Pantry Staples

To find all the products I use in one place, check out my Amazon store!
I also shop at (use the following discount code for $10 off your first order: BAF165)


Active-Dry Yeast, Unflavored Knox Gelatin, Agar Agar, Simply Delish Natural Jel Dessert (strawberry, raspberry), [Dried Fruit (no sugar added):  Cranberries, Cherries, Raisins, Blueberries], [100% Fruit Spreads:  Blueberry, Blackberry, Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry]

Freeze-Dried Banana, Pure Strawberry Powder, Canned Pineapple (in 100% juice), Canned Pumpkin, Canned Pear Halves and Sliced Peaches (in 100% juice), Unsweetened Applesauce

Healthy Caramel Sauce (vegan), Homemade Caramel Sauce (in upside down bottle), Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder (gluten free), Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt


Green Tea, Matcha Powder, Starbucks VIA, Coffee Beans, Xanthan Gum, Ener-G Egg Replacer

Almond Flour, Arrowroot Starch, Organic Corn Starch (non-GMO)Peanut Flour, Pistachio Flour, Coconut Flour, Sweet White Sorghum Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Quinoa Flour, Quinoa Flakes, Brown Rice Flour, Oat Flour (gluten free), Rolled Oats (gluten free), Steel Cut Oats (gluten free)


Plain Brown Rice Protein, Vanilla Rice Milk Powder, Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Isolate, Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Isolate, Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder, Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder

[Lazy Susan:  Agave, Pure Maple Syrup, Molasses, Honey, Brown Rice Syrup, Date Syrup, Vegetable Glycerine], Vanilla Sweetnol Syrup, Caramel Sweetnol Syrup]

Granulated Erythritol, Homemade Vanilla SugarPowdered Erythritol

Sucanat, Date Sugar, Pure Maple Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Powdered Coconut Sugar, Truvia Packets, Homemade Rainbow Sprinkles


Milled Chia Seeds, Ground Flaxseeds, Hemp Hearts, Quinoa PuffsNon-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening

Raw Brazil Nuts, Raw Pecans, Raw Macadamia Nuts, Pistachios, Raw Walnuts, Cashews, Raw Hazelnuts, Coconut Butter, Coconut Cream Concentrate, Reduced Fat Shredded Coconut, Marcona Almonds, Raw Almonds, Peanuts, Raw Peanuts, Natural Peanut Butter (please avoid brands that contain hydrogenated oils – see bottom of page), Powdered Peanut Butter, Tahini

[Chocolate:  Regular Cocoa Powder, Dark Cocoa Powder, Dutch Process Cocoa Powder,  Mini Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Chunks, Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips, Sugar Free Milk Chocolate, Sugar Free Dark Chocolate, 60% Cacao Chocolate, 85% Cacao Chocolate, 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Coating, White Chocolate Coating, Cocoa Butter, Cacao Paste/Liquor]

[Lazy Susan:  Vanilla Extract, Vanilla PasteStevia Extract, English Toffee Stevia Extract, Maple Flavor, Caramel Flavor, Butterscotch Extract, Butter Extract, Chocolate Extract, Cookies n Cream Extract, Cotton Candy Flavor, Watermelon ExtractAlmond Flavor, Hazelnut Extract, Coconut Flavor, Mint Flavor, Peppermint Flavor, Lemon Flavor, Orange Flavor, Banana, Blueberry, Cherry, Mango, Raspberry, Strawberry Extracts, Ground Cinnamon, Cinnamon Sticks, Ground Nutmeg, Whole Nutmeg, Vanilla Bean Pods, Cloves, Ginger, Apple Pie Spice, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Poppyseeds, Natural Food Coloring, Liquid Chlorophyll]


Water, Bai5, Vitamin Water Zero, Coconut Water, Light Coconut Milk, MimiCreme Almond+Cashew Cream, [Lazy Susan:  Vitamins, Supplements (Psyllium, Calcium, Glutamine)], Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Unsweetened Vanilla Soy Milk (organic, non-GMO), Parchment Paper Sheets

Refrigerator and Freezer:

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste

Barlean’s Omega Swirl (my favorite flavors are key lime, lemon zest and mango-peach), Amande Cultured Almond Milk Yogurt, Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese (organic, no hormones/antibiotics), Eggs, Tofu, Skim Milk

