Our go-to guide explains some of the best ingredients in this issue
When armed with these wholesome pantry alternatives and nutrient-rich fresh foods that we love from this issue’s recipes, you’ll always have everything you need for a fresh and light meal. Many of these ingredients are sourced from supermarkets, but there are some you may need to track down in your local health food store, greengrocer or delicatessen.
almonds This nutritious nut 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 them 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 spread or you can use the nuts in our breakfast bars on page 14. cauliflower Whether it’s fresh or cooked, we love blitzing up these fibre and vitamin-rich florets into a low-carb ‘rice’ or pizza base, or blending it to make a comforting soup. See page 102 for more ideas. 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 sprinkling over salads. 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. kale The all-star green that’s deserving of its superfood reputation, this hardy curly leaf from the brassica family is packed with beta carotene, folate and vitamin C, and is one of the highest vegetable sources of calcium. It’s perfect for adding nutritional punch to juices, smoothies, salads and more. Kimchi This Korean staple is made by fermenting cabbage in a mix of vinegar, garlic, chilli, salt and other spices. It is packed with healthy bacteria to aid digestion, and can be found in Asian supermarkets. See our recipes, including how to make your own, on page 76. labne This Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese makes a low-calorie alternative to cream cheese or sour cream. Use it to dollop onto roast vegetables and salads. Find it in delicatessens and some supermarkets. linseeds Also called flaxseeds, these small brown seeds have a nutty flavour and are high in omega-3 fatty acids. They can be baked into bread, sprinkled in cereal or used to make muesli slices and crackers. Find linseeds at supermarkets and health food stores. LSA Perfect for adding into smoothies, baked treats or breakfast cereals, this fine mix of ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds is a highly nutritious and versatile ingredient to add to your diet. It’s rich in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. 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 This salty Japanese 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. 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. 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 crumb. 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. spelt flour Available in white and wholemeal varieties, spelt flour has a high fibre content. An ancient grain, spelt facilitates a healthy digestive system and boasts high levels of vitamins and minerals. While it’s not gluten-free, the soluble fibre content can make it easier to digest than regular wheat flours. Its nutty flavour makes it perfect for using when baking and making doughs. sunflower seedS These seeds contain folate, vitamin E, 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. 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. greek- style yoghurt Made with probiotic bacterial cultures, yoghurt is great for a healthy digestive system. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds light creaminess to sauces and tangy balance to sweet desserts or breakfast bowls. Look for natural varieties that don’t have any added sugar.