Stocking The AIP Pantry

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Stocking the AIP Pantry | Autoimmune-Paleo.com

For those of you who are just starting your transition to the Autoimmune Protocol, I thought I’d do a guide to which ingredients you should look into stocking in your AIP pantry.

Step #1: Get rid of all of the “bad stuff”

The first thing you should do is box up all of the foods you are unlikely to be eating again any time soon—things like breads, pastas, flour, sugar, refined seed oils, and anything processed that include food chemicals and long ingredient lists. Donate to the food pantry and get it out of the house as soon as possible.

Step #2: Store all of the “maybe stuff”

There are likely foods lurking in your pantry that will be off-limits during the elimination diet, but you may be able to reintroduce with success later. Instead of pre-emptively tossing these ingredients, I suggest packing them up in a box and placing them in a closet or somewhere inconvenient to minimize temptation. This would be things like gluten-free products containing nuts and seeds (like spices, nut butters, or just the raw nuts and seeds themselves), nightshades, coffee, and chocolate. No need to give away or toss if you might be able to have them again in the near future!

I highly recommend actually getting these items out of sight instead of letting them sit in your cabinets while you undertake your elimination diet. Put them in a box, tape it up, and bury it in a closet somewhere. There is nothing worse than the unnecessary temptation of that chocolate bar sitting in your cupboard begging to be eaten!

Step #3: Stock your pantry with AIP-compliant ingredients

With all that room you just made, invest in some ingredients you will be using for cooking Autoimmune Protocol-friendly meals. While you don’t need to go out and purchase everything on this list, at a minimum you will want some cooking fats, some vinegar, some herbs and spices, and some baking ingredients should you decide to incorporate baking into your routine (I’m not a big baker, so I tend to purchase these items as I need them instead of having them in my pantry at all time).

The truth is, setting up your pantry for AIP is pretty simple and you don’t have to track down a bunch of exotic ingredients to make eating this way work. I suggest focusing more on finding a variety of high-quality cooking fats and spices to work with, rather than getting hung up on alternative flours, sweeteners, and snacks (which can be quite expensive!).

I’ve prioritized this list with the ingredients per category I think are most common in AIP recipes, with some mentions of additional ingredients you may want to consider. Each ingredient is linked to a particular product I’ve used in the past, you should be able to easily find these brands online or at your local grocery store.

Alternative Flours:

  • Coconut Flour—This is a common replacement in AIP baking that can be dry and difficult to work with. Most recipes use a blend of this flour as well as a starch like arrowroot and tapioca, which give it a better consistency. Caution to those who have a coconut sensitivity or don’t do well with inulin fiber.
  • Arrowroot Starch/Flour—This starch works well for thickening sauces, gravies, as well as baking. Most people are familiar with small jars of it in the spice section, but it is available for a much better price in bagged as I have linked to.
  • Tapioca Starch/Flour—This starch is similar to arrowroot and often interchangeable (make sure to check with the recipe author before experimenting though!). Like arrowroot, it can be used to thicken as well as for baking.
  • Cassava Flour—This flour is a newcomer on the scene, and seems to create great texture when used as you would regular flour. While I don’t have a lot of experience using cassava personally, it has definitely taken the AIP community by storm!
  • Less common flours occasionally called for in AIP recipes: plantain flour, tigernut flour, and sweet potato flour.

Sweeteners:

  • Honey—I like to have a raw, unpasteurized brand of honey on hand to sweeten tea and make occasional treats. Be cautious different types of honey can have different textures, greatly affecting the outcomes of your baked goods.
  • Maple Syrup—The delicious flavor maple brings is undeniable, and I like having some Grade B on hand for treat making.
  • Coconut Sugar—This is a nice option when a granulated sugar is called for, instead of a liquid one in a recipe.
  • Less common sweeteners occasionally called for in AIP recipes: coconut syrup, maple sugar, dried fruit (like dates, raisins, etc.).

Coconut Products:

  • Coconut Flakes—Large-flake coconut is nice to eat as a snack (its delicious toasted!) and the small-flake coconut can be used to make homemade coconut milk as well as baked goods.
  • Coconut Milk—If you don’t have a high-powered blender to make at home, thickener-free coconut milk packed in BPA-free cans (I have a clean brand if you follow the link) is a nice option to have for using in sauces, smoothies, and curries.
  • Coconut Water—While I find this too sweet to drink regularly, I have it on hand as a rehydration beverage should someone in my family come down with the stomach flu. I also use it occasionally in smoothies.
  • Coconut Wraps—These are a fun option for a quick meal, just wrap and go!