Sugar Free Chocolate “Ice Cream” (and vanilla), Wink Ice Cream

Produce (depending on the season):  Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Cherries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Grapefruit, Oranges, Lemons, Kiwis, Pineapple

Not Shown:

Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, V8 (as a veggie backup!), Apple Cider Vinegar

Corn Starch, Maca Powder, Sweet Matcha Powder, Pomegranate Powder, Dried Nonfat Milk, Evaporated Fat Free Milk (not condensed!), Natural Brown Rice Protein Powder, Vega One Nutritional Shake (chocolate), Vega Performance Protein Powder (chocolate), Whey Protein Powder (chocolate, vanilla), Egg Protein Powder (chocolate, vanilla), Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Powder, Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Canned Black Beans, Canned Garbanzo Beans, Canned Cannellini Beans, Canned Beets

Organic Food Bars (protein, active greens), Simply Bars (cinnamon pecan, peanut butter chocolate), Clif Bars, Clif Builders Bars, Luna Bars, Green Superfood Packets, Wylde Pretzels (gluten free)




Tools, Appliances and Utensils:

  • Oven Gloves

Don’t make my mistake of taking your baked good out of a 400 degree oven with rolled up paper napkins.  I may have dropped a napkin onto the oven coils and a fire also may have started.  Thank God no one was around because I looked like an idiot sticking my hand straight into the oven to grab it and throwing it on the ground to stomp on it.  Yes, I was an amateur baker

  • Cooking Spray

Much better than slathering a stick of butter all over a pan!  Make sure to read the ingredients, some contain hydrogenated oils.  Also note that all cooking sprays contain soy.  If sensitive to soy, I use Misto Spray cans

A quintessential kitchen tool!  I use a scale in all my baked goods and even some no-bake items.





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What You Will NEVER Find in my Pantry and Fridge:
  • Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Sweet n’ Low, Equal, etc)
  • Refined sugars (the white granulated stuff, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc) and added sugars (to an unnecessary extent)
  • Margarine, shortening, lard, Cool Whip
  • Products containing trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils
The following images are screenshots from a Powerpoint presentation I made for my freshman English102 class in 2010.  Just click on the images to enlarge.  Enjoy!

^^ Gross, right?!?

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Comments (43)

  1. Hannah: February 9, 2013

    Girl! I totally made a presentation about trans fats for my english class Junior Year of high school. :P On the same page or what?!

  2. Blake Wright: February 9, 2013

    Ok I like the idea but being a practical college student myself with no crawl space or kitchen and very little money this list is a bit daunting. Especially since I live in a city where everything is more expensive. Is there anyway to work around such high costs for health. Also I have a weakness for gelato is that a no no?

  3. Blake, It’s true, this list runs a little long. I originally made this while I was in school but have been adding a few things here and there ever since… so technically ALL of the foods listed weren’t in my dormroom (or under my bed lol). I too, struggle with buying healthier foods because they cost a little more… I discovered Amazon (it’s cheaper, comes in bulk, and you get free shipping as a student!) and catch all the deals I can from the grocery store. Sometimes eating healthier (which doesn’t necessarily mean organic) can cost about the same as a junky diet. If you cut out the cookies–or gelato ;)–you save money! Don’t worry, I have a major weakness for gelato too, just point that appetite in the right direction. Put Greek yogurt in the freezer for a few hours until it’s thicker and add some 100% fruit jam, or blend a little firm tofu with frozen strawberries and add honey or stevia to taste. It’s really good despite how it sounds. Hope I helped! -Jess

  4. Blake Wright: February 9, 2013

    Oh thank goodness I can compromise with that recipe. I never thought about amazon, thank you!

  5. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    I really like your food containers (for flour, oats, etc). Where did you get them? I’ve been trying to find something like that!

  6. Anonymous, Thanks! I got them at the Container Store (aka, the best store ever!) Beware if you go to their website though, I was on there for hours looking at all their goodies! :)

  7. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    What do you recommend eating when it comes to meat?

  8. Anonymous,
    Fish beats the land animals in my opinion, although variety is always good. I would recommend salmon and chunk lite tuna and meats containing low amounts of fat and cholesterol, like chicken and turkey breast (not the thigh/dark meat). A steak every once in a while is fine unless you have heart problems or high cholesterol.

