Inside our pantry

Inside our pantry

David Frenkiel, Luise Vindahl Andersen
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
Johanna Frenkel

Although the ingredients we have in our kitchen are constantly shifting, there are a large number of items that we make sure to keep in stock. Here we have organised them in lists, with short explanations of each product – see this as our guide how to make our Green Kitchen move in to yours. With these ingredients at home, you will not only be ready to try most of the recipes in this book, but also ready to start improvising yourself. Changing towards a greener, healthier and more versatile store cupboard really makes a difference in helping to improve your eating habits. It will be so much easier baking with natural sweeteners or whole grains once you have them to hand. It is unfortunately quite costly to buy organic products, whole grains, nuts and seeds, so don’t feel obliged to get all of them at once, just make sure you have a few ingredients in each category.

Butter, vinegar and oil

Being on the healthy track doesn’t mean avoiding fat – quite the opposite. It is highly important. But of course it matters what kind of oils and fats you choose, which you heat and which you use raw. Here are our favourites.

Butter adds great taste to cookies and sweets. We sometimes replace it with the more neutral coconut oil. Choose organic butter from grassfed cows if you can.

Ghee (clarified butter) is very delicious raw, but also perfect for frying because of its high smoking point. Use for both sweet and savoury food.

Apple cider vinegar is our favourite vinegar, it has a fruity and sour taste and is cheaper than many other vinegars. Great in salad dressings.

Balsamic vinegar is a dark vinegar with a rich smooth, sweet and sour taste.

Red and white wine vinegar are perfect in salads and marinades, while rice vinegar is good in Asian food and, of course, rice.

Extra-virgin coconut oil/butter is sold with or without coconut flavour. It has a high smoking point, so is ideal for frying. It is liquid or ‘creamy’ at room temperature and solid when kept in the fridge. We often use it in raw desserts.

Extra-virgin olive oil is best used raw or heated at low temperatures. We use stronger flavoured olive oil in salads or drizzled over our pizza, and milder for frying and baking.

Extra-virgin rapeseed oil is very common in Scandinavia. It has a nice nutty taste and is perfect as it is or in baked goods.

Unrefined sesame oil is very flavoursome oil, you often need only a few drops. Good in Asian food, we use it for marinating tofu, in salads and noodle dishes.

Cold-pressed flax oil is high in omegas 3 and 6, which are important for vegans. We mainly use it in smoothies.

Plant-based milk and cream

The milk debate has been hot in the last couple of years and a lot has been said for and against, so let’s not bore you more with that. Instead we have listed our favourite milks and creams. Most can be used as a straight substitute for dairy milk but use soy or coconut milk if you need to heat it. There are many good kinds to try so start the tasting.

Coconut milk is a natural fat plant milk. It's used commonly in Indian stews, but we also use it in desserts, ice creams and shakes.

Goat’s milk is thick and creamy and usually available from small farms, although some supermarkets and health food stores do stock it.

When homemade and sweetened, hemp milk is much better than store-bought, which can be a little bitter.

Oat cream, soya cream and nut cream are great nondairy alternatives to regular cream.

Oat milk is the one we most often keep at home, because it’s easy to get in Sweden and less expensive than, for example, almond milk.

We use rice milk in smoothies, it is a bit sweeter than oat milk.

Soya milk is great for heating and making foam.

Natural sweeteners

Whether you look at recipe for an indulgent dessert, a decadent cake or a sweet drink you won’t find sugar anywhere in this book (apart from in the recipe to make your own bubbling kombucha cocktail). A few years ago we started moving to more natural alternatives to sweeten our recipes. Today we don’t even keep regular sugar at home. It was a challenge for us in the beginning but now we really appreciate the natural flavours that come with these sweeteners.

Apple syrup, juice and unsweetened sauce are made from pure apples that are pressed into a juice or boiled down to a syrup. They are great in fruit juices, granolas and baking, but also in marinades. Apple sauce can be used as a sweetener or to replace eggs in cakes. Both are easy to make at home.

Bananas can be used to sweeten shakes and smoothies, but also fruitier cakes. They can be substituted with very ripe pears.

