Thinking about beginning or just starting out on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP)?
One of the most daunting tasks can simply be the clearing out and restocking of your pantry with “allowable” foods. Where do you even start?
Everyday items that you’ve possibly been using for years are suddenly no longer allowed from flours and sugars to vegetable oils and dried beans.
Even though I had been eating gluten and refined sugar free for quite some time before embarking on AIP, I still found this process scary as hell – wondering what the hell I was going to have left to eat as just about everything was out. However, as hard as it feels to you right at this moment in time…..the moment when you realise a quick meal or rice or quinoa is off the table, or that breakfast made with oats is a thing of the past, believe me, it does get easier. I promise. I’ve done it.
You will get to a point when you’re so use to a lifestyle without gluten, grains and legumes, that you won’t even remember what your old staples were.
Obviously, your heart is already on board this big lifestyle change you’re about to embark on – you wouldn’t be considering this seriously if it wasn’t. However, to help your head “get with the program”, I’ve popped together a list of food items that you will find in my AIP pantry on any given day. Those marked with ** are items I use almost daily.
Some people choose to make over their pantry slowly over time, whether due to financial constraints or mental anguish. Other’s dive in head first. I’m a head first kinda gal as once I’ve made a decision. Bang. I’m on it. Whichever version you are, use this list as your jumping off point. Perhaps swap a group each week. Week 1 = oils. Week 2 = spices.
Ready to get started? Don’t fear – I’m holding your hand.
My AIP Pantry Staples
Those marked with ** are items I use almost daily.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Drizzle on salads or over food once cooked. I always choose extra-virgin, first cold pressed olive oil in a dark glass bottle, and store away from direct sunlight.
Organic Coconut Oil | ** My favourite and used for 90% of my cooking. It has a creamy consistency and is suitable for high temperature cooking and baking. Look for unrefined, cold-pressed virgin coconut oils.
Avocado Oil | A great alternative to olive oil, should you want a flavour change.
Duck or Goose Fat | A decadent favourite I love roasting my veggies in.
Apple Cider Vinegar | ** My only vinegar which I use in salad dressings, marinades, bone broth and even a splash added to stir fry’s and casseroles (wherever lemon may be used). I personally use the Bragg brand, which is organic, raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized.
Coconut Amino | A seasoning sauce very similar to soy sauce (without the soy or wheat).
Essential Oils | I usea range of 100% therapeutic grade essential oils in my cooking and baking, including peppermint, orange, lemon, thyme and oregano. Sometimes just one drop can make a dish sing.
Balsamic Vinegar | Personally, I don’t have this vinegar in my pantry as I simply prefer Apple Cider Vinegar, however it is an AIP approved vinegar with a rich and sweet flavour – a great alternative if you prefer this style of vinegar.
Arrowroot Flour | I substitute this for corn flour as a thickening agent to sauces and casseroles.
Coconut Flour | Finely ground dried meat of a coconut - great for baking. However, it absorbs A LOT of liquid due to its high fibre content, so use sparingly.
Baking Powder | (Gluten and Aluminium Free) which I use in baking to increasing volume and lighten texture.
*Cassava + Tigernut Flour are also allowed and well-reviewed, however as they’re difficult to find in Australia, I just don’t bother.
I use sugar (before starting AIP and now) sparingly so as not to spike my blood sugar levels. Remember sugar is sugar, even if unrefined. However, when needed for a dessert or a much needed sugar fix, I turn to:
100% Pure Maple Syrup
Carob Powder (Roasted) | A chocolate substitute with no caffeine. A lovely chocolaty addition to homemade coconut balls, my avocado chocolate mousse, or in a Wintry mug of hot chocolate.
Dried Coconut Flakes | ** Made from dehydrated coconut flesh, I use them as a breadcrumb replacement, in my AIP bounty bars and my coconut carob balls, or simply toasted as a snack. Great in salads too.
CoconutWraps | A great pita/tortilla replacement.
Arrowroot Noodles | Made from arrowroot and water and a delicious swap for egg or rice noodles.
Kelp Noodles | High in iodine and again, a delicious swap for egg or rice noodles.
Nutritional Yeast | With its nutty cheesy flavour, and not to mention, great source of vitamin B12, I use this as my parmesan cheese replacement. Great sprinkled on any dish you would have normally added parmesan
Collagen Powder | ** I add to my morning and night time hot tea drinks as a boost to my gut health.
Gelatin Powder |A protein powder with many health benefits which I add into stocks and bone broths (especially when I’m a little low on bones) and use as an egg substitute in any baking. I also use to make yummy fruit gummies – a great replacement to jelly lollies.
Tinned | Jarred
Organic Coconut Milk and Cream | ** Make sure there are no additives like guar gum or xanthan gum, which can alter the gut microbiome and should be avoided while on AIP. I use coconut milk in almost everything from curries and casseroles, creamy sauces and soups to desserts and smoothies. I even add it to my cup of tea as my milk replacement.
Canned Fish in 100% Olive Oil | Make sure you check the ingredients as not all brands use 100% olive oil.
Olives | I like to keep a range of black and green olives on hand, either packed in olive oil or vinegar. Again, check the label as some brands add unexpected nasties.
Capers | Like olives, I keep these on hand to add into salads or to a bowl of steamed veggies for a wonderful salty/lemony flavour.
Coconut Butter | Made from puréed coconut flesh, an excellent replacement for nut butters.
Always check the label as some supermarket brands can contain fillers and gluten!
Himalayan Salt **
Turmeric Powder **
Garlic Powder/Granules **