  9. Kathy: February 9, 2013

    Reading this has just inspired me to a bit more healthier. Last year, I was better at eating healthier than this year, as my body has been saying ‘it’s okay’ to eat those kind of foods, though I can honestly live without them!

  10. Maya: February 9, 2013

    What kind of protein powder do you use? I can’t eat gluten or chocolate, do you have anything that you would recommend for me (i’m also watching my weight)

  11. Maya,
    I use Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder (which is gluten free, sugar free, etc): You can also try Optimum Nutrition protein powder (the link says chocolate, but there are 18 flavors you can choose from!): or Optimum Nutrition “naturals” (which contains no sucralose, but instead natural sugar): Adding protein powder to other meals (like oatmeal, smoothies, etc) helps keep you fuller for longer as protein provides satiety. Whey protein has also shown to help decrease abdominal fat along with diet/exercise, where other protein powders like soy didn’t as much. Hopefully this helps!

  12. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    Hey, I’ve read a lot of controversial information about tofu and soy, and found that I don’t react well with it. Even though some people find it healthy, it isn’t for me. Is there a good substitute for tofu in your recipes? Oh, and I’m a new reader here who also happens to be a fitness-nutrtion junkie. ;)I’m turning 16 this month, and I’m planning on making your Matcha Almond Cake for my birthday, hopefully soy-free. Your creations look AMAZING by the way, and I’m looking forward to trying more recipes! :)

  13. Anonymous,
    Tofu and soy can be healthy in moderation for some people, but yes, many people have soy allergies (coincidentally, I just found out I’m allergic a couple weeks ago :/ ). A good substitute for tofu can be eggs, yogurt and flax “eggs.” To replace the tofu in the Matcha Almond Cake, you can try using 1) two whole eggs, 2) one whole egg and 2-3 more tbs of greek yogurt, 3) 2-3 more tbs of greek yogurt and one flax egg (1 tbs ground flaxseed + 2 tbs hot water, let sit until gel forms). Hopefully these work out!
    PS: Happy early birthday! Have a good one :)

  14. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    Thanks so much for answering! :) I never knew that the tofu was used as an egg replacement! Thanks lots!

  15. Deb: February 9, 2013

    Hey, I have a question about your protein powders…what brand do you use? I have never tried them before and don’t know where to start… LOVE your blog!

  16. Hey Deb!
    My first protein powder was Optimum Nutrition’s vanilla and chocolate:
    I now use Jay Robb’s powders because they use stevia instead of fake sugars:
    Both are delicious, but I think the winner is Optimum Nutrition’s natural protein powder (it’s super creamy, sweet and satisfying!). I recommend this to try first:
    Hope you like it!

  17. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    Great post! Where do you get your unsweetened dried fruit? I try to limit processed sugars and I can’t find it anywhere.

  18. Anonymous-
    Surprisingly enough, I get my dried fruit on campus (strange, right?). They just recently started selling Oskri brand. Otherwise I get it in bulk from the grocery store (a giant bag of raisins is about $4. That’s too bad they don’t sell anything around you (unsweetened cranberries were the hardest to find). Maybe check online at






  19. Lydia: February 9, 2013

    Trader Joe’s is great for dried fruit and nuts too. Wonderful blog, I just discovered it yesterday and I’m already obsessed! I’m trying to eat a low glycemic diet and I love dessert, so this is perfect. Thanks for the information and inspiration.

  20. Swaan: February 9, 2013

    I love the idea of this blog; it fits perfectly with the way I like to cook and eat. Question: can you point me to info on stevia, and its safety and nutritional value? I actually bought some, but it has a chemical taste to me, and so I haven’t used it much. Do you have any info or advice? Also: I don’t eat dairy (whey), and I’m reluctant to buy expensive protein powder blends. For my smoothies, I make a protein powder from soy powder, hemp powder, and ground flax. Do you think that would work to replace the protein powders you use? Thanks!

  21. I’m sorry the stevia you bought had a bad taste, what brand was it? I really like SweetLeaf ( and NuNaturals’ alcohol-free stevia (

    It’s always best to use stevia in combination with another sweetener to avoid any aftertaste (I think it tastes the best with erythritol). Here are a couple links on stevia:

    The best thing to do with these sweeteners–even though they’re natural–is to use them in moderation… just like other foods, supplements, exercise, etc.