Cooking Fats:

  • Rendered Solid Cooking Fat—This is one ingredient you can’t go without. Read my guide to cooking fats for discourse about why you should have a solid cooking fat on hand to make your meals. Lard, tallow, and duck fat all work well here—if you can’t make your own I recommend this brand.
  • Coconut Oil—A great, neutral-flavored fat that is nice to use for cooking.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil—Try to find a high-quality, cold-pressed, organic oil that is stored in an opaque bottle.
  • Avocado Oil—This is a nice alternative to olive oil and the same quality and bottle requirements apply because it similarly easily oxidized.
  • Other fats occasionally called for in AIP recipes: palm shortening, red palm oil (please chose sustainably harvested).

Preserved Meat:

  • Canned Fish—Tuna, salmon, sardines, or oysters, packed in extra-virgin olive oil or water and not in BPA-lined cans. Make sure that they do not contain off-limit spices or soybean oil!
  • Beef Jerkey—Homemade or a brand that does not contain nightshades or gluten.
  • Epic Bars—These are great “pemmican” bars that have a much softer texture than jerkey and make a great snack. The AIP flavors available are Bacon Bison Cranberry, Uncured Bacon (coming soon), and the Liver Bar.
  • Gelatin—This is a nice ingredient to use as a gut-healing supplement (a lot of folks will stir it into tea) or to texturize AIP desserts (such as panna cotta, jello, etc.).

Assorted Food in Jars and Flavorings:

  • Olives—These are an awesome snack, and I recommend those only cured with salt if you can find them.
  • Fish Sauce—Use this to ad umami to dishes (caution to those with histamine intolerance though!).
  • Coconut Aminos—This is a coconut-based soy-sauce replacement. I find it a little less salty than desired, but that is easily remedied! I like to use it in stir-frys and with AIP sushi.
  • Apple-Cider Vinegar—I recommend having at least one vinegar on hand to add to your meals, and this is an all-around standout.
  • Other flavorings occasionally called for in AIP recipes—balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, cooking wine.

Spices:

  • Dried Herbs—thyme, rosemary, dill, oregano, marjoram, and sage should get you started. I don’t like dried herbs nearly as much as fresh, but they work great in a pinch.
  • Ground Spices—turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and onion are a great start here. You can use these to make your own AIP curry blend instead of using the usual nightshade and seed spice version.
  • Salt—I like to have a few different types of salt on hand. First, a good all-around sea salt is a must in any kitchen—this one is my favorite. Next, I like to have truffle sea salt and smoked sea salt to add some flavor to my meals.
  • Seaweed—There are many types of seaweeds you can use to make AIP sushi (like nori), or just a blend of flakes to sprinkle on top of dishes. This is a great way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals.
  • Carob Powder—You can use this to make chocolate-like treats.

Snacks:

  • Yucan Crunch Crackers—These are excellent, crunchy crackers made out of yucca fiber. While they don’t sell them in stores, you can order in bulk from Mission: Heirloom and re-toast as you need them (they last months this way!).
  • Sweet Potato Chips—The brand linked cooks these in coconut oil, which is fantastic!
  • Plantain Chips—You can find these in both sweet and savory varieties (using either ripe or green plantains and no added sugar for the effect!).
  • Seaweed Snacks—While certainly not filling, these are a great snack.

Well, hopefully you have found this guide to clearing out and stocking your pantry helpful. Like I said earlier, the best thing you can do in preparation for the elimination diet is set yourself up for success. Don’t skip the planning and preparation part of the process, it is the most important step!

Do you stock anything I don’t have on my list up above? Let me know in the comments!

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Wellness. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.

56 comments

  • Donna says

    I’ve been staying away from iodine for several years now. Do you find that the seaweed (nori, kombu, kelp, etc.) does or does not affect antibodies and/or symptoms? I’d love to start incorporating seaweed again.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Donna,
      I wouldn’t say I go out of my way to avoid iodine (I eat lots of fish and shellfish) but I don’t eat a lot of seaweed because of the high iodine content. I had a very bad reaction to it (high antibodies and TSH) when I was very sick and am weary of getting too much in the future. I’d say if you start slow and listen to your body, you should be able to tell if it is working for you or not!

  • ChristineK says

    Great list! I found that cleaning out the pantry was such a relief! No more looking at all of the things I couldn’t have with remorse and the space available was amazing!! I donated everything unopened to a food pantry and passed along opened items that I knew my neighbors would use.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Happy you also felt relief Christine! Its amazing how accurate the principle “out of sight, out of mind” can be. Good luck to you!

  • Carol says

    hi, I’ve just been diagnosed with H. I’m very confused, can I eat gluten free porridge with gluten & dairy free milk. I live on Rhodes in Greece and it’s very difficult to buy a lot of things that I should be eating that doesn’t cost the earth. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Carol,
      I’m assuming that by H you mean Hashimoto’s? While you are right gluten and dairy are some top triggers to remove from your diet, I recommend people try a full elimination diet to see what else they are sensitive to. You can read more about the autoimmune protocol using the navigation up top on the site. Hope it helps!

