Pantry Swap — Chef Sam Talbot’s Healthy Alternatives
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Often a home’s pantry becomes literally a garbage can of leftover bad decisions such as junk food and processed sugars. We all make those purchases that can sit and taunt us every time we go to our cupboards. It’s best to toss the accumulation of poor choices and start anew. Even if your pantry is stocked with what you may think are healthy options, there could possibly be even better choices! Here are my 11 suggestions to building a pantry that you’re proud of.
Once you start making these changes you’ll feel better. It was like night and day for me. The people I’m with are busy people in New York and you can’t move if you don’t eat well. If a little more thought goes into what you eat, you’ll feel it in your skin and even in your steps the next day.
1 – SWAP regular pasta
FOR shiitake noodles, chick pea pasta and brown rice pasta. (Dream Field pasta has some great varieties.)
Why: You’re not using processed white flour, so your blood sugar is more sustained. Real mushrooms and chickpeas just break down differently.
2 – SWAP Canola oil, vegetable oil, or crisco
FOR olive oil
Why: Olives are filled with good fats. The olives are also less refined, less processed, and so therefore it’s cleaner. There are hundreds of varieties. No Trans fats either.
3 – SWAP peanut butter
FOR almond butters
Why: Almonds have more antioxidants — it’s the wonder nut with the good fat.
4 – SWAP sugar
FOR natural honey to sweeten things
Why: White sugar runs through so many different processes to get refined, whereas natural honey is clean.
5 – SWAP white flour
FOR almond flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour, artichoke flour, chickpea flour
Why: The later are gluten-free options. They also have more nutrients.
6 – SWAP white rice
FOR whole grain black or brown rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, or spelt
Why: People are scared of the names, but they’re still easy to cook! They are also higher in nutrients. More bang for your buck!
7 – SWAP iodized salt
FOR sea salt or kosher salt
Why: It’s closer to the source, there are less chemicals and it tastes like real salt.
8 – SWAP soy sauce
FOR Tamari sauce
Why: Tamari sauce tastes the same, but it’s typically gluten-free.
9 – SWAP regular milk
FOR unsweetened hemp, unsweetened almond, hazelnut or oat milk
Why: Too much dairy is not good for you. We’re the only species that still takes dairy after six months of living. Who doesn’t love cheese? I get it. But it can be artery-clogging, so you should eat dairy sparingly. There’s also a ton of sugar. Hemp byproducts have the least sugar and carbs, but are the highest in protein. Almonds also are antioxidants and are heart healthy.
10 – SWAP cereal bars, granola bars or fruit roll ups
FOR fruit leather
Why: It’s not made with processed sugar. Bonus: it’s a perfect 15 grams of carbs
11 – SWAP milk chocolate
FOR dark chocolate, the darker the chocolate the healthier
Why: Milk chocolate has more dairy and lots of added sugar whereas heart healthy antioxidants are in the pure cacao (the chocolate bean). Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cacao.
Find Sam’s recipe book The Sweet Life on his website!