    As for the protein powder, I find that soy/hemp/flax absorb a lot of liquid due to the fiber content, so if you use that mix make sure to keep an eye on the moisture level… most likely you will need to use more. I wouldn’t recommend using that mix in the baked goods, but in the no-bake items it should work. I would test it out first in the Peanut Butter Protein Balls recipe (, since it’s a small recipe and takes 5 minutes to prepare. Hope that mix works out, it sounds really nutritious! :)

  22. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    Hey, Your recipes look great, I was just wondering where you got 100% fruit spreads. I’ve looked everywhere, but the first ingredient is always sugar!

  23. Anonymous: February 9, 2013

    Hey!!! I have a question… why don’t you have Splenda, is it really bad??

  24. Splenda is a manmade sweetener which is processed with chemicals and mixed with starches. It is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) so a healthy body can tolerate small amounts of it. However, if you are like me and put 8-10 packets worth of sweetener into a venti coffee (insanity, I know) then Splenda probably isn’t our best bet! 1 or 2 packets every now and then will most likely not hurt, but when compared to stevia/erythritol/unrefined sweeteners, I really don’t see the need (or wanting) to use Splenda.

    Here are some helpful links you may want to check out:

  25. Renee: February 10, 2013

    Hi Jessica,
    After recently making the miraculous discovery of your heavenly blog, I’ve been hooked on it day after day. It’s so amazing. The photos are mouthwatering, the posts are entertaining to read, and the layout is very pretty. What I really want to do is MAKE YOUR RECIPES! BUT I can’t seem to find things like quinoa flour, brown rice flour, butter extract etc. In Taiwan (where I live) :’( I’ve already dragged my mom back and forth between numerous stores and markets, but no good :[. Being a high school freshman, I can’t really afford shipping fee if I were to shop on Amazon either. So sad. So so so sad. Can you help me? A suggestion, maybe? so desperate, I am.

  26. Hi Renee,
    I’m so sorry you are having trouble finding these ingredients. Unfortunately, products vary from country to country. My suggestion would be to shop at online stores, order items in bulk (a larger amount usually comes cheaper), and order in one large order to avoid excessive shipping costs. I don’t know much about shipping costs for other countries, but for me, these are my favorite online shopping websites right now:

    You can also google how to make certain ingredients at home, such as quinoa flour and brown rice flour. Butter extract is not a necessity, however if you want that traditional butter taste like typical unhealthy baked goods, I think it is definitely worth searching for. Also, you can try meeting with grocery store owners near you to start selling certain products. I know my sister filled out a form at Whole Foods to start selling Amande yogurt and some other foods and they did. Anyways, I hope you find the perfect solution!

  27. Renee: February 10, 2013

    Thank you for replying so *very* considerately! I’ll be embarking on my journey to healthy baking!

  28. Nicci: February 18, 2013

    Hi Jessica,
    I really enjoy your blog. I’m pretty aware about healthy eating and fitness so this place is beyond awesome for me. I find many of your recipes contain xanthan gum which is very hard for me to find in my area. Do you think I can omit it or substitute with other ingredients?

  29. dessertswithbenefits: February 18, 2013

    Hi Nicci, depending on the recipe you might be able to omit it. For example, my Lemony Peach Blondies could probably survive without it, but in cookies or cupcakes, I would recommend not changing a thing as the end product will crumble like sand between your fingers :(
    You can try ordering the xanthan gum online, that’s what I do, because it’s cheaper than in stores. I buy mine here:
    I like using oat flour in gluten-free baked goods because it has a high fiber content and “binds” the batter well, so if you do omit the xanthan gum, it should be in a recipe with oat flour. Also, if the end product ends up crumbly (like cupcakes), just make cake pops! :)

  30. Nicci: February 19, 2013

    I see, thank you very much for replying :)

  31. Lindsay: April 11, 2013

    Hi jessica! I just recently found your blog and i have been obsessed, everything is amazing. I was wondering how i could find those tall rectangular containers like the ones you have to store alll of your various flours and such. Those look so organized and handy and i have been having so much trouble since i dont have a good way to store all of my flours. Thank you!

  32. Sarah: April 13, 2013

    Hello! Love your blog. I have such trouble following recipes without making major alterations but you’ve got so many creative desserts here, it’s making me want to spend all day in the kitchen.

