This week I am sharing with you the contents of my pantry. The most frequent inquiry I receive is ‘where do you source your dry goods’, so I thought I better get this up on the blog as it has been several months since some of you first asked me. I promise I will share the aromatic chicken tagine recipe next week. Besides, I had to make another batch of preserved lemons – I used the last lot up for my birthday dinner – and they won’t be ready until next week. For now, come join me, as we have a looksy into my pantry.
Stocking The Pantry
As we eat mainly gluten-free at home I like to have a pantry full of gluten-free whole-grains, flours, nuts, seeds, dried beans and lentils. Plus dried fruit, nutritious sweeteners and a selection of super foods. I like to focus on nutrient-rich and wholesome food at home, and save the less healthy foods for occasional outings.
Whole-grains / Flours / Dried Legumes
- Flour > brown rice flour, buckwheat, tapioca (arrowroot) and coconut flour are the main gluten-free flours I use.
- Rolled-oats and spelt (or Arawa*) > for making the occasional pastry.
- Whole-grains > quinoa, millet, buckwheat, polenta, basmati/ jasmine rice, brown rice and medium grain white rice for risotto/ paella.
- Dried legumes > split red lentils, green lentils (French), chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans
Dried Fruit / Sweeteners
- Dried fruit – dates, apricots (sulfur-free), prunes, raisins, sultanas > check packets but most ‘brown’ dried fruit are naturally sulfur-free.
- Raw honey, maple syrup, apple syrup
- Unrefined golden sugar, muscovado sugar, rapadura sugar, palm sugar
Nuts / Seeds / Super Foods
- Nuts > almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts
- Coconut > desiccated and flakes
- Seeds > sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax seeds
- Super foods > chia seeds, cacao nibs, spirulina, seaweed/ kelp
Condiments / Oils / Seasoning / Spices
- NZ sea salt & black pepper in a grinder
- Cocoa/ cacao powder, carob, vanilla extract, baking powder/ soda
- Vinegar > apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic
- Extra virgin olive oil + Ghee for cooking
- Tamari (soy sauce), fish sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce
Spices & Dried Herbs
- Dried herbs > dried oregano and basil > fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage and bay leaves in the garden.
- Whole spices > cumin seeds, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, nutmeg, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon
Canned Food / Pasta / Noodles
- Canned chopped tomatoes, 400g and 800g
- Coconut cream and milk
- Chickpeas, re-fried beans, pinto beans
- Gluten-free pasta, rice noodles and mung bean thread noodles
- Sardines in spring water
- Baked beans + sustainably fished tuna in spring water (For those days…)
The following is a list of New Zealand wholefood suppliers. Please note, I am in no way endorsing any of these suppliers (in fact none of them even know I am writing this post), I am just sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years sourcing clean food for my family. Firstly, I like to support local suppliers so I start this list with my Nelson locals. However, I know many of you reading this live elsewhere so read on for other New Zealand based suppliers.
Fresh2U Organic Food Delivery / Nelson – weekly organic produce boxes + bulk organic dry goods and products. Organic grower Wolfgang Mann and myself set up this service in 2005 and handed it over to Lucy Maxwell in 2012. Wolfgang is still the main certified organic produce supplier [and continues to help with the packing and sourcing of produce], and Lucy has increased the range to include dry goods and organic products.
The Wee Shop Ruby Bay/Mapua – Organic produce and dry goods. They have a grain mill in store so you can purchase your grains and have them freshly milled into flour.
Kominaya Organics is an organic, whole food and health food shop in Westport on the West Coast. Including a wide variety of organic, eco-friendly and GE-free products, as well as local produce and artisan products too.
Ceres Organics/ Auckland – wholesale bulk organic foods. A huge selection of dry goods, gluten-free products and natural health products. You do need to set up an account with Ceres either as a business (with references) or coop account (for the coop account there is a minimum monthly order of $300 – this works best if shared between 3-4 families with each family ordering on a 3-4 monthly rotation).
Chantal Organics/ Napier – wholesale bulk organic foods. Anyone can order from Chantal with a minimum order of $250. You can order 500gm pack downs up to 25kg sacks of dry goods.
Terrace Farms/ Canterbury – Ira & Geoff grow, harvest and mill flour fresh to order. They have *arawa wheat (similar to spelt), purple wheat, rye and buckwheat (beautiful fresh buckwheat flour). Email them for a price list firstname.lastname@example.org
Milmore Downs North Canterbury > NZ grown grains. I haven’t ordered from this supplier but have recommendations from others.
Bio Grains Canterbury > mostly NZ grown grains and wholefood products, chock food, flour etc.
Natural Grocer > nuts, seeds, whole foods (I haven’t ordered here but I have heard from several people who found their products fresh and good prices.)
Health Post – supplements, natural beauty products, super foods
Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil – This exceptional coconut oil is made from FRESH coconuts, unlike others that take between 3 and 5 days to process. Grown to certified organic standards, in the fertile soils of Vanuatu, then processed without the use of excessive heat or chemicals. This oil is neither refined, bleached nor deodorised and definitely has the taste of fresh coconut. Once you taste it, you won’t want any other coconut oil in your pantry.
*Now this is where I would love your help to fill in the gaps so this can be resource for others. Please comment below with details of other NZ wholefood suppliers and also where you source your local wholefoods i.e. name and location of your local organic/ bulk food store. Thank-you kindly.
Now a Recipe…
This is a quick pantry recipe I like to make for an afternoon snack or sprinkling on top of a salad. Generally I like to cook my own dried chickpeas and freeze them into portions for adding to meals. However, having several cans of chickpeas in the pantry is a must for whipping up a quick hummus or to make this snack.
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
- Heat the olive oil a heavy based frying-pan over a moderate/ high heat (I use a cast iron frypan). Once hot, add the chickpeas, cumin and salt. The chickpeas should just cover the base of the pan. Cook, shaking regularly for 10 minutes until the chickpeas turn golden and crisp up a little. Note, they won't be crunchy but will have a nice crisp skin. Tip onto a plate lined with a paper towel, eat immediately.
If the chickpeas start to pop turn the heat down a little or they will turn to mush.