are unaware of how easy it is to make healthy popcorn at home. Stop buying the premade and bagged kind! All you need is some organic corn kernels, a pot with a lid, some coconut oil, and toppings of your choice. What a wonderful snack!
For More Homemade Snack Recipes See:
To see our complete spice inventory see——-
We use sauces on everything. From pastas to stirfries, meats and beans, sauces are commonly used and purchased from the supermarket. However, even healthy market sauces offered are often very expensive and many other options contain msg, gmo’s and incredible levels of sodium and/or sugars. It is well worth the time to spend a day making and canning sauces to store and use from your pantry. The sauces mentioned at the bottom of the list are typically purchased, rather than made at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead.
Tamari: A fermented soybean product, to be used in lieu of soy sauce. Gluten-free and used in many asian sauces.
Coconut Aminos: For those of you avoiding soy, coconut aminos is a wonderful soy sauce/ tamari alternative.
Umeboshi Plum Sauce: Pickled plum sauce is a fun and yummy addition to vegetables.
Most salts you find in the stores are toxic and heavily refined. Opt instead for natural sea salts that are full of trace minerals.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: A healthy and beautifully pink natural salt that is lovely to have in your kitchen, and can be a fun conversation starter. This salt is sourced from deposits, some of which are over a million years old.
Celtic Sea Salt: A natural salt fresh from the sea. Celtic sea salt is higher in magnesium and lower in sodium than pink himalayan salt, and is often cheaper too.
Note: Oils in the flours can quickly go rancid. All flours should be kept in cool, dry places to preserve freshness, ideally a fridge. Flours are best freshly ground. Grains are most digestible and wholesome when they have been properly soaked and sprouted, releasing available nutrients by springing the grain seed to life from its dormancy and discarding some of the seeds phyto acids (protective barriers that inhibit dissemination).
Fresh Ground Cornmeal: A gluten-free grain. Ensure that the corn/cornmeal you are purchasing is from non-gmo, organic corn. Breads, tortillas, and breaded food items made from fresh, cornmeal is entirely unparalleled to the nutritionally depleted cornmeal found at the box stores.
Fresh Ground Wheat Flour or Wheat Berries: An ode to wheat! We here at the Sunchild Flourish Farmstead pay homage to this old-world grain that has helped sustain and propel the human race from starvation across the globe for ages. The utilization of wheat agriculture has allowed humans to transition from nomadic lifestyles to sustained civilizations. Although human wheat tolerance and health impacts has been a current controversial trend, wheat foods have been coveted by many people through many generations, to sustain peoples throughout famine, winter times and to gain weight! While in American dieting, wheat restriction may be advised to assist in weight-loss, and for nutritive based healing, wheat foods continue to have our praise, when respected. Traditionally and properly prepared wheat foods, that are from fresh, whole food wheat groats, are a coveted part of our diet when eaten in moderation, and during the winter season when fresh produce is in low-production.
Fresh Ground Rye Flour or Rye Cereal: Rye is absolutely delicious in bread and baked goods. We like to keep fresh rye around just for that purpose alone.
Fresh Ground Oat Flour or Oat Groats: Oats are delicious, gluten-free, and are said to have mood-elevating properties.
Fresh Steelcut or “Irish” Oats: Irish or steel cut oats are whole oat cuts that have been sliced. Steelcut oats, although they take longer to cook, are preferable over rolled or quick oats, as they are less processed. Steel cut oats are also lower in calories and lower on the glycemic scale, when compared to rolled oats, which are oats that have been husked, steamed, and rolled.
Long-Grain Brown Rice: In our kitchen, we like to keep food items closely relative to the natural state in which the food was harvested, while also properly preparing to make all nutrients as bioavailable a possible. Therefore, when it comes to rice we opt for organic rices that have the both the bran and germ intact. Long grain brown and black rices are household favorites, that are chock full of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and protein. Note: Recent studies have found that many rices both grown and imported into the U.S. contain dangerous levels of arsenic from being grown in contaminated soil. Opt for organic choices and don’t exceed 2-3 servings weekly for adults of rice products for adults, and under 2 servings weekly of rice products for children. Remember to always properly prepare your grains by rinsing and/or sprouting!
For information on rice and arsenic levels see:
Wild Rice: Wild rice is a wetland grass seed grain that originated in North America, which was commonly utilized by the Native Americans in the region in which it grows wildly. Wild rice is higher in -protein than most other grains and is full of vitamins and minerals.
Amaranth: Amaranth is a seed grain similar to quinoa. It was a staple to the Aztec’s, and is very high in protein and also gluten-free. Amaranth has a wide range of culinary applications ranging from sweet candy and breakfast dishes, to spicy and savory, spicy dishes. It can also be popped!
Quinoa: An ancient grain seed, heavily used by the Incas. A quickly prepared gluten-free, whole-grain, that is rich in amino acids and protein. I commonly use quinoa in lieu of rice in burritos and curries.
Barley: One of our favorites. Barley is an old-time, easy to grow grain that is great in soups and salads.
Buckwheat: Gluten-free grain from grass. Typically ground into flour and used in gluten-free baking.
Although beans are typically avoided by raw and paleo dieters, they hold an esteemed place in our pantry. Legumes are natural seeds from plants that help us fix the nitrogen in the soil, making the soil more nutrient available for following crops. Nutritionally, legumes are full of protein and are gluten and grain free. They make for a hearty meal when limiting meat intake and have a very long storage shelf life. We love the bean crops we have here at the farmstead and love looking at all the different jarred varieties on our pantry shelves waiting to be used for hearty meals all winter long. Below is a brief overview of some of our favorite varieties.
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Chickpeas have a wide range of applications. They are delicious additions to sandwiches, curries, many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes or eaten alone as snacks.
Red Beans (Light and Dark Kidney Beans): Red beans remind me of the South. We use these largely to make chili, red beans and rice, and some curries.
Pinto Beans: Also commonly used in Latin foods. Yummy addition to burritos and delicious refried.
Black Beans: Used heavily in Latin and Cajun-influenced cooking. We use these often for refried beans, burritos, salsas, and summer salads.
White Beans (Great Northern, Navy, Cannellini): White beans are used often here at Sunchild Flourish Farmstead. They are great in spring vegetable soups, with salted pork, and in white chicken chili. They are hearty and filling and are wonderful additions to some of our favorite cold-weather meals.
Cowpeas (Black Eyed Peas, Southern Peas): Used in a wide range of culinary cuisines, these legumes are nice to have on hand.
Peanuts: We commonly implement peanuts into Thai and other Asian-inspired dishes. Also try African peanut stew.
Mung Beans: We keep these on hand solely for sprouting. Mung beans make delicious and fast-growing bean sprouts that are fabulous on sandwiches or in Asian cuisine.
Lima/Butter Beans: Starchy beans that can be put into salads, cooked in tomato sauce, or baked.
Fava Beans (Broad Beans): Fava beans, or broad beans are large beans that are used for snacking, fillings, and often used in Mediterranean-style dishes. They have a wide range of culinary applications.
Lentils: Starchy lentils are very versatile. They can be used in curries, cajun dishes, as well as indian, middle eastern, and mediterranean dishes. They are used similarly to beans, yet they do not require overnight soaking.
Split Peas: One of our favorite easy, winter meals is split pea soup. It is starchy, hearty and healthy. Split peas, like lentils are gluten-free and do not require overnight soaking. They can be added to the slow cooker with an assortment of vegetables and fixings and left to turn into wonderfully delicious soups in under 15 minutes of prep time.