What are your staple food items?

I’m interested to hear what your staple food items are…. what are those things that you try to always keep in stock and running-out warrants a trip to the store?  Those things that you eat almost every day in some form or another… Whether they make-up the biggest part of your diet or are just regular add-ons.  I’m always curious how other people do daily things in similar and different ways than I do, and I’m always interested to hear what other people are eating!  (is that weird?)

Here are ours:

*Yogurt:  I only buy plain, whole-milk yogurt now, and I try to always keep it in stock.  My favorite brand is Stoneyfield Farms…. oh my gosh, Yoplait has NOTHING on this stuff!  It is so thick and creamy and tangy…. sometimes I even eat it in place of dessert.  Right now Harris and I are the only ones who will eat this…  Yogurt is one of those things Evelyne has convinced herself that she doesn’t like, although I really think she does like it since she’s eaten it quite a bit in the past, but she won’t touch it now.  But that’s ok, because this stuff is kinda expensive.  (For what it’s worth, I used to hate plain yogurt and only could eat the sweetened stuff.  Once I realized the incredibly high sugar content, I weaned myself onto plain.  I started by putting sugar and fruit in it, slowly reduced the sugar, and now I love it plain! It has so much more of a complex flavor this way that I can appreciate for what it is and not what’s been added.)  I like Greek yogurt, too, but it’s much more expensive.

*Milk: Well, this one’s kinda obvious since I have two little ones.  We have switched our whole family back to whole milk, though, so no more buying different kinds.  And we’ve started buying organic… which is so much more expensive.  Sigh.  I used to spend $2 per gallon on milk, now I spend $5, and we go through almost 2 gallons a week.

*Cheese:  I stock-up when my store sells 2lb. blocks for $3.50 and freeze the ones I’m not immediately using.  (I’ve had no problems with the taste after they defrost.)  We eat a lot of cheese.  I often grate it for a dinner topping, tear it up into bits to put in my salads, or just eat it by the chunky slice.  We also make a lot of grilled-cheese sandwiches.

*Butter: I don’t think I had ever even bought real butter until a few months ago, and I never used it in my cooking unless I was baking something.  Now, we go through quite a bit.  I add big chunks to our eggs, oatmeal, grilled-cheese sandwiches, vegetables, etc….  The other night I used a whole stick to cook some eggplant!  Basically, if I think butter will make it better, I throw-in a whole bunch of it.

*Oatmeal: Like I said before, oatmeal is one of my quick go-to meals for breakfast or anytime for the kids.

*Whole-wheat pastry flour:  I’ve discovered that this particular type of whole-wheat flour produces the best results when I substitute it for white flour.  It produces a much lighter and fluffier result than the dense regular whole-wheat… even better than using white whole-wheat flour.  I get this in the bulk section of my grocery store, so I can get as little or as much as I want at a time.

*Apples:  This is Evelyne’s all-time favorite snack, and she would gladly eat 2 or 3 whole apples a day if I let her.  I limit her to 1, and I’m hoping that her apple a day habit does indeed keep the doctor away.  (so far we’re doing well with that!)

*Cheerios:  The only processed food that I’m unwilling to part with.  When Evelyne gets up in the morning, she immediately wants a bowl of dry cheerios, a cup of milk, and a show on tv.  I happily oblige because it buys me peace and quiet and time to slowly wake-up.  I’m also purposefully addicting Harris to this habit.

*Canned tomatoes: I know there’s probably BPA in the lining of the can… I know that fresh is best.  But seriously, you just can’t beat a good cheap can of tomatoes for dumping into chili, on top of a pizza, in tacos, in pasta, etc, etc, etc…. It just makes everything better.  I will say, however, that I read the labels on the back of my collection of tomato cans the other day and was SHOCKED and APALLED to find high-fructose corn syrup hiding in my can of “chili ready” pre-seasoned tomatoes.  One other can, maybe the Italian flavored one, had regular corn syrup in it.  What in the world is that doing in there?!  I mainly use the plain ones that are just tomatoes and a little salt, but good grief, I will be majorly avoiding those flavored ones from now on!

*Bread: Whole-wheat.

*Peanut butter:  In the past couple of months I started buying the “natural” brands that only have peanuts and salt in them because DID YOU KNOW that normal peanut butter (JIF, Skippy, etc….)  have TRANS FATS in them?  As in, the kinds of fats that will kill you dead?  Go ahead, look at the back of your jar.  Anything that says the word “hydrogenated” means that there are trans fats in it.  Again… shocked and apalled.  The other day I bought the Adams brand peanut butter, and let me tell you, it is amazing!  Natural peanut butter tastes way better, in my opinion, but for some reason this brand tastes the best to me.  You do have to stir all the oils around since they rise to the top, but that’s the way God made the peanut to react when you crush it up, so I don’t care.

*Coffee: I’m not picky about my coffee…. as long as it’s not awful, I really can’t tell the difference from one brand to another, I just look for a good deal.  (But I am picky about the fact that I better have some every single morning!) Right now I’m hooked on the Trader Joe’s brand “Joe’s Dark Coffee” because it’s good and it’s only $3.99 for 13 oz.!!!  Ya can’t beat that!

*Olive oil: I eat a big salad almost every day with homemade balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil and a few spices) and I cook in olive oil a lot.  I read recently that many olive oils that are sold, including some major brands, aren’t true 100% olive oil.  Instead, they’re mixed with other types of oils like vegetable oil.  Shocked and apalled.  You can tell if your olive oil is 100% real by putting it in the fridge for awhile and seeing if it solidifies.  If it does, it’s real.  If not, you got taken.  I noticed that my bottles never said 100% olive oil, just other words like “pure” and “natural” and “authentic flavor.”  Since we don’t eat any vegetable oils anymore, I found some great authentic olive oil at Trader Joe’s.  (love that place!)  If it says “estate” on the bottle, that means that the contents of the whole bottle are made from olives that grew at the same olive orchard. (is it called an olive orchard?)  Many commercial olive oils are mixed together with oils from all different locations.  I buy a big jar of Spanish olive oil that’s 33.8 oz. for about $5.99 at Trader Joe’s, it’s estate olive oil, and it. is. yummy.

