Our pantry part #2 – nuts, seeds, oils, vinegars, condiments and fermented foods

Our pantry part #2 – nuts, seeds, oils, vinegars, condiments and fermented foods

Nuts and seeds

Flax seeds are one of the greatest plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.They help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… We recommend ground over whole flaxseed because the ground form is easier to digest.

Sunflower seeds are great in smoothies, crackers, and bread, and for a snack, just a handful will take care of your hunger. Healthwise, they have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits and they are rich in selenium.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and magnesium. Raw or toasted, they make your crackers, bread, and porridge taste much better.

Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that have important health benefits for your body and brain. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency.

Sesame seeds are one of the initial oil seeds known to humankind and an important source of phytonutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber. They have delicate nutty flavor and they can be used (especially toasted) in many recipes – to make your crackers taste better, to make that lovely tasting hummus, gomashio, tahini etc. We just love them.

Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and they provide a broad spectrum of health benefits. Hemp is not a complete protein, but when you combine it with nuts, lentils, dried beans and grains, it can help you get all of these essential amino acids. It is also great for raw desserts.

Cashew nuts are very important part of our kitchen cabinet. We use them in everything: plant-based cheeses, desserts – especially raw, spreads, pestos, to make cashew cream … They are packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for our health.

Brasil nuts are the densest food source of bioavailable selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that plays many important roles in our body. Enjoying just one to two brazil nuts per day can be all you need to maintain a healthy level of selenium in your body.

Almonds are high in vitamin E and have more magnesium than most nuts. Raw or roasted, they make a great base for cakes and other sweets. They also make delicious nut butter and non-dairy milk.

Hazelnuts – Amazing tasting snack especially when toasted or made into a butter. They have been shown to improve heart, brain and skin health.

Macadamia nuts have a sweet taste and are a rich source of energy. As a natural, whole food, they contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals with significant health-boosting potential. They also have high amounts of vitamin B1 and magnesium.

Peanuts are a great source of protein, and a good source of vitamins and minerals, like biotin, copper, folate, vitamin E, thiamin, and magnesium.They are also rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.

Pine nuts are actually not nuts at all but the seeds of the pine cone. They can be a potent appetite suppressor because they are a good source of a polyunsaturated fat known as pinolenic acid. They are also high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Pecan nuts contain more fat than just about any other nut. But they are also rich in numerous vitamins and minerals which are known for promoting various aspects of health.

Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. You can put them in salads, various vegetable dishes, desserts…

Pistachios – The health benefits include a healthy heart, weight management, protection against diabetes and hypertension, and improved digestion. The vitamins, minerals, fats and protein found in pistachio are all very good for your health.


Coconut oil used to have a bad reputation because it contains saturated fat. But new studies are showing that saturated fats are mostly harmless. Also, coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (different from meat) which are metabolized differently. Some of the health benefits of coconut oil include improving digestion, killing Candida, decreasing wrinkles and age spots, burning fat and so on. Coconut oil is great for cooking at a high heat because of its high smoke point. And it is great for raw desserts.

Dark sesame oil is pressed from toasted sesame seeds, which gives it a cola like color. It is great for seasoning. You can add it to foods just before serving to give them rich, toasted sesame flavor.

Extra-virgin olive oil – Living in Dalmatia on Adriatic coast gives us an access to best quality olive oil. Health benefits of extra virgin olive oil are widely known. It is wise to use it for seasoning and cooking at low temperatures because of its low smoking point.

Sunflower oils are cheaper oils that can be used for just about any purpose. Their light taste makes these oils good substitutes for butter or margarine in most recipes. Unfortunately, these oils are polyunsaturated, which is really unhealthy. Use sparingly.

Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can use it for salads but don’t cook with it. It should be kept in the fridge otherwise it could go rancid.


Apple cider vinegar is the best choice for adding some acidity to your salads. It has been praised as a miracle food, from helping with weight loss to controlling blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.

Umeboshi vinegar is made from Japanese pickled plums. Its powerful acidity has a great alkalinizing effect on the body, neutralizing fatigue, stimulating the digestion, and promoting the elimination of toxins. It is also used as a hangover cure in the far east.

Balsamic vinegar – The real balsamic vinegar is really expensive and in stores, they usually sell imitation of the balsamic vinegar, which is basically cheap wine vinegar with coloring added to it. We like it but don’t use it as much for the reasons above.


Tamari is a gluten-free version of soy sauce. It is made in Japan as a side product of miso. Besides containing no wheat, it has a darker color and a richer flavor than the common soy sauce. It is also less salty.

Mustard is made from the seeds of a mustard plant where mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, wine, or other liquids, and often other flavorings and spices.

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, sold as flakes or powder. It is high in protein and fiber, and also a great source of folic acid and vitamin B-12. It is a must have when making plant-based cheeses and it gives all the dishes lovely cheesy flavor.

Tahini is a sesame paste made by mixing toasted sesame seeds with oil. It comes in salted or unsalted versions. Great for making lovely tasting hummus.

Plant-based mayo – plant-based alternative to your regular mayo with no eggs. Eggs are usually substituted by one of the soy products like tofu.

Fermented foods

Non-Dairy Yogurt – Coconut yogurt is an excellent way to get a dairy-free source of probiotics.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. Sauerkraut’s live and active probiotics have beneficial effects on the health of our digestive tract. It has high amounts of vitamin C.

Kimchi is a supercharged form of sauerkraut that usually contains cabbage, red peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, and salt.

Tofu is soy “cheese”. It is made in exactly the same way like cheese, just using soy beans instead of milk. Nigari is used for curdling. Like all soy products, it should be used in moderation on an account of most soy being genetically modified.

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and it is loaded with iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium. It is a complete source of vegetarian protein because it contains all essential amino acids. But because it is fermented, it is easier to digest than other soy-based products.

Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji fungus. It is a thick paste used for sauces, spreads, and soups. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process.

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