Birch sugar (natural xylitol) dissolves quickly and looks and tastes similar to sugar. Only use small amounts. We mix it with cinnamon and drizzle over rice porridge.

Coconut palm sugar looks very similar to granulated sugar, it has a caramel-like taste and is great in cookies.

Dried unsulphured apricots and prunes are truly good sweeteners in stews, compotes, porridge and jam.

Fresh and dried dates, and date syrup (molasses), are very sweet. They are good to mix with nuts into delicious vegan cakes, crusts and truffles. Raw date syrup is a great substitute for agave, honey, maple syrup and yacon syrup.

Pure maple syrup: when Elsa was born, a blog reader sent us a bottle of pure maple syrup from Canada and we have been in love with it ever since. We use it in baking, on pancakes, waffles, porridge or oatmeal.

Raw honey and clear honey: we are so lucky to have friends who provide us with delicious raw honey. Honey contains antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and is therefore a great natural sweetener. Try a morning shot – add it to hot water, honey, ginger, lemon and ghee.

Vanilla extract, vanilla beans or ground vanilla: we love vanilla. It gives desserts a sweet and characteristic touch.

Pasta and noodles

There are many more nutritious and flavourful varieties than the traditional wheat noodle. They come in many colours, tastes and shapes.

Kelp noodles: a sea vegetable made into raw noodles. They are neutral in flavour and easy to dress up in a tasty dressing.

Udon rice, and soba buckwheat noodles are good gluten-free varieties. They are great in Asian salads or spicy coconut soups.

Wholegrain and gluten-free pasta are available in many varieties like corn, spelt, buckwheat and rice.

Wholegrain lasagne: we often use courgette, sweet potato or aubergine slices instead, but when we don’t, we use wholegrain lasagne.

Flours and grains

When we started using wholewheat flour instead of white plain flour, it was because it left us with healthier bread and desserts. But after learning more about the different qualities, textures and flavours of each flour we realised that we now bake more flavoursome and interesting cakes, bread and pancakes than we ever did before. Many of our flours are gluten-free, but not all of them.

Almond flour is gluten-free and wonderful to use in pie and tart cases. Adds a sweet nuttiness to everything. Make it yourself by simply grinding raw almonds into a fine powdered flour, or buy ready-made.

Baking powder and baking soda are essential in muffins, scones and all baked goods that don’t call for leavening.

Brown rice flour is a gluten-free flour with a nutty flavour. Good in baking, we often use it combined with other flours.

Buckwheat flour is gluten-free with an earthy flavour. We use to make pancakes and crepes, but it is also good in muffins.

Chestnut flour is gluten-free and available from most health food stores. It has an incredibly nutty flavour and is good in crepes, breads and cakes.

Chickpea (garbanzo/besan) flour is one of our favourite gluten-free flours. It is good mixed with almond flour in pie and tart cases, and also for making pancakes.

Cornflour (cornstarch) is a fine-ground, white powdered maize used for thickening and baking.

Cornmeal is gluten-free with a distinct corn taste. Great for making tortillas, cornbread or our savoury muffins.

Kamut flour: kamut is a nutritious whole grain in the wheat family. It is a better alternative than normal wheat flour.

Quinoa flour is gluten-free and rich in protein. Makes moist baked goods.

Rye flour is made from the dark rye grain; we use in rye bread, pancake batters, cookies and crispbread. Not very elastic and difficult to knead, therefore more suited to looser batters and doughs.

Spelt flour is made from spelt, the ancient cousin to wheat. It is less refined, with more fibres and less gluten (although not gluten-free). Mild and sweet flavour, it is our favourite flour to bake with. Good elasticity and leavening. Don’t knead it too long, or it can become crumbly.

Wheatgerm is a powerhouse of nutrition. You can replace one half to one cup of the flour in baking with wheatgerm. Use it in pancakes, waffles, bread and cookies.

Fresh and dried active yeast: most of our bread and pizza recipes use dried yeast because we always have it at home. But you can use fresh yeast instead. Follow instructions on the packet for use.

Arrowroot is a natural starch. Use it in baking, and to thicken stews, desserts and soups. Don’t continue to cook after it thickens, or it goes runny again.