      Mickey

  • Lynn says

    I would love an addition to your list – pots/pans, appliances, etc. that you find the most helpful, maybe with links to purchase on Amazon, etc.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lynn! Great request. For starters, you can check out my Amazon store in the bottom right of the sidebar, as well as our past kitchen tours. We post one monthly, and always include links to people’s favorite kitchen tools. Good luck!

  • Erin says

    So…The Paleo Mom says coconut sugar is a gut irritant and should only be eaten in moderation for those with healthy guts-not those of us on AIP. Do you guys have different knowledge? If not, it would be great if AIP bloggers would stop using that ingredient in their recipes because it’s confusing people and potentially undermining peoples’ healing.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Erin! I’d love for you to provide a reference for this. According to Sarah, coconut sugar is OK on the elimination diet but it can be problematic for those with SIBO because of its high inulin content. Unless you are on a low-FODMAP modification of AIP, it is fine.

  • Emily says

    I was excited to find Epic bars at my local Sprouts store. I didn’t think to check the ingrediants before eating it because it’s listed in this post. After I ate it I knew it was too sweet so I checked and one of the ingredients is brown sugar. How are these AIP friendly?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Emily! While brown sugar isn’t ideal from a blood sugar perspective, Sarah Ballanyne allows it in her approach in small quantities in cured meats. Hope it helps!

  • Brenda says

    Hi Mickey, I can’t locate the link to your Amazon Store and when I put Mickey Trescott store in the Amazon search box all that comes up is your cookbook which I already have and love. How do I get to your store on Amazon? Thanks.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Brenda,
      There is a link in the bottom right of the sidebar, right here on the website! Just scroll a little bit, in a blue box 🙂

  • Michelle says

    I am intolerant to coconut and vinegars. (Salicylates). Your book relies heavily on coconut. What can I do?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Michelle,
      You can make over 80 recipes in the book coconut-free. I would use lard, tallow, or duck fat any time a recipe calls for coconut oil. You can also substitute avocado for coconut in creamy dressings. I have lots of recipes for coconut-free desserts here on the site—the pumpkin spice cake and molasses cookies are both coconut-free. Wishing you luck!

  • Amy says

    Hi there, I’m turning 30 this year and was diagnosed with Hashimotos 4 years ago. I’m currently taking 175mg of synthroid (no doctors where I am in Canada will prescribe dessicated thyroid). In addition to the ongoing increases in thyroid meds, I have become allergic to nuts, legumes, and shellfish since being diagnosed and have had asthma my whole life.

    Trying the AIP seemed like a no brainer to me given my allergies and autoimmune issues. I’m desperate to find something to help stop or reverse symptoms (my mom had her thyroid removed last year).

    That being said, I tried the protocol for 2 weeks and found I had very bad diarehea every day. Sorry if this is TMI, but just wondering if this is normal or to be expected. I stopped the protocol because I had to travel and am willing to give it a go again but I’m wondering if there may be too much fat in the diet for me to digest. I have IBS and find high fat foods don’t sit well. The stools were “floating” and may indicate malabsorption.

    I spoke to my GP about this but she doesn’t believe in leaky gut or the link to food sensitivities and said to just stop the diet.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Amy,
      So sorry to hear of that reaction, it sounds like you have some digestive issues getting in the way. Unfortunately since I am not a doctor I can’t give suggestions beyond trying to find a practitioner to help you get to the root of these issues and perhaps fix them so you can tolerate more fats in your diet. Another approach would be to try different fats or less fat in your AIP approach. Hope it helps!

  • Marybeth says

    I see that truffle salt is allowed. What about truffle oil?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Marybeth,
      Yes, truffle oil is fine as long as it is flavored with real truffles (some brands are chemically flavored) and the carrier oil is AIP-friendly!

  • […] roots in my cooking to stay feeling great. Second, this recipe uses ingredients that are simple to stock in my pantry, making it a great on-the-fly addition if I haven’t made a plan for dinner. Third, it is one […]

  • Chris Ann says

    I love this. I wish I could do it. I have 2 kids and a husband who have no interest in joining my AIP diet, and would like to keep all their junky food. Plus I have to cook for them.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Chris,
      This definitely makes things more difficult–can you have an area of your pantry dedicated to them and separate out your ingredients? Would they be able to join you in a more “clean eating” challenge (like a whole 30) in order to get them off processed food?

    • Christy says

      I have a husband and 4 kids who are not aip, but, unknown to them, they eat a lot of aip dinners with me. I will often serve up a non-aip carb on the side if I think it is necessary, but usually just serve 2 veggies. I like to batch cook aip tomato sauces and freeze them, that way when I make pasta or chili for them, I have something quick to grab for me, without having to cook two separate meals.

