Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hippie Cupboard Expose

A recent encounter with a blog reader led to a question that I originally thought was a joke.  
He said, I'd love a blog post about 10 things that are in your cupboard that might not be in mine.  
It wasn't a joke.
He said he was going to make a recipe I posted but didn't have one obscure ingredient.  
The funny thing is, I don't think any of my ingredients are obscure.
  I'm starting to learn I'm not the norm... that no one is the "norm". 
So... by way of an apology for my obscure ingredient in my recipe, here are my cupboards and some of the things I keep in stock that you might not. 
PS - Any time there is an ingredient you don't have, just comment on the post and ask what it can be replaced with.  Chances are I've had to substitute it for something else at least once or twice. 

7 Things I have in my cupboard that you might not.

1. Something my Dad always tried to talk me in to (but never succeeded) was to try alternative grains.  He was a food pioneer and had couscous in our house growing up before people ate anything other than white rice!  He caught me a little too late in my palate development - it's hard to convince a pre pubescent child to try new, hard-to-spell-and-pronounce, foods.  Well Dad, the tables have turned.  You proclaimed me a "hard-ass" about healthy food,  and I'm happy to share my first staple we always have in this house: Quinoa.

Quinoa is the business.  Seriously.  This is a super food that you need to feed yourself and the ones you love.  It's good hot, cold, in salads, in cookies, in just about everything.  Eat. Your. Quinoa.
I also have flaked Quinoa and Quinoa Krispies (cereal) in my cupboard.  

2. I don't think this next one is "weird" per se, but I don't know a lot of people who have it in their cupboard.  

Rice Paper!  Do you love fresh wraps at your local Thai place?  Even if you don't, pick up a pack of these at your grocery store so you can try your own version.  The wraps are dried rice and will never go bad - which means they're handy in the event of an apocalypse.  
You wet the paper, and that softens it enough to use it as a wrap.  
Fill them with as many fresh veggies as you can think of and mow down.  I've tried a lot of foods I wouldn't normally enjoy (fresh beets) and mixed with some lemon juice, pepper and other veggies - it's never turned out poorly.  
Rice Paper.  Get some.

3. Flavour 

Yes, flavour. 

When I learned about human trafficking and slavery in the food industry - especially the food industry my kids were enjoying (chocolate, sugar) I started making our own sweets.  Homemade suckers, toffee, caramel, candy, even candy canes.  While I don't make candy too often these days (lots of organic and fair trade options in stores now - yipee!) I still love having these flavours on hand to jazz up icings and other baked goods from time to time.  

4. I have this thing, where I seriously forget that everyone isn't like me.  Honestly.  I hear about people scouring their cupboards and making something from what they had and it's things I would NEVER dream of buying.  When I'm scouring my cupboards I usually find chick peas and Tahini.  Chick peas + tahini = hummus.  I'm still trying to remember that I am just as weird to someone else as they are to me - you'd think I'd have that engrained in my head by now, but I really don't.

5. Yeast.  I don't know who hasn't tried to make bread on their own, especially with those bread makers everyone seems to love - but feedback tells me that yeast isn't a common cupboard staple these days.  I've cultured my own yeast before, to make authentic sourdough bread, but for the most part, I use regular old instant yeast.  Not the individual packages that come in 3's either... I use the Yeast like you mean it yeast.  

6. I love sugar.  Truth is, I'm probably a sugar addict.  I avoid it for the most part, because as soon as I even think about sugar I go into a tailspin.  Do I still have white sugar in the house?  Yes, of course I do - birthday cakes and Christmas cookies need to be "authentic" and I use white sugar.  In daily life, I bake a lot of recipes with dates or figs to sweeten things up, but sometimes figs just don't cut it.  Enter the white sugar alternative super team!  

Yeah, that's a one pound bag of maple sugar.  

I also have some other sugars in my cupboard (honey, agave nectar, molasses) and I use them for different recipes depending on what taste I'm looking for.  The berry sugar (fructose) in the back is strictly for my Crying Cookies and the palm sugar is for recipes from Oh She Glows (she loves palm sugar).  I use Stevia in my green tea because it's just SO bitter (I don't sweeten any other tea).  The maple sugar is for eating off the end of a spoon (duh) - but I also sprinkle muffins with it sometimes.

6.  As if having every sugar alternative wasn't annoying enough, I also have an arsenal of 
flour alternatives.  

We buy sprouted grain bread (pre-made, so that's kind of normal) but when I'm making biscuits or cookies I try to use sprouted grain flours.  Do I have regular flour?  Yes.  Even some cake and pastry flour.  It all depends on what's being made and who it's being made for.   I use coconut flour for gluten free baking (watch out, it's the most absorbent thing in the universe) as well as an assortment of other weird flours.  Rice flour (white and brown), arrowroot starch, quinoa flour, gluten free all purpose mixes and the bees knees - chickpea flour.  I love chickpea flour, mostly for homemade pakora and baji - but it's helpful in other things too.  

7. These next two items aren't from my pantry and are from my fridge, but I think they count.  Did your Mom put something in everything?  Like raisins in your oatmeal, in your cookies, on your cereal?  Well, I put chia seeds on everything.  Pancakes, cookies, pudding, shakes, all with a good tablespoon or two of chia seeds.  The hemp seeds are mostly for my husband's veggie shakes because I suspect I'm allergic to them - but they are nice to eat on top of a salad or in a wrap.  

Not pictured, but no less important is flax.  The flax lives next to these guys in the fridge and he's a major player at our house.  I buy the seeds and grind them in my blender, but you don't have to do that with Chia or Hemp which is why I love them so much.  

8.  I feel like this is the Hippie Holy Grail.  Nutritional Yeast is a great additive to a wide variety of foods.  Popcorn, kale chips, pasta, rice - you name it, it could do with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.  

You don't have to be a hippie to enjoy these staples that are common in our house.  Truth is, I don't really identify as a hippie - but I embrace that I am seen as that, and refer to myself as one with jest.  

More on that another day.  

Bonus peek into my cupboards

Here's my full cupboard (tidied of course)
I have two large pantries and no overhead cupboards in my kitchen.  

I hope you enjoyed exploring my cupboards, and 
if you have a question or blog suggestion don't hesitate to ask!  
I loved this little project, not because I particularly wanted to share my cupboards
but because I knew it was coming from you, my most beloved readers!  

That wasn't sarcastic.
Yes, a little "Anne" from Anne of Green Gables,
but genuine.  

1 comment:

  1. Anne of Green Gables (hippie edition), never change, we like you just this way. :)


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