Millet is gluten-free and rich in fibre and protein. We use it as a gluten-free couscous replacer or mash it together with cauliflower for a side dish.

Polenta is a gluten-free coarse-ground cornmeal. Use it to accompany a dinner instead of mashed potato. It can also be cooked with cinnamon and nut milk for a sweet version.

Red, black, wild and brown rice is all gluten-free. The varieties of colours, flavours and textures are amazing and so much healthier than refined white rice. Wild rice is actually a grass.

Rolled oats: use in baked oatmeal and crunchy cookies. Rolled oats can be used as an egg-free binder in veggie burgers and polpette. Many oats have traces of gluten, but you can buy gluten-free rolled oats.

Rye berry, wheat berry, spelt berry and barley come as entire kernels (without the husk). Soak and cook with herbs or spices and they’ll make your salad into a feast. They're good in stews and in bread too.

Wholegrain couscous is make from the wheat grain, often served with north African dishes and good in salads. Try it with our Moroccan vegetable tagine.


We use these products to add nutrition to smoothies, desserts or baked goods. They’ll give your body a concentrated amount of high nutrients. Some of these might be very expensive and others quite cheap, depending on where in the world you live, so go and have a look in your local health food store.

Acai powder is made from a beautiful purple berry from South America. It contains more antioxidants than blueberries. It's only sold frozen or dried and can be difficult to find. We mostly use it in smoothies or blends.

Bee pollen: small yellow/orange granules that are naturally good together with honey. Sweet tasting, it is perfect in smoothies. Looks pretty when sprinkled over porridge and desserts.

Carob powder looks similar to cacao and is good to combine with it. The taste is slightly different, but still sweet. Rich in calcium, and we add it to chocolate mousse or use in baking.

Chia seeds are a power seed even more nutritious than linseeds (flaxseeds), but also more expensive. We often use it as an egg substitute in baking, or in our smoothies.

Dried goji, inca, mulberries, cranberries are antioxidant-rich super berries. Choose organic if possible.

Dried nettle is packed with iron. Buy it in health food stores or hang up fresh nettles until dry and then crush them by hand. We use it in smoothies, porridge, pancakes, bread and tea.

Hemp, pea or brown rice protein powder are nutritious natural protein powders, great in your morning smoothie or post-workout drink. They are also great for children’s ‘I refuse to eat’ phases.

Nori sheets: seaweed made from red algae. We use nori when making sushi, nori rolls and sushi salad. To be honest, this is the only algae we are crazy about.

Raw cacao powder and nibs are a high quality superfood. High in magnesium and very rich in antioxidants, they are great in raw desserts.

Rosehip powder is made from dried rosehip. It's very high in vitamin C and tastes like fruit and flowers. We love it in baked cakes, bread, but also on our morning yoghurt.

Spirulina powder is made from the blue-green micro algae. Add a spoonful in drinks or make spirulina chocolate truffles.

Wheatgrass powder is very healthy, often used in holistic medicine for regenerating cells. We often mix it with lemon to neutralise the flavour.

Fermented essentials

Fermented food contains natural probiotics (a type of living bacteria), which is the key of our overall health and wellbeing. It is the best medicine for the digestive system.

Kimchi is fermented Chinese cabbage with lots of chilli. We use it in stews to get an Asian twist. David makes his own, but you can buy it in Asian stores.

Kombucha is fermented bubbling tea. We always keep a kombucha mushroom ready in a jar.

Miso is an Asian paste made from fermented beans or grains. Use it in soups, spreads or sauces. Not all miso pastes are vegetarian. Choose organic and non-GMO if you can get it.

Sauerkraut is lactofermented white cabbage. It is super healthy and perfect for a topping on stews or as a sandwich filling.

Sourdough: natural leavening and lactic acid fermentation is why sourdough makes the most healthy bread you can find. Good with rye flour.

Soy sauce and tamari: Asian sauces made from fermented bean or grain paste, choose organic and non-GMO if possible.

Nuts and seeds

Look inside our pantry and you will find an almost frightening amount of nuts and seeds. We are true addicts and use them in everything from breakfasts, salads, dinners and desserts. They are rich in proteins, good fats and minerals, and therefore very important in a vegetarian diet.

