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I regularly use coconut products of all kinds in my home for a variety of dishes. Expeller pressed coconut oil is well suited for cooking as it is not easily damaged by heat and has no coconut taste. Virgin coconut oil is wonderful for weight loss and for skin care. Coconut flour is an excellent alternative to grains for baking and there are many recipes on this blog using it. Coconut ghee, coconut milk and coconut butter are other products I find useful for baking.
Fats & Oils
Butter is one of the healthiest fats to use for cooking, but be sure to buy grassfed butter for maximum nutrition. Ghee also called clarified butter is a wonderful option for those with dairy allergies as all the milk proteins have been removed leaving only the butter oil. Taken as a supplement, raw, grassfed butter oil is a synergistic complement to fermented cod liver oil as recommended by Dr. Weston A. Price for optimal dental health.
Other healthy fats for cooking include tallow, lard and duck fat. Tallow and lard need to be rendered at home (how-to videos on this blog) but duck fat can be purchased.
Most of the olive oils on the market are cut with cheap vegetable oils so be sure to buy only 100% extra virgin olive oil from a reliable source for making homemade salad dressings and low heat cooking. Another brand I recommend and use myself is Olea Estates (use coupon code HHEcon for 10% off).
Getting started with fermented food and beverages is an important step to incorporating Traditional Diet in one’s home. There are over 20 videos on this blog which teach you how to make various fermented foods and drinks, but in order to get started, you need the proper cultures!
Flours, Grains & Legumes
I prefer einkorn flour for baking as it is nonhybridized heirloom wheat which is higher in nutrition, very low in gluten and more digestible and well-tolerated than any other type of wheat. If you have a grain grinder, you can purchase einkorn berries for the freshest flour or alternatively, high-extraction flour for general baking needs.
Sprouted Grains: Sprouted flour is ideal for cookies and quick breads. I used to have to sprout all my grain myself, but thankfully, sprouted grain and sprouted grain flours can be purchased online eliminating the need for this time intensive process.
Oats and Other Grains: Oats are often heat-treated prior to grinding into flour or rolled for oatmeal which can inactivate heat-sensitive food enzymes while leaving enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid intact. Sprouting oats eliminates this problem as they are untreated. Simply grind them on a coarse setting in a grain grinder, soak and cook as usual.
Other grains for cooking and baking include spelt, quinoa, basmati rice, and barley. We use these other grains soaked and cooked for side dishes, breakfast porridge or as an addition to soups. They can also be ground fresh into whole-grain flours as needed. It is best not to buy grains from bulk bins as grains tend to go rancid quite easily. Best to buy in sealed packages or buckets.
Legumes: My favorite legume is lentils due to their high phosphorus content. You can also buy sprouted lentils to avoid soaking them prior to cooking. Lentil soup is a staple during the wintertime in our home. I also use red and white kidney beans for chili, black turtle beans, and black eyed (peas) beans on a frequent basis.
Supplements & Superfoods
I don’t recommend a lot of supplements – only a few that are whole food based and nutrient dense. Here is a list of the ones I recommend and that my family and I take on a regular basis.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil: Fermented cod liver oil is the #1 superfood supplement to make sure you take on a daily basis. Stay away from highly processed, heat treated fish oils and cod liver oils at the healthfood store. Fermented cod liver oil is traditionally manufactured using no heat so as to preserve delicate nutrients and co-factors. There is no substitute! Find it here.
Organic Bone Broth: Homemade bone broth is a superfood essential to good health and maintenance of a healthy digestive system. If finding the time to make it yourself has proved a problem, this company will deliver bone broth right to your door!
Raw, Desiccated Liver: Liver is a traditional superfood, and extraordinarily rich in B vitamins, folate and vitamin A. Liver capsules are great for traveling and for those who have trouble consuming liver once or twice a week. Where to find desiccated liver capsules.
Vitamin C: Most vitamin C on the market is synthetically derived as ascorbic acid from GMO corn. Make sure you source only whole food based vitamin C. Here is where I buy mine.
