Our go-to guide ex­plains some of the best in­gre­di­ents to have on hand so you can make the most out of these recipes

donna hay - Fresh + Light - - Contents Issue 11 -

al­monds This nu­tri­tious nutn is high in pro­tein and rich in vi­ta­min E. It’s also a source of cal­cium, which makes it a great dairy-free ad­di­tion to smooth­ies. Try mak­ing your own al­mond meal, blend­ing into a pesto or just en­joy­ing as an en­er­gis­ing snack.

buck­wheat Although it looks like a grain, this is ac­tu­ally a lit­tle dark brown seed that is re­lated to rhubarb. It is high in fi­bre, and con­trary to its name, con­tains no wheat or gluten, so it is suit­able for peo­ple with coeliac dis­ease.

ca­cao pow­der Ca­cao is made by cold-press­ing un­roasted co­coa beans so they re­tain more min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants than va­ri­eties pro­cessed at high tem­per­a­tures. Ca­cao is also avail­able as ‘nibs’. You can buy both in health food stores and su­per­mar­kets.

cashews This but­tery nut is choles­terol-free and a high source of cop­per, which helps to main­tain blood cells in the body. It can be blended into a nut spread or soaked and blitzed into a dairy-free cream or milk.

chia seeds These black or white seeds come from a flow­er­ing plant and are full of fi­bre, pro­tein, min­er­als and omega-3 fatty acids. Avail­able in su­per­mar­kets and health food stores, they’re great for smooth­ies, jams and bak­ing, or sprin­kled over sal­ads.

co­conut cream This is a rich, thick liq­uid made from sim­mer­ing shred­ded co­conut in wa­ter for a long time. It is thicker and more rich than co­conut milk. It’s great for adding ex­tra body and creami­ness to cur­ries or desserts, with­out adding dairy.

co­conut sugar Also known as co­conut palm sugar, this is sim­i­lar to co­conut nec­tar but in gran­ule form. Its caramel flavour gives a lovely note to baked goods. Find it in spe­cialty food stores, Asian gro­cers, health food stores and su­per­mar­kets.

edamame These are young, green soy­beans that are sold frozen both shelled and in their ( ined­i­ble) pods. They are high in fi­bre and pro­tein and a good source of mag­ne­sium. Look for them in the freezer aisle of su­per­mar­kets and Asian gro­cery stores.

freekeh This is a young, whole­wheat toasted grain with a light, nutty flavour. It is high in fi­bre, low in fat and has a low GI. The cracked va­ri­ety cooks fast and is ideal as a more nu­tri­tious sub­sti­tute for rice or pasta.

goji berries These sweet red berries from Asia are con­sid­ered a nu­tri­ent-dense su­per­food. They are avail­able in dried form and are pop­u­lar ad­di­tions to smooth­ies, break­fast bowls and muffins. You can find them in health food stores and su­per­mar­kets.

green tea noo­dles These are tra­di­tional Ja­panese soba noo­dles made us­ing fresh green tea leaves and a com­bi­na­tion of buck­wheat flour and reg­u­lar wheat flour, or 100 per cent buck­wheat flour – mak­ing a quick and sim­ple gluten-free op­tion. Find them in Asian su­per­mar­kets.

matcha pow­der Made from spe­cially grown green tea leaves, this pow­der is tra­di­tion­ally used in Ja­panese tea cer­e­monies. To­day it is a pop­u­lar choice for adding sub­tle flavour and a bright green colour to food. Find it at health food stores and su­per­mar­kets.

miso paste Tra­di­tion­ally from Ja­pan, this salty in­gre­di­ent is made from fer­mented soy beans (or rice or bar­ley) that are ground into a thick paste. It has a savoury, umami flavour and comes in a va­ri­ety of shades from light to dark. Find it at su­per­mar­kets ( in the Asian food aisle) and Asian food stores.

Nori sheets These dark green, pa­per-thin wraps are usu­ally found around sushi rolls, but the crisp ed­i­ble seaweed is also ideal to add a unique salty and crunchy touch to a va­ri­ety of dishes.

Pepi­tas (pump­kin seeds) These dried green ker­nels con­tain es­sen­tial vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants and are a great way to add crunch and flavour to muesli, sal­ads and savoury dishes.

pick­led ginger Of­ten served with sashimi, this Ja­panese condi­ment can be found at Asian gro­cery stores and su­per­mar­kets. Or make it your­self us­ing thinly sliced fresh ginger and sim­ple in­gre­di­ents such as salt, wa­ter, sugar and rice wine vine­gar.

quinoa It looks like a grain, but quinoa is ac­tu­ally a seed. It comes in black, white and red va­ri­eties and is full of pro­tein, with a chewy tex­ture and nutty flavour. You can use it as a sub­sti­tute for cous­cous or rice. Find it in su­per­mar­kets and green­gro­cers.

quinoa flakes This is sim­ply quinoa that has been steam-rolled into flakes. Use it in muesli, pan­cakes or baked goods, or as a gluten-free al­ter­na­tive to bread­crumbs. Quinoa flakes are avail­able from health food stores and su­per­mar­kets.

Rapadura sugar Ex­tracted from the pure juice of cane sugar, rapadura (or pan­ela) is evap­o­rated over low heat, which means many of the min­er­als and vi­ta­mins from the plant are re­tained. Find it at spe­cialty food and health food stores.

se­same seeds These lit­tle white or black seeds add flavour and crunch to sal­ads, noo­dles, stir-fries and baked goods and they’re high in cop­per, man­ganese and cal­cium. When adding them as the fin­ish­ing touch to a dish, toast the seeds in a dry fry­ing pan first to bring out their sub­tle nutty flavour.

Su­mac Add a tangy taste to dishes with this lemony flavoured pow­der pop­u­lar in the Middle East and Mediter­ranean. You can find it in su­per­mar­kets.

sun­flower seeds These seeds con­tain fo­late, vi­ta­min E and mag­ne­sium, and es­sen­tial fatty acids that are ben­e­fi­cial for choles­terol lev­els. They have a mild, nutty flavour and a firm tex­ture. Use them to add a nu­tri­tious crunch to sal­ads and bak­ing.

tamari This salty condi­ment is sim­i­lar to soy sauce, ex­cept it usu­ally doesn’t con­tain gluten. It’s a byprod­uct of mak­ing miso paste and has a darker colour, richer flavour and is thicker than most soy sauces. It can be used as an al­ter­na­tive to soy sauce.

Wakame This dried seaweed has plenty of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als and is usu­ally soaked in wa­ter or broth, giving it the tex­ture of thinly sliced mush­room. It is the type of seaweed that is of­ten found in miso soup. Find it at Asian gro­cery stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

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