How to Pack a Paleo-Smart Pantry

By Kellyann Petrucci, Melissa Joulwan, Patrick Flynn, Adriana Harlan

Time to replenish your pantry with foods that are going to get you results. See, Paleo isn’t so boring! With these pantry foods in your arsenal, you can get really creative:

  • Shredded coconut (great as a snack or to add sweetness to dishes).

  • Unsweetened coconut milk (full-fat canned), unsweetened almond milk, and flax milk (instead of dairy).

  • Canned chilies.

  • Salsa.

  • Fish sauce. (Red Boat brand is good.)

  • Gluten-free hot sauce.

  • Gluten-free mustard.

  • Vinegar: Red wine and apple cider.

  • Unsweetened, sulfite-free pickles.

  • Unsweetened applesauce.

  • Canned fish: tuna, salmon sardines, crab, or mackerel. (Vital Choice is a great brand for very clean, fresh fish.)

  • Gluten- and soy-free beef jerky.

  • Nuts and seeds.

  • Unsweetened nut butters.

  • Artichoke hearts.

  • Olives (read the label for additives; should have olives, water, and salt as the only ingredients).

  • Unsweetened, sulfite-free dried fruits.

  • Arrowroot powder (used as a thickener; substitute for conventional flour and cornstarch).

  • Coconut flour (instead of conventional flour).

  • Almond flour (instead of conventional flour).

  • Coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce).

  • Broth: Chicken, beef, and vegetable.

  • Raw honey.

  • Pure maple syrup.

  • Dark chocolate with at least 85 percent cacao.

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • Sun-dried tomatoes.

  • Tomato sauce. (Rao’s is a good brand)

  • Tomatoes in a jar or a carton.

Tomatoes are acidic and react with the metal in the cans. The interior coating of the cans contains Bisphenol A (BPA), a nasty, estrogen-mimicking chemical that can make you sick and fat and cause infertility problems. All the companies in the industry have BPA issues in their cans, so buying jarred tomatoes is best.

BPA-free tetra paks like Pomi or Trader Joe’s brand are safe. Look for jarred organic strained tomatoes and tomato paste from Bionaturæ and conventional tomatoes in tetra pak cartons by Pomi or Trader Joe’s brand Italian Tomato Starter Sauce.

Any and all sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, and no-calorie sweeteners (including Paleo-approved ones) can open the floodgate for more carb and sugar cravings. You find some natural sweeteners on the pantry list, but don’t let that mislead you into thinking that they’re acceptable everyday indulgences. They’re simply the best options for that once-in-a-while treat.