Probiotics: In addition to consuming a wide range of fermented foods, my family and I also consume a therapeutic-grade probiotic to help support ongoing gut health.
Gelatin. Gelatin greatly supports skin and digestive system health. Powdered gelatin is a healthier choice than protein powder and can be added to smoothies for a natural protein boost. It can also be used in soups and desserts or as a thickener for sauces. We use high quality beef gelatin in our home.
Baby & Child
Homemade Baby Formula: Breastfeeding is best for Mom and baby, but when logistical or medical challenges make this goal impossible, a nourishing homemade baby formula is a much better option than any commercial formulas – even organic. Piecing together the ingredients for the homemade formula can be tricky, but fortunately, there is a one stop shop for purchasing the homemade baby formula kit to get started quickly as babies don’t wait! Please note that once your ingredients arrive, there are videos on this blog to show you exactly how to make the nourishing homemade formula yourself (one 36 oz. batch takes about 10 minutes).
Decent snacks are a must for lunchboxes and on the go in the car. Here are a few of my favorites which never equal homemade but are high enough quality that I feel good enough about to purchase.
Nuts: These sprouted almonds make for a wonderful, filling and highly digestible snack.
Jerky: I purchase 3 types of jerky – buffalo jerky, grassfed beef jerky, and free range turkey jerky. We’ve tried many brands and these are my children’s favorites as well as ones that are free of MSG, chemicals and additives.
Cookies: I am very picky about the cookies I will purchase for my children, preferring homemade if possible. If I must purchase, here are my three current favorites: this brand which offers a good selection of mini cookies, this brand of butter shortbreads and these delicious quinoa cookies.
Chips: Most brands of chips even if organic are unacceptable due to the inappropriate and unhealthy frying oils involved. I do purchase these potato chips made with avocado oil for my children’s lunchboxes on occasion. I also purchase these sprouted pretzels and sprouted pretzel puffs. Another option is Sea Snax which are a crunchy, tasty alternative made with kelp.
Raw Honey: Local raw honey is a delicious and healthy sweetener and the most preferred one in my home. If finding a local source proves difficult, quality raw honey is available online.
Unrefined Cane Sugar: Unrefined cane sugar is a better choice than white sugar because it has not had all the beneficial minerals stripped away. Unrefined cane sugar can be substituted in most recipes 1:1 for white sugar and will add an additional level of complexity to the flavor that is very enjoyable. I purchase it in bulk from a local co-op but if this isn’t an option, unrefined cane sugar is available online.
Organic White Sugar: I recommend using organic white sugar for making kombucha. The sweetener feeds the culture during the fermentation process and is almost entirely used up in the process. I don’t recommend nonorganic white sugar as this is many times from genetically modified (GMO) sources unless it specifically states that it is 100% cane sugar.
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is an all natural, mild tasting and low glycemic sweetener produced by dehydrating the nectar produced from coconut buds. It can be used at a 1:1 ratio for regular cane sugar. It can also be used in liquid form as coconut nectar instead of maple syrup.
Salt & Spices
Sea Salt: It is important to use only unrefined sea salt for cooking. Many different types of sea salt are available and I tend to have several on hand at any given time in my kitchen as I have my favorites for cooking versus a shaker on the table for dinnertime.
Organic Spices and Culinary/Medicinal Herbs. Spices and herbs add not only flavor to our dishes, but also stimulate digestion and offer medicinal qualities as well. These specialized plants are typically high in antioxidants and protect against degenerative disease. It is important to buy quality to obtain maximum health and flavor benefits as most spices and herbs purchased at the store even if organic are already years old! Top quality organic and wildcrafted spices, culinary and medicinal herbs can be purchased here.
Nuts, Nut Butters and Seeds
It is important to prepare raw nuts and seeds by briefly soaking in brinewater and then low temperature drying as practiced by Traditional Societies in order to eliminate anti-nutrients that can cause digestive distress and gastrointestinal discomfort. There is a video on this blog on how to prepare nuts properly, but if time is a factor in your kitchen routine, presoaked and dehydrated nuts, nut butters and seeds can be purchased online. For another line of quality soaked nut butters, click here.
