Hello and happy first day of Meal Prep Week here at Philly Fit Foodies! Given that it’s the beginning of a new year, and we’re guessing many of you might have set an intention for 2019 to cook and/or meal prep more, so we thought we’d lend a helping hand. No, we’re not going to meal prep for you (sry), but we will help you get the [meat]ball rolling!
Let’s start with some basics. In order to set yourself up for meal prep success, it’s important to have some key ingredients locked and loaded in your pantry/fridge at all times. In addition to the obvious (spices, EVOO, vinegars, etc.), these pantry staples are our must-have items whenever prepping meals for the week. As you’ll read below, these ingredients are incredibly versatile and can all be life saving in a meal prep pinch.
If you’re unfamiliar with ghee, we invite you to read our WTF post all about it. Ghee (clarified butter) is pantry friendly and lactose free, making it a great substitute for butter. TBH, I can’t remember the last time I bought butter. Ghee FTW. Use it in place of whatever cooking oil you’d typically use for an added buttery, nutty flavor. P.S. It’s also Whole30 approved!
I hate to pick favorites, but this might be my all-time favorite pantry staple. Coconut aminos is made from coconut flower blossom nectar and sea salt. Two ingredients—that’s it! It’s the perfect soy-free alternative to soy sauce and has even less sodium than reduced-sodium soy sauce (480mg versus 575mg/tbsp). It can also replace Worcestershire sauce, sans added sugar. #winning
You guys know we rarely bake, but this almond flour still managed to make the pantry-staple cut. Use it in place of any and all flours and breadcrumbs as a gluten-free, grain-free alternative. You can coat just about anything in this flour and pop it in your air fryer for a delicious, faux-fried experience—chicken nuggets, fish sticks, chicken thighs, etc.! The only ingredient: blanched almonds.
Pure Maple Syrup
No, maple syrup isn’t only reserved for drowning pancakes and waffles. We always have this natural sweetener on hand for meal prepping and recipe testing—you never know when something might need a little added sweetness! Natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey are the perfect healthier alternative to refined sugars.
Unrefined Coconut Oil
Is anyone else obsessed with the smell of coconut!? We seriously can’t get enough. Coconut oil has had it’s fair share of controversy within the health and wellness space (I mean, what hasn’t?), but we honestly just love how it makes things taste. Wondering the difference between refined vs. unrefined coconut oil? Refined oil undergoes bleaching and deodorizing, while unrefined, virgin coconut oil is mechanically pressed, meaning it doesn’t require the same chemicals to produce. AKA, pure AF.
Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
Simply put: we put this sh*t on everything. If you’re ready to “Spice up your life” Spice Girls-style, get your hands on this seasoning blend. We highly recommend sprinkling it over eggs and on avocadoavocados. If you’re meal prepping and feel like a recipe is just “missing something”, give it a hit of this stuff. Is it crack? Unsure, TBH.
Just like pure maple syrup, honey is a must-have staple in our pantries. Another natural sweetener with endless possibilities! Use it to sweeten a spicy Asian-inspired sauce or mix it with Frank’s Red Hot for a quick and delicious hot honey wing sauce (recipe here).
We don’t want to rush you, but you might want to run out and stock up on these pantry staples ASAP. We’ve got some killer meal prep-friendly recipes coming your way this week, and we’d hate to see anyone miss out!