    It looks like you use several of the Natures Flavors extracts in your baking; have you had good luck with them? Did you find them artificial tasting at all? I have some Lorann Oils flavors and some of them are really good, but others taste dreadful, and I’m on the lookout for a company that tends to be consistently tasty. Would you recommend them?


  33. dessertswithbenefits: April 13, 2013

    Hi Sarah,
    I haven’t tried the butterscotch and cookies n cream extracts yet so I don’t know how they taste in baked goods yet. However, I DO use the caramel sweetnol syrup in my coffee (love it!), natural food coloring in my recipes like Red Velvet Cake and Homemade Rainbow Sprinkles. I like Lorann Oil butter extract but I don’t like how the company uses artificial food colorings/flavors in the majority of their products. I like that Natures Flavors are all natural so I tend to use them more. Just a note though, the food colorings can impose a taste in the product if you use too much or use it with mild flavors (that is why I use extra vanilla/butter extract in my Red Velvet Cake and a flavorful frosting… if you were to omit certain ingredients you would definitely taste the food coloring and it wouldn’t be pleasant)
    In the end, I would definitely recommend Natures Flavors because they are 100% natural and healthy!
    -Jess :)

  34. I love your blog, but would like to see a post on a comparison of the different sweeteners you have listed. If you have this already, sorry, I couldn’t find it.

    I’d like to see how they’re used and what’s interchangeable. You use Erythritol quite a lot, but that can get quite cost-prohibitive.

    I realize eating healthy comes at a cost, but before I spend a bunch of money, I would like to see how each of the different sweeteners are used. Thanks!

  35. dessertswithbenefits: January 3, 2014

    OH MY GOSH, I am SO sorry, Stef!! For some reason I wasn’t notified of all your comments… thanks a lot technology!
    Anyways, I am working on this sweetener comparison chart as we speak, but it may take a while for me to post because I want to compare as many sweeteners as possible (17 in total). I want to be very thorough so readers can choose the best and healthiest sweeteners available to them.
    Again, I apologize. I will post this chart on my FAQ page, and post a link to it on the Nutrition page as well.
    I will get to the rest of your comments ASAP :)

  36. dessertswithbenefits: January 3, 2014

    Hi again, Stef!
    I posted that sweetener comparison chart you asked for on my FAQ page, linked to here:
    I hope this was what you were looking for!

  37. Cassandra: January 4, 2014

    I’ve purchased a rather large bag of Hemp Hearts and am not sure what to do with them (not too crazy about using them as a topping) and would like know if/how they could be used in a cake or bar-type dessert.


  38. dessertswithbenefits: January 6, 2014

    Oh my gosh I did the SAME EXACT THING last year!! I had no idea what to do with them because I wasn’t a fan of the taste. Everything I baked with them weren’t “post worthy” so I don’t have any recipes to give you, sorry :(
    HOWEVER, I found this awesome Pinterest board full of hemp recipes that you might like:

    Hope this helps!

  39. Cassandra: February 1, 2014

    Sorry you’ve had trouble with them too – I am sure whatever you’ve made with them has been completely delicious!

    Awesome, thanks for the link :D

  40. Teresa: March 7, 2014

    I would love to hear your take on Stef’s question above. I would like to replace erythritol in some of your recipes when I run out etc.

    “I love your blog, but would like to see a post on a comparison of the different sweeteners you have listed. If you have this already, sorry, I couldn’t find it.
    I’d like to see how they’re used and what’s interchangeable. You use Erythritol quite a lot, but that can get quite cost-prohibitive.
    I realize eating healthy comes at a cost, but before I spend a bunch of money, I would like to see how each of the different sweeteners are used. Thanks!”


  41. dessertswithbenefits: March 7, 2014

    Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I usually get notifications when people comment but for some reason the program glitches and I miss them :(
    I am working on a sweetener comparison chart right now, but it will take some time. I am comparing 17 sweeteners in total, from sugar to erythritol to maple syrup to corn syrup, etc. I will post this chart on the FAQ page and link to it on the Nutrition page as well. I will reply to Stef’s comment and your comment when I publish the chart :)

  42. dessertswithbenefits: March 9, 2014

    Hi again, Teresa!
    I posted that sweetener comparison chart on my FAQ page, linked to here:
    I hope this helps you replace the erythritol in the future!

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