Ineke's favourite kitchen ingredients

Moving into Autumn there are a few ingredients that are must-haves in our kitchen.

1. Broth – I love to make this ourselves, but there are also really good quality ones you can pick up from the supermarket, Ocado, local health food stores. The key in searching for a good quality broth is making sure it is free range and organic. Broths are well known for providing an abundance of minerals as well as some vitamins that are so important for our gut health and overall health and wellbeing. To make your own, you can purchase chicken carcasses from places such as Abel and Cole, Coombe Farm or Riverford. Or for a veggie option, then save all your ends of carrots, celery etc. When making your own chicken stock, add cider vinegar into the pot (a couple of Tbsp), this helps to draw the minerals out of the bones. Our friends at Willys have an excellent apple cider vinegar for this.

2. Tahini, Nuts, Seeds & Nut Butters – We often make our own nut butter, but you can buy some good quality nut butters in your health food store, supermarket or online. Always buy them without the addition of extra oils and sugar. Tahini is a superstar ingredient, and so rich in many minerals. It helps to make creamy dressings, dips and also can be used in marinades when roasting things such as cauliflower.

3. Ginger and Turmeric – Fresh where possible, but otherwise in fresh powder form. Adding one or both of these into marinades, satay’s, salad dressings is a really powerful way of keeping your body healthy as we get into the cooler months (they are actually just brilliant all year around too!). Make a lovely tea, which also helps digestive health, by simmering fresh ginger and turmeric root, it is so delicious, and if preferred a little sweeter add a little raw honey into your cup before drinking (avoid adding honey whilst it is summering as you want to maintain the anti-bacterial properties of the raw honey). Another great way to add these spices and other beneficial spices is our Turmeric Bites. I use these daily on my salads, soup or even sprinkled through cauliflower rice! Another delicious way to get Turmeric into your diet.

4. Nutritional Yeast with Vit B12 – This one is really important if you don’t eat a lot of meat and eggs. It is a great way to get B12 into your diet. This is also a great way to give a ‘cheese’ taste to your meals. Mix into dressings, sprinkle on top of soups or dishes before eating. Marigold is the brand I would recommend.

5. Colour in vegetables and fruits. Figs, in season at the moment, are delicious and so good for you. Tossed into a roast butternut salad with walnuts, and fresh salad leaves is a great way of getting colour and nutrients in your diet. As we transition into autumn, we can still eat well with the seasons. Spaghetti squash for noodles, carrots, beets, avocados, radishes, rocket, red and green cabbage, cauliflowers, broccoli are just some of the ingredients we try and have in our meals to get the colour in our daily diets. Make them fun, by adding yummy healthy dressings with nut butters or tahini, drizzle with olive oil and coconut aminos, add nuts and seeds for an extra bit of crunch. Vegetables are so important to load up on as they contain so many nutrients needed for your health. Steaming is the best method, if cooking them, to retain the nutrients (then add your dressings and seasonings after)

6. Cider Vinegar or Lemon – These two ingredients are really good for gut health and awakening the digestive system. Try and have some in a glass of warm water 30 minutes before a meal once a day. Or add to dressings.

7. Tea – Finding it hard to drink water when it is cooler, have an arrange of herbal teas and rooibos tea available, not only will you be staying hydrated, but also using herbs to help boost your heath. Pukka produce some of my favourites as do dragonfly, clipper and bird and blend.

8. Cacao – Raw cacao is an excellent ingredient to have in the cupboard to make some energy balls, a quick healthy dessert. It is rich in magnesium and other minerals. It also helps avoid the temptation to grab chocolate bars that are full of sugar when we are out and about or craving ‘chocolate’. We use cacao in your cacao coconut macaroons and bites as well as on our bars. These are some of my favorites to eat for that something ‘healthy treat’ after lunch or dinner.

9. Coconut Butter – This one again you can make yourself, but also purchase it. Purchase a raw unrefined version. You can use this to add into porridge and soups to make it creamy. Also a great addition to satays and smoothies instead of using coconut milk. Often we add this to energy balls as well. Coconut butter is a great source of lauric acid and healthy fats, which helps keep you feeling full for longer.

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