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Starting Fresh|Essential Ingredients For a Healthy 2017

After the rich and busy holidays, we’re a little drained from preparing all those big feasts … and loading up on heavy leftovers. With our calendars lightening up this month, we’re making a point to start the year off right and cook more fresh, healthy meals at home. Below is our list of our favorite essential ingredients for a healthy 2017 — without skipping on flavor.

Raw Honey. For allergies and an overall immunity boost, add raw honey in dressings, marinades or even in baking. Raw honey can also be used in immunity tonics.

Cooking Oils. Not all oils taste the same, and each one has it’s own unique benefits:

  • Extra virgin olive oil has been a must in kitchens for generations, and with its reputation as the healthiest oil in the world, you can’t go wrong with this in your pantry.
  • Canola oil is derived from the same plant family as cabbage and broccoli. This oil is light in flavor, making it friendly to most dishes.
  • Extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil is one of our most versatile pantry musts — but there are varying options on grocery store shelves. Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point, but unrefined oil has more naturally occurring antioxidants (and tastes a lot more coconutty.) Both are great to have in your pantry. 
  • Avocado oil has the highest smoke point, making it safe to use for any high heat cooking. Avocado oil is extracted from the flesh, which makes its buttery taste excellent for salad dressings and sauces. Plus, it helps with the absorption of fat soluble nutrients.

Real, Grass fed butter. The days we once feared butter are finally over, now that sugar is found out as the main culprit for heart disease. Thank goodness because everything tastes better with butter! Grass fed butter is naturally richer in essential, heart healthy nutrients like, CLA Omega-3 and Vitamin K2 … like we needed more reasons to use more butter.

Greek Yogurt. Packed with protein, greek yogurt is an excellent substitution for mayo and sour cream. Plus, it’s a delicious foundation to smoothies and breakfast bowls.

Fresh Garlic. Garlic powder and garlic salt don’t even come close to the powerful flavors and health benefits of these fresh cloves. Have a clove of garlic on hand to enhance all your stir fries, stews, meats and more. 

Organic, Seasonal Produce. Take advantage of the seasonal bounty like cabbage, brussel sprouts, beets, citrus, pomegranates and winter squash.

Meyer Lemons. This is another staple that enhances the flavor of almost every dish, plus it can be used around the kitchen for sterilizing, producing washing, and freshening up in general.  

Fresh Herbs. There’s no denying the uplifting properties of fresh herbs. They’re high in antioxidants and add just the right flavor to any meal, while keeping it simple. Some of our absolute favorites include: Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Borage, Fennel, Mint, Oregano, Sage, Parsley … is it gardening season yet?

Sea Salt. Scrap your regular table salt and opt for a more natural sea salt. Our favorite healthy salt is Himalayan sea salt, which contains all 84 elements found in our bodies — and it’s a much better base for meat rubs. We also love Celtic Sea Salt (don’ be alarmed by its moist texture, that’s natural.)  

Eggs. Eggs are a must in our kitchen — and plentiful because of our chickens! Their protein-packed versatility adds that something extra to stir fries and veggie bowls. If you’re on the go like us, hard boil a dozen at the beginning of the week so you never have to skip out on breakfast.