Almonds contain a high amount of good fat. They can be turned into nut butter easily. We use them toasted in salads, granola and desserts.

Amaranth is an even smaller gluten-free seed than quinoa, but slightly higher in protein.

We love Brazil nuts soaked as a snack or in our breakfast blend.

Cashew nuts are a sweet and rich nut, good for soaking and making raw cream or raw cheese.

Desiccated and flaked coconut is good in breakfasts, baking, smoothies and soups.

Hazelnuts are great with both sweet and savoury food.

Hemp seeds are a relative of marijuana, although it doesn’t get you high. It has a nutty, almost sweet taste and is packed with protein and a wide variety of minerals and vitamins. Makes good plant milk, but even better as a raw topping on muesli.

Hulled buckwheat is a gluten-free, 3D triangular seed.

Linseeds, also known as flaxseeds, are brown or golden and rich in omega 3 fatty acid. We add linseeds to desserts, bread and smoothies to make them more nutritious.

Macadamia nuts are perfect as a bread spread, on porridge, in smoothies and in raw chocolate mousse.

Nut and seed butters: we usually keep several different varieties of nut and seed butters at home. Our favourites are peanut, tahini (sesame), almond, sunflower and apricot kernel.

Pine nuts are expensive little nuts and pesto’s best friend.

Pistachio nuts make up not only our favourite ice cream flavour, but they're also wonderful in muffins and in savoury food together with goat’s cheese.

Psyllium seeds are good in gluten-free baking. They bind moisture and help make bread less crumbly.

Pumpkin seeds add an extra dimension to everything from granola to soups and salads. They have a slight grainy texture when raw, crunchy when roasted.

Quinoa (red, white and black) is gluten-free superseed, packed with protein and fibre. Different colours have slightly different tastes. Beautiful in salads.

Sunflower seeds contain less fat than nuts and are less allergenic. It's David’s favourite seed – he uses it a lot in baking and desserts. We often give them a quick roast to enhance the flavour.

Walnuts are the same shape as a brain and that is exactly what they are good for. They're also good in baking.

Dried beans, lentils and split peas

Pulses, including dried beans, lentils and peas, are the vegetarian’s number one source of protein. They are rich in fibre and high in minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates, and are a really cheap source of protein. Buy large bags of dried beans, peas and lentils, soak, cook and freeze in portions and you’ll always have an easy meal at hand.

Adzuki beans are flavourful small beans are also known as the ‘weight loss bean’. They are good in ‘chilli sin carne’ or other bean stews.

Beluga and Puy lentils are beautiful looking and have wonderful flavours. They hold together better than red and yellow lentils. We serve them as an alternative to rice and pasta.

Black beans are the most common bean in Latin American cooking.

Black/yellow-eyed beans are cream-coloured beans with a characteristic black or yellow spot ‘eye’. Dressed lightly in olive oil, lemon and herbs, they make a delicious salad.

Borlotti beans are incredibly beautiful, especially if you have the opportunity to get them fresh. Great in soups.

Butter (lima) beans are a large white bean, perfect in a mixed bean salad. They also add a silky creaminess to soups.

Cannellini beans are a small white bean, good as a spread on bread or in our bean version of a risotto.

Chickpeas (garbanzos) are Elsa’s favourite. Leave a bowl of boiled chickpeas in front of her, and they will be gone within minutes. We use them in salads, soups and hummus.

Haricot (navy) beans are a small white bean that has a sweet flavour and can be used as an alternative to cannellini beans.

Kidney beans are kidney-shaped, of course, and sweet in taste. Great in spicy stews.

Mung beans have a beautiful colour and are Luise’s favourite sprouting bean.

Pinto means ‘painted’ in Spanish, which is exactly what a pinto bean looks like. We use them as a bruschetta topping.

Red, yellow and green lentils are great in soups and in Indian food.

Tofu is made from soy beans. It's nice warm or cold and perfect for making a dish more filling. Choose organic non-GMO if possible.

Yellow and green split peas are sweeter and creamier than lentils.

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