What's in my pantry? Kenko Kitchen's Kate Bradley

Hannah Koelmeyer
13 February, 2015

Kate Bradley shares the secrets of her pantry – her key ingredients for delicious and simple simple sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan cooking.

Kate Bradley has always been a passionate cook. When she was a teenager she cooked anything and everything, spending all of her spare time in the kitchen, taking inspiration from her heroes Heston, Jamie and Nigella.

As she got older, Kate started to shift her focus to healthier cooking. When she gave up refined sugar, gluten and all processed foods in late 2012, it completely revolutionised her health and wellbeing, not to mention her cooking style.

But this shift meant that her toolkit had radically changed. “I didn’t know what to do with these new healthier ingredients I now had in my kitchen. And so the experimenting began. I started the easiest way I knew how, which was to look at all my old favourite recipes and adapt them. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it failed miserably, but I never stopped trying.”

The trying paid off. Wanting to share what she’d learned and to inspire others to embrace a healthier approach to food and cooking, Kate started her widely-beloved website, and has now just released her first cookbook, Kenko Kitchen – a stunning collection of simple sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan recipes.

Kate gave us a rundown of some of the most indispensable items in her pantry, sharing her amazing knowledge of her top 10 ingredients for delicious healthy cooking.


I can’t get enough of this stuff! I crush it up and sprinkle it on everything. Perfect in stir-fries and Asian dishes, and amazing in salads. It helps prevent bloating and is packed with calcium and magnesium as well as a number of important trace minerals and vitamin B12. It can also help in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and viral infections. Such a good staple!

Enoki mushrooms

I love these! Weird long little legends! These guys contain major nutrients, are a low-calorie source of protein and are virtually fat and sugar free. They are high in B vitamins, many trace minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals which can reduce high cholesterol. Plus they are also known for lowering your risk of cancer! Whip these guys up in salads, soups, stir-fries and noodle dishes for an amazing texture and taste!

Enoki mushrooms are fantastic in quick healthy dishes, like Kate’s rainbow Thai stir-fry

Hemp seeds

While not exactly legal for consumption in Australia, hemp seeds are very easily accessible at all health food stores. Hemp seeds come with a huge list of health benefits including lowering blood pressure, improving organ function and reducing inflammation and symptoms of PMS. They are a great digestible protein and are packed with essential fats, vitamins and enzymes. They have a super nutty flavour and are great sprinkled on salads, on top of pasta dishes, breakfasts or even blitzed with water to make a quick milk alternative.


This is my go-to powder when making desserts or smoothies. It’s a great sweetener and has a beautiful caramel taste. Lucuma contains 14 essential trace elements and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for promoting tissue regeneration and wound closure. It’s an anti-ageing skin-healing wonder! Put a tablespoon in your next juice or smoothie.

Matcha Powder

It’s nothing new to say I love this stuff. I use it daily! It’s amazing with almond milk as a replacement for coffee, popped into smoothies or even used in desserts. Matcha is a stone ground green tea powder which is known for its metabolism-boosting properties as well as being incredibly high in antioxidants. It contains a very important amino acid which helps us stay calm and reduce stress whilst promoting clarity. Matcha can work as a calorie burner and is a great help in detoxing. 

The addition of a spoonful of matcha powder to a fruit smoothie gives it amazing metabolism-boosting properties

Date paste

Date paste is easy to make and it’s an incredible sweetener. Who needs processed sugar when you have fibre-rich dates? High in many trace minerals, dates are great for bone health and strength, anaemia and muscle development. Not to mention they increase sexual stamina. Dump the oysters and eat some dates!

Coconut sugar

This is my absolute go-to for refined-sugar replacement in baking. Use it 1:1 as you would regular or brown sugar for a delicious flavour and many health benefits. Coconut sugar is low GI (sitting at about 35) so your blood sugar won’t spike and it’s also contains many trace minerals. It is also the most sustainable sugar on the planet!

Cacao powder

Get in my body! I am a total chocoholic so I can’t go a day without using cacao powder. Incredibly high in antioxidants, known for boosting your metabolism, cacao is high in magnesium and contains many other trace elements. It is also a natural mood booster (get those endorphins flowin’) and is full of therapeutic benefits. Use it instead of cocoa in baking, make yourself a delicious chocolate smoothie or use it to make your own chocolate!

Kate’s chocolate molten puddings use cacao powder in this decadent dessert that’s totally dairy- gluten- and processed sugar-free

Brown rice noodles

These are seriously used in my kitchen so often it’s crazy. A perfect fibre- and protein-rich gluten-free replacement for wheat-laden noodles and spaghetti. Perfect for Asian and Italian dishes, for quick stir-fries and easy dinners. 

Coconut oil

I don’t know where I would be without coconut oil. I smear it on toast, use it for all my baking and frying, and even use it all over my body and hair! Coconut oil is a totally underrated product which needs to be on everyone’s shelves! It contains essential fats that are so important for our skin, metabolism and hair. It helps you BURN fat and will increase your energy. It is a HUGE bacteria killer and virus and infection fighter which is used in many countries as a replacement for antibiotics, can reduce seizures in epileptic patients, lower risk of heart disease and basically just be an all around legend. 

Check out all of Kate's sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan recipes in her gorgeous new cookbook, Kenko Kitchen.


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