Pantry Staples

Welcome to the healthy Pantry Staples page!  Here is an in-depth look of the foods and ingredients I keep in my pantry, fridge, and freezer to live a healthy lifestyle and bake delicious sweet treats!  Just a one stop shop for all my favorite products!

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Because I buy high-quality ingredients, I find it most cost-effective to purchase the majority of my ingredients online and in bulk.  90% of the time, it is cheaper to buy things online rather than grocery stores because physical stores have to raise their prices to pay for their overhead costs (rent, employees, cashiers, etc.).  My favorite sites and stores to shop at include Amazon.comThriveMarket.com, Costco, and Whole Foods.

Let’s get started!

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Fruits & Veggies

Fresh Produce:

  • Fruits–  Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Blueberries, Cherries, Grapefruit, Kiwis, Lemons, Oranges, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries
  • Veggies– Beets, Carrots, Spinach

Canned:

  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Sliced Peaches (in 100% juice)
  • Halved Pears (in 100% juice)
  • Pineapple Rings (in 100% juice)
  • 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 100% Fruit Spreads (in Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry)

Dried:  (make sure all your dried fruits have no sugar or preservatives added!)

  • Blueberries, Raisins, Figs, Dates

 

Flours, Grains, & Other Baking Essentials

  • Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • Arrowroot Starch and Corn Starch
  • Active-Dry Yeast
  • Baking Soda and Double-Acting Baking Powder
  • Xanthan Gum

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Nuts & Nut Butters, Seeds & Seed Butters

Nuts and Nut Butters:

  • Almonds, Natural Almond Butter, Cashews, Shredded Coconut, Reduced-Fat Shredded Coconut, and Raw Coconut Butter, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Peanuts, Natural Peanut Butter, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts

Seeds and Seed Butters:

  • Chia Seeds, Ground Flaxseed Meal

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Protein Powders

    • Brown Rice Protein Powder (in both Vanilla/Chocolate)

Vegan Brown Rice Protein Powder

    • Unflavored Soy Protein Powder
    • Egg White Protein Powder (in both Vanilla/Chocolate)
    • Whey Protein Powder (in UnflavoredVanilla/Chocolate)

Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder

    • Unflavored Casein Protein Powder

Unflavored Casein Protein Powder

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Natural Sweeteners

Liquid Sweeteners:

Dry Sweeteners:

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Chocolate

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Extracts & Flavorings

Vanilla:

Extracts/Flavors:

  • Almond Flavor and Almond Extract
  • Fruit Flavor Set (Banana, Blueberry, Cherry, Mango, Raspberry, Strawberry)
  • Butter Flavor
  • Butterscotch Flavor
  • Caramel Flavor
  • Coconut Flavor
  • Hazelnut Extract
  • Lemon Flavor
  • Maple Flavor
  • Mint Extract, Peppermint Extract
  • Orange Flavor

Spices and Seasonings:

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In the Fridge

  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Fat-Free/Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Milk and Nondairy Milks:

  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Soy Milk
  • Skim/Whole Milk

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On the Pantry Shelves

Milk and Nondairy Milks:

    • Canned Light Coconut Milk and Full Fat Coconut Milk

Organic Coconut Milk

Canned Beans:

  • Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Cannellini Beans, Kidney Beans

Oils and Vinegars:

  • Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, White Vinegar

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Tools, Appliances, & Utensils

  • Kitchen Scale:  I use a scale in ALL of my recipes to ensure the same final product each and every time!  I highly suggest getting a kitchen scale of your own.

Kitchen Scale (perfect for baking!)
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  • Electric Stand Mixer:  A quintessential kitchen tool!  Mixes cookie doughs and cake batters, whips frostings and meringues, and can even churn ice cream and juice fruits/vegetables.

And Electric Stand Mixer is a quintessential kitchen tool! Mixes cookie doughs and cake batters, whips frostings and meringues, and can even churn ice cream and juice fruits/vegetables.
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The Best High Speed Blender: Vitamix
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Food Processor
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  • Hand Blender:  I use KitchenAid Pro Line Cordless.

Hand Blender/Stick Blender
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  • Ice Cream Maker:  I use the KitchenAid stand mixer attachment (I used to have a Cuisinart but it died).  I also have a Dessert Bullet (coolest invention ever)!

Ice Cream Maker Attachment
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  • Cooking Spray:  Much better than slathering a stick of butter all over a pan!  Avoid brands that contain hydrogenated oils (also note that cooking sprays contain soy.  If sensitive to soy, use Misto Spray cans)
  • 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 once…
  • Molds:  Peanut Butter Cup Mold, Chocolate Kiss Mold, Chocolate Bar Mold
  • Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Bowls (small, medium, large)
  • Silicone Spatulas and Wire Whisks
  • Fine Mesh Sieve
  • Pastry Roller
  • Pastry Brush
  • Ice Cream Scooper
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Piping Bag + Tips
  • Offset Spatula
  • Can Opener
  • Candy Thermometer and Oven Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth

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Bakeware

  • Mini Loaf Pans
  • 8×5″ and 9×6″ Loaf Pans
  • Standard Cupcake Tin
  • 6″, 8″, and 9″ Cake Pans
  • 6″, 8″, and 9″ Springform Pans
  • Angel Food Cake Pan
  • Bundt Cake Pan
  • Donut Pan
  • 8×8″ and 9×9″ Brownie Pans
  • 9×13″ Rectangle Pan
  • Cookie Sheets and Jelly Roll Pans
  • Wire Cooling Racks

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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 excess added sugars
  • Margarine, hydrogenated shortening, 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):
Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits
Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits
Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils - Desserts with Benefits

 Gross, right?!?