OK, I think that’s about it.  Most of our diet consists of these items, meats, and veggies and fruit.  If you’re feeling a little concerned about the high amount of dairy/animal product/fat content in our diet, then be reassured….. I’m doing this on purpose.  I’ll post more to come, but yes, I’m purposefully eating a very high amount of quality fat and animal product.  I’ll go into more detail about why later, but if you’re curious and can’t wait, check out some of the links on the side of the page under the “Food” heading.  These are other blogs that will explain it better than I do.  Oh yeah, and I’m slowly losing weight on this high-fat diet!

So, what are your staples? Am I missing something here?  Do you have any good ideas or suggestions that I haven’t thought of yet?  Good kid food?

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9 responses to “What are your staple food items?

  1. We have a lot of the same similar items….
    yogurt (for me, my snack)
    oatmeal (for my husband, his snack)
    eggs
    cheese
    bananas
    rice
    black beans
    canned tomatoes
    We somehow mix the above items in every meal. I have been planning our weekly meals on Sat and grocery shop only on Sun for the week but ALWAYS end up getting these items for sure.
    And of course the ever important coffee…lol. Almost forgot that one. And I won’t lie…something chocolate for me. 🙂

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  2. For us
    Milk(we buy skim and whole milk)
    Yogurt
    Bread
    PB
    Spaghetti(and sauce)
    cereal(my house would fall apart if we didn’t have it)

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  3. Just so you know you can get BPA free canned tomatoes in the tetra packs made by Pomi
    http://www.amazon.com/Pomi-Chopped-Tomatoes-26-46-Ounce/dp/B0005ZVOR8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1269485349&sr=8-1
    I am sure we will see more BPA free options in the near future but for now there is no FDA approved lining for aluminum cans.

    and please be very careful of fad diets and your heart health. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

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  4. oh also on olive oil you want to make sure it says “expeller pressed” otherwise they may have used chemicals to leach the oil out rather than just pressing it.

    I think if it’s “virgin” or “extra virgin” it should be 100% olive oil – is that an incorrect assumption?

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  5. Emily, don’t worry, there’s nothing fad about our diet, in fact it’s based on traditional foods that people have eaten for millenia. I’m pretty positive that people thousands of years ago weren’t making lowfat milk and monitoring their olive oil consumption. I hope to write a post about this in the future, but there’s basically zero scientific evidence that dietary fat (the healthy, natural kind) has any link to heart disease, contrary to what contemporary science tells us. (there is a very broad base of evidence to support this, it’s not just a couple of people who think this randomly.) That whole theory started from one man in the 1950’s based on a really bad scientific study….lowfat is actually the fad diet. Many other cultures eat a very high fat content in their diet and have way less to zero heart disease. If you want more info, pretty much all of the food blogs in my blogroll have info. about this, but I would really recommend reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. As for olive oil, I don’t think the fact that it says 100% matters… this isn’t the original link I read, but it says the same info. that I read before: http://www.elikioliveoil.com/goodoloilish.html
    I’m not super informed about olive oil, not positive about how to find the best kind, but I do know that there are some crap kinds out there.

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  6. i’m not a proponent of low fat diets either I’m just an all things in moderation kind of girl. pre industrial farming humans have always been limited by what they could produce themselves. Humans would never have had access to unlimited olive oil or milk because they would have had to collect it and provide enough food for the cow/ water for the tree.

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  7. I agree with you about the moderation thing… I would just say that the “American food pyramid” concept of moderation is WAY off. (not that that’s necessarily what you’re going off of) If you want to go a strictly traditional route you could look at the primal/paleo type of diets that are based around how the hunger/gatherer prehistoric man ate. Lots of animal product, a few vegetables, little dairy, very little fruit, and no grains. (I don’t really go by that strictly, I like dairy too much!) Basically, you have to look back before farming, even that is a newer thing in our history. There are lots of societies where the majority of their calories come from fat, even animal fat, and heart disease and many other normal western diseases including cancer are virtually unheard of. …until they move to America and start consuming our diet, then they get sick. There’s a certain kind of Eskimo people (can’ remember the name) who live on 90% whale blubber and diet of the Masai tribe in Africa consists of meat, milk, and cow blood. These people are incredibly healthy, lean, and have no heart disease. I’m just saying that fat isn’t the enemy. (and I’m a MUCH happier person with a much more regulated appetite and fewer cravings and hunger when a good amount of my daily calories come from fat.)

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  8. Ours are about the same, the basics!

    Milk – LOVE Smith Bros. delivery – SO good, local and a little pricey too, it ends up being about $5/gallon.
    Eggs
    Yogurt
    Bananas
    Whole Wheat Pasta – I get a TON when it’s free or $.25/box.
    Butter and Cheese

    Coffee and Creamer – I know Coffee-Mate is SO bad for you with the sweeteners and such but the way I see it is it’s substantially cheaper than going to Starbucks everyday and my waist has been appreciative of it too! I want to start weaning us off of it to just whole milk and raw sugar though, we’ll give it a try soon 🙂

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  9. Milk
    Eggs
    Whole Wheat Bread
    These days- Whole Wheat Bagels
    Butter
    Bacon (I know, right?)
    Oranges
    Cheese
    Chicken

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