Paleo Staples

I’m famous!

Ok, not really, but sometimes its fun to pretend.

During the last weekend in June, I was lucky enough to be invited to two gorgeous weddings. One wedding was that of a former co-worker/classmate/fellow speechie, and she and the groom seemed to effortlessly blend her Kenyan traditions into a MidAtlantic Maryland ceremony. Bride Sandra, her photographer Katie (Who is insanely talented), and close friends handcrafted her wedding flowers and bouquets. I still can’t get over how gorgeous they were, despite hearing of how one box of flowers was burned at customs from containing a bug from South Africa. (What??? Burned?) I also was very much enamored with their chalkboard mason jars at the reception AND their lawn chess game. <3 Sandra and Jonny, your wedding was beautiful. 




The other wedding of the weekend was a gorgeous vintage-rustic glamorous ceremony and reception. Think glitter and blush nestled among wood, baby’s breath, gold, and antique furniture. Still dying.  The reception and ceremony were both on a farm in horse country, Virginia. Down through hills and pastures nestled between sparse gravel roads, was an elegant barn with my friend’s most beautiful wedding. I still can’t get over how gorgeous it was, and I am still so happy for my dear friends #kathyandcarl.




This guy's name is Anthony, what a doll.&nbsp;

This guy's name is Anthony, what a doll. 

Anyway, as I was sitting outside near the horse pasture (Yes, there were real, galloping horses) watching the sunset, a wedding guest approached me.

“Excuse me, Hi. Are you Kristina? From South of Vanilla? I recognize you! I love your blog!”

What?? When did I become recognizable?  Fellow wedding guest, groom’s family member, and primal enthusiast Theresa told me all about her Paleo and Crossfit experiences. She was so kind in saying that she loved my recipes and all the information on the blog. If you’re reading this post Theresa, thank you so much. You made my month!

Theresa approaching me reminded me very much of what it was like to be brand new to Paleo, and how much I relied upon friends and Google searches to get me through those first couple months of really committing to this lifestyle. In that fashion, I wanted to share with you all the Paleo staples I always have in my house for cooking and baking. These staples give me the basis for many of my Paleo meals, and having a stocked kitchen ensures that I won’t stray too far off the Paleo track. Please note that these “staples” are for both the Paleo cook and the Paleo baker. If you are only cooking, and not baking, you likely will not need the various types of flours I have listed, but please use this list as Paleo shopping list of sorts as a reference.

south of vanilla’s paleo staples for the kitchen**


  • Apples
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Basil
  • Berries (Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts 
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Dates (Especially helpful for baking)
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Lettuce
  • Lime
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Spaghetti squash/squash in season
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Kombucha


  • Kefir
  • Organic, grass-fed, free range Butter (Kerrygold is my favorite)
  • Organic, preferably pasture raised eggs

Shelf Items:

  • Raw, whole almonds, cashews, or nut of choice
  • Almond Butter
  • Almond milk, unsweetened (Or another nut milk of your preference.)
  • Coffee
  • Canned coconut cream or milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee
  • Raw honey
  • Hot sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Dried Seaweed
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vinegar

Baking Items:

  • Almond flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cashew Flour
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Dark chocolate
  • Rice Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Vanilla Extract


  • Uncured Bacon
  • Favorite cut of organic, grass-fed beef
  • Chicken thighs/chicken cut of choice
  • Marrow Bones/Bone Marrow
  • Ethically sourced and organically raised Tilapia, Tuna, Salmon, or other favorite fish of choice
  • Ground turkey


  • Basil
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cinnamon, powder and sticks
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Curry (Green, yellow, massaman, red)
  • Dill
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Hatch Chili Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Himalayan Pink Salt

** These staples are tailored to my preference. For example, things like mushrooms, eggplant, artichokes, etc. are definitely Paleo and nutritious, healthy Paleo options, but they’re not included on the South of Vanilla list for staples because I don’t eat them regularly. If you need to go back to what is and isn’t included in Paleo, refer here. J