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Hope you enjoyed this long list of everything I use, love using, and recommend using ☺️

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With love and good eats,

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– Jess

🎂🍴💕

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This page contains affiliate links.  Desserts With Benefits® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites (like this blog!) to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com.

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55 comments on “Pantry Staples

  1. I see, thank you very much for replying 🙂

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

    Thanks!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      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 🙂

  4. 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!

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  6. 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.

    Thanks

  7. 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 😀

  8. 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!”

    Thanks,
    Teresa

  9. Well hello, your blog its very interesing im a dietician from México and i really love baking, im always trying to converge nutrition with my baking addiction, but here in México, we arent able to find many options for “healthy baking” i mean i was reading your pantry list and is awesome you can use all These substitutes. Where did you learn to bake? You are so talented!! And of course how did you manage to get your desserts so perfect using different flour, and everything you change in order to make them healthy, i would appreciate your answer and if you have a recipebook and you ship yo México let me know. Have a nice day.
    Saludos, Anna.

    • Anna-
      Good to “meet” you Anna! Thanks so much for reaching out to me 🙂
      I actually started baking in high school (but it was the unhealthy kind of baking with AP flour and white sugar). When I went to college and majored in Nutrition, that’s really when I started baking healthy.
      I am actually in the process of writing a cookbook right now! I don’t have an exact publication date, but I hope it’s sometime late this year 🙂
      Have a great weekend!
      -Jess

  10. Does erythritol caramelize like whiter sugar?

  11. Can I simply just say what a relief to find a person that actually understands what they are
    talking about on the web. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side
    of your story. I can’t believe you are not more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  12. Hey Jessica,

    So instead of studying today, I have been drooling over your blog… whoops. There are SO MANY of your recipes that I would love to make, but they call for brown rice protein powder, which I don’t have. I was doing some research on it and read some reviews and most of them were saying that the protein powder had a chalky, gritty texture and a terrible taste. Yikes. Do you ever have this problem? Also, would any of your recipes that call for brown rice protein powder work with whey protein powder? What’s the difference?
    Thank you!

    • Megan-
      Hahaha I’m sorry my blog made you procrastinate, but aren’t the desserts TOTALLY worth it?? 😉
      Brown rice protein powder can taste chalky/gritty in smoothies, that’s why I rarely use it in drinks. I hate it! But in protein bars and truffles and frostings, it makes things really smooth and fudgy… not sure why but it does.
      Whey protein doesn’t work in place of brown rice protein because it doesn’t absorb as much liquid, and for some reason it turns everything really sticky and gooey. I’ve tried making my protein bars with whey protein over a dozen times and it never works, it turns into this weird silly putty “thing.”
      Hope this helps! 🙂
      -Jess

  13. Dear Jessica,

    I have followed your food blog for what feels like forever and I have been simply delighted by your recipes that I have made!

    Now, I was looking into buying a blender- a real investment. I was wondering which you would recommend more- the vitamix or the blendtec? I am looking into making more frozen desserts and smoothies (if that makes any difference), but everywhere I look online, the blenders seem neck to neck. Considering your expertise and that you own both, I would be SO grateful to have your input!
    Thank you for giving the world such deliciously healthy food!!! 🙂

    – Lizzy

    • Lizzy S-
      Awww thank you so much Lizzy! I’m so glad you like my blog and recipes 😀
      As far as the blenders go, it’s really tough because I like both. However, I would probably go with the Vitamix (my sister has the BlendTec and she loves it, but she uses it for smoothies and soups whereas I use mine for making nut butters and ice cream bases and fudge and frostings, etc.). My only “complaint” is that they’re both clunky and heavy, but then again, so is my stand mixer, which I adore so much. With my Vitamix, it’s easy to clean with the self-clean program (this is my exact model: http://astore.amazon.com/chockohlawtay-20/detail/B00C6MWPNK).
      To get a cheaper alternative, you can always buy a refurbished machine. That’s what I did with my KitchenAid stand mixer and ice cream attachment and they work perfectly! I hope this helps Lizzy 😀
      -Jess

  14. Hi, is Whole Wheat Flour the same thing as Whole Wheat Pastry Flour? I can find whole wheat flour in the store but not Whole Wheat Pastry Flour if not what is the difference between the two? And is oat flour the same as ground up rolled oats? Can I make it at home by putting old fashioned oats in my food processor? Thank you!

    • Whole Wheat Flour and Whole Wheat Pastry Flour are very different… WWF yields a more coarse and heavy baked good while WWPF yields are more light and fluffy baked good. WWF is good for breads and crackers. WWPF is good for cupcakes and pastries.
      Oat Flour is just ground oats, so you can make that at home if you like. Just grind a bunch of oats in a food processor until it’s super fine and powdery! 😀
      -Jess

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