Below is a list of the ingredients I frequently use in my recipes. I have included a brief description and explanation as to why I like certain brands or certain products. Please feel free to experiment or try different brands, I just can’t guarantee that the recipes will come out correctly. Please report back if you change a recipe and love your new creation!!!
I most often use Honeyville brand almond flour. I have used Bob’s Red Mill before in a few recipes. Bob’s is more coarse and therefore does not absorb moisture as well and may cause baked goods to be a bit soggy. Almond flour is moist on it’s own so to have additional moisture with cause some recipes to not work! Bob’s works in crackers and other crispy items but tends to fall a bit short in muffins, breads and cakes. It should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
This should be organic, raw and unfiltered. I use this in salad dressings, sauces and baked goods. Most salad dressings call for more mild vinegars, but they are typically fermented from foods that I no longer eat. ACV is fermented from apples where most others are fermented rice, grains, etc. It is added to baked goods to help them rise in addition to baking soda. It has so many health benefits and can even be diluted in water and consumed.
Arrowroot flour, starch, powder are all the same thing. It is used as a thickener in sauces and soups and makes bakes goods a bit less crumbly. It can replace cornstarch in recipes.
Coconut Cream is coconut meat in concentrated form. The dried coconut meat is ground very finely, giving it a creamy consistency due to its high fat content. Since it is 70% fat, it is a rich source of pure coconut oil. This is added to desserts, sauces and other dishes to enhance the flavor, it’s not a cooking oil. This can be found at some health food stores under the brand name Artisana and it called Coconut Butter.
A great grain free and gluten free flour alternative. Coconut flour has a mildly sweet coconut taste and is full of fiber and protein. I buy Tropical Traditions organic brand. It should be stored in the refrigerator.
This raw sweetener can be used as a substitute for agave, honey or maple syrup if desired. It has a mild taste that doesn’t have any coconut flavor to it. It is made when a coconut tree is tapped, it produces a naturally sweet, nutrient-rich “sap” that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap is very low glycemic and contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins.
Besides all of the health benefits coconut oil provides, it is also a great oil to cook at high heat with! There are two different forms of it, refined expeller-pressed and virgin. Organic Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil is less expensive than Virgin Coconut Oil, and because it goes through a steam deodorizing process the taste is very bland, unlike Virgin Coconut Oil which retains the odor and taste of fresh coconuts. I use both forms in my recipes depending on if I want a coconut undertone or not. I really like Tropical Traditions Expeller-Press and Virgin Oils and Spectrum’s Unrefined and Refined products. I also use Whole Foods brand Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for a great coconuty flavor.
Also known as Palm Sugar. It is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic sweetener that it’s completely natural and unrefined. It’s acquired from the flowers growing high on coconut trees, which are opened to collect their liquid flower nectar. This nectar is then air-dried to form a crystalline sugar that’s naturally brown in color and naturally rich in a number of key vitamins minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It is never refined or bleached like white sugar. So the nutrients it was made with are still there. That’s rare for sweeteners most of which are highly refined. Sugar is sugar, but at least this sugar provides vitamins, minerals and is low glycemic. I use this sparingly in recipes. It has a bit of a caramel, molasses flavor to it.
When I refer to full fat coconut milk in a recipe, I am using canned thick coconut milk. I like Native Forest brand and Aroy-D the best since they do not contain BPA in their cans. This can not be replaced with the coconut milk in a carton. The fat in the canned milk is serving a purpose in the recipe!
I learned of Lakanto from Donna Gates of Body Ecology a few years ago. This page of her website explains how Erythritol, the main ingredient in Lakanto, is different than all the other sugar alcohols. It’s the closest natural sweetener to sugar ever, in terms of its taste and its versatility; but not in terms of the side effects! Unlike sugar and other natural sweeteners, Lakanto does not feed the harmful yeast (candida) and bacteria in your body. Lakanto has zero calories, zero glycemic index, zero additives, no influence on your blood sugar and insulin release and a one-to-one ratio substitute with sugar. It is made from Erythritol and lo han fruit also called monk fruit. I love baking with this stuff! It does have a cold sensation to it that can be noticeable in some recipes. A substitute to Lakanto can be Wholesome Sweeteners Zero (Erythritol from fermented cane sugar) and a little bit of Lo Han Sweetener or Lo Han Extract for the added sweetness. Wholesome Sweeteners is about 70% of the sweetness of sugar so it’s not a 1:1 substitute like Lakanto unless you add some lo han. A little lo han goes a long way!
Palm Oil Shortening
Palm oil, not to be confused with palm kernel oil, is a saturated fat like coconut oil. It has numerous health benefits that include antioxidants and the possibility to increase HDL cholesterol. This shortening is trans-fat free and is what gives cookies their chewiness and crusts their flakiness. So if you miss the way your baked goods use to taste with Crisco, this is a healthy replacement! This can be found at Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and most grocery stores.