Meat & Seafood
Fresh, Wild Caught Seafood: Fresh, wild caught seafood procured directly from fishermen with free shipping straight to your door within hours of being sustainably caught.
Tinned Meats: It’s important to source mercury free seafood that comes from clean waters. In our home, we use a sustainably caught, low mercury tuna as well as tinned sardines packed in pure olive oil and wild salmon for our emergency food pantry.
Jerky: I purchase 3 types of jerky - buffalo jerky, grassfed beef jerky, and free range turkey jerky. We’ve tried many brands and these are my children’s favorites as well as ones that are free of MSG, chemicals and additives.
There are numerous recipes and a how-to videos on this blog for making healthy condiments yourself. However, if time is an issue, many can be purchased for reasonable cost such as organic ketchup and mustard. For ethnic cooking, I recommend an additive free fish sauce and a traditionally brewed, unpasteurized soy sauce.
For making homemade ketchup, I recommend organic tomato paste in glass jars.
Fermented vegetable juices are delicious and easy to make at home, but it’s great to have a source to buy them when needed.
For lunchboxes or after sporting events, my family just loves this brand of coconut water instead of sodas or additive and chemically laced sports drinks which have been shown to damage children’s tooth enamel.
Milk & Cream
Click here to find a local, grassbased farm near you.
Tea & Herbs
White, Green and Black Teas. I make my homemade kombucha with 50% organic white tea, 25% organic green tea and 25% organic black tea. This produces the optimal flavor according to my family’s tastebuds! Here’s where to buy the freshest and highest quality teas for your homemade kombucha or just for sipping on a chilly morning on occasion!
Medicinal Herbs and Herbal Teas. I have a large drawer full of medicinal teas for every ailment imaginable. It is important to buy quality to obtain maximum health and flavor benefits as most herbs purchased at the store even if organic are already years old! Top quality organic and wildcrafted spices, culinary and medicinal herbs can be purchased here.
Deodorant: The most important personal care item you choose is underarm deodorant due to the close proximity to delicate breast and glandular tissue. This is the one my family uses – completely nontoxic and it actually works!
Makeup: Most ladies wear makeup frequently and it sits on your face all day long, so choosing a nontoxic brand is important. I use Zuzu foundation and have for years. It’s lightweight and the coverage is excellent.
Tooth Whitening: Avoid toxic tooth whitening strips, gels and trays that can damage enamel. Use safe, natural activated charcoal instead. Simply swish or lightly brush with it (hold it in your mouth for several minutes) a few times a week (everyday if the staining is severe).
Feminine Products: The data is ominous regarding the health and safety of repeated exposure to commercially produced feminine products due to pesticide and dioxin residues that come into direct contact with very thin reproductive tissues. Safe alternatives include a natural gum rubber cup or organic cotton pads and tampons.
Nontoxic Birth Control: Natural methods of birth control are always preferable to chemically based agents such as spermicides, contraceptive patches and IUDs which emit synthetic hormones, or the contraceptive pill which decimates the balance of gut flora. Even IUDs that emit only copper instead of hormones to prevent pregnancy should be avoided as copper toxicity is a very real and dangerous side effect of using these devices. One safe option is nontoxic condoms made without the use of carcinogenic parabens, petrochemicals, spermicides or glycerin and made with natural rubber latex instead of synthetic materials.
Oral Care: I recommend the toothbrushes, tooth gel and other oral care items from my trusted friends at Orawellness.
Home & Cleaning
Using sustainable products in a home garden is very important to avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals while growing healthy food! Click here for a listing of supplies I have found helpful at our home.
Feeding our furry friends their natural diet is very important, but if you are not able to prepare a raw diet for your cat or dog for a period of time, at least source pet food that is free of dangerous chemicals and additives.