Most often when I talk to people about the Paleo lifestyle I hear comments about how hard it must be to prepare every meal by hand—all of the prep work, shopping, cutting, cleaning, ect… and I agree! It is hard to constantly plan ahead and prepare these amazingly gourmet and healthy meals, especially with a modern work schedule and the many demands on our time.
But here is my secret—
Rarely do I have to think about and pre-plan meals because I buy mass quantities of food ahead of time. I shop online for the stuff that isn’t at my local store. I get my produced delivered to my house, DELIVERED! I own all sorts of gadgets that cut, dice, and prepare the food for me. I am more of a cruise director in this process: Mr. Kale, have you met my dearest friend the Vitamix? Jump on in and enjoy the entertainment!
When my husband and I first decided to eat Paleo we started very slowly. During the process of transitioning over, my collection of essentials has grown, my routine of ordering and preparing food has become established and we purchased an extra fridge/freezer combo to help carry some of the burden of my obsessive meat shopping. I definitely have some cupboard essentials that make my lifestyle a lot easier to manage and are super fun to play with! Here is a list to help get you started.
The Must-Have Equipment:
- A high-quality 10-12 cup food processor that has all sorts of fun attachments to help you grate, slice, puree, and do your taxes.
- A high powered blender that can pummel an avocado pit (I don’t have any recipes that call for that but now that you know about it could you even imagine not having a blender that could do that?!).
- Almond milk bags for your straining pleasure.
- A cast iron pan or two…or ten…..
- Bread/Loaf pan
- Cupcake/Muffin pans (also, get the silicone liners that are adorable and work like magic–worth. every. penny.).
The Must-Have Foods:
This will help you prepare your assortment of paleo meals. Think of it as your dream team. I buy them online and in bulk from http://www.nuts.com. It is not essential to purchase them in bulk, but for me it saves me the headache of remembering what I have/don’t have.
More Food—The It’s-Really-Great-To-Have-On-Hand Foods:
(Try to buy them organic. It will cost a little more but is worth the investment.)
- Vanilla Extract
- High Quality Oils:
- Coconut Milk– I like Native Forest. It is full fat coconut milk in a BPA free can- It doesn’t get much better!
- Shredded (or flaked) Coconut
- Almond Milk
- Grass fed butter
- Super high quality chocolate chips (I purchase Enjoy Life on Amazon)
- Grade B Maple Syrup
- Raw Honey- go local on this. You get so many health benefits when your raw honey was made outside your door.
- Coconut Palm Sugar
- Shortening – I use Spectrum all-vegetable shortening. It works great and you don’t even miss the animal lard.
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Chicken Stock and/or Vegetable Stock. I like to just have this on hand. I usually go through 1-2 cartons per week.
And that folks is it! There will occasionally be a recipe that calls for something you don’t have on hand but no matter what style of food you’re making that will come up from time to time.
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