  • Tina says

    Isn’t tapioca flour and cassava flour the same thing? I ask because I am finding I have a reaction to tapioca flour, an alternative would be great. For some reason I thought they were identical.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Tina,
      They are from the same plant but not the same thing. Tapioca is just the starch, while cassava flour is the whole root dried and ground. Hope it helps!

  • Barbara says

    When following the Fodmap AIP Paleo, vegetables and fruits are more limited. When a few of the allowed veggies have a portion limitation, does that mean per meal or for the entire day. Thanks for you terrific web site and information.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Barbara! Some people on a low-FODMAP approach can tolerate small amounts of “gray area” foods per meal, and others per day. I would say to start out with, maybe be a little stricter and as you start feeling better test your limits a little bit. Hope it helps!

  • Dara Ryle says

    Hello,
    An important urgent question,
    Is it possible to have a bowl of tapioca(made with coconut milk) for my breakfast as this feels more normal?
    Many thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Dara,
      Sure it is possible, but I’d recommend adding some protein on the side to make it more of a balanced meal.

  • Ruth says

    Hi, I read somewhere that the Great Lakes gelatin is not grass-fed. Is it OK to use while on AIP?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Ruth,
      As far as I know Great Lakes makes their gelatin from grass-fed cows.

  • Jessica says

    I am wondering if tapioca IMO (the syrup) and apple pectin are AIP? Thanks!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jessica, yes both are as long as they don’t carry any other ingredients with them, but I would be very cautious with added sweeteners like syrup.

  • Cynthia says

    I have Hashimotos, epilepsy, am hypotension which is a cause of fatigue also and have been on armoire thyroid for years. Lately, it’s been having an adverse affect so I am off all meds. (The synthetics like levothyroxin, make me sick so they’re out.) Do you know if the formulation for a.t. changed when Allergen bought it from Forest Labs? As an aside, has anyone tried daily fasting, eating eight hours and fasting 16? It’s been helpful. Thank you.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Cynthia!
      I don’t specifically know about the change in armour – I personally didn’t do well on that medication and now take compounded levothyroxine to avoid fillers. Intermittent fasting was a big trend in the paleo community a couple years ago, but many women find it doesn’t work for them – myself included! I like to keep a moderate 12 hour fast between dinner and breakfast, but if I do any longer I don’t feel great.

  • […] Stocking The AIP Pantry (Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • janice Croft says

    Hi there Mickey, just stumbled across your website. I have a diagnosis of Lichen Schlerosis and have started the AIP diet 3 weeks ago. I would be interested if you have any other people with this diagnosis who have had success on the diet in helping their condition. thanks Janice

  • Ana says

    Hi Mickey,
    I’m waiting for a brain and spine MRI for the numbness and tingling inmy feet, legs and arms as well as muscular pain. I also have problems with my digestion and want to start the AIP, the only thing that worries me is the massive weight loss. I was on a two-month anti candida diet a few years ago and lost 10 kilos and I’m already quite slim. Any ideas on how to prevent huge weight loss while on the protocol. Thanks.

  • Violet says

    Hello! Very appreciative for all the work that goes into the recipes and tips that are AIP friendly. Can you comment on any food sensitivity tests you’ve taken (which ones work, don’t etc)? Seems like anything I eat, I immediately get dizzy/head feels in a fog/numb. Right side below the belly button hurts(which might be another side affect, naturopath, OBGYN, both say I don’t have any cyst problems). I know I have Hashimotos and even with the AIP diet, I’m still dizzy from foods. Just my thyroid antibodies are elevated, everything else checks out. Could it be candida (does anyone else have anything to share either?) Thank you in advance 🙂 Violet

  • Marianne ESPASA says

    Hi,

    Thank you for your website ! I am a bit confused because I thought that cassava and tapioca were forbidden during the elimination phase ?

    Thank you in advance

    Marianne

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Marianne! No, they are fine as long as you tolerate them.

  • Lucy says

    Great and very helpful list! However I decided to buy rafined sugar again as I started brewing kombucha. Hope this kind of sugar is ok in this use.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lucy! We don’t advocate for using refined sugar on AIP, but it is OK for kombucha. I’d suggest using coconut sugar instead, for baking and stuff.

  • Christina says

    I have just started the aip diet. The food I can (or cannot eat) Is perfectly fine with me. What I am having problems with is what to drink to keep myself hydrated. I can’t stand the blandness of water. I can’t drink much at all, and it doesn’t quench my thirst at all. What all all my options to add some flavor to it. Many thanks!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Christina! Have you tried making a simple infusion with fruit, herbs, and/or lemon juice? Just a little spritz goes a long way!

  • Anna says

    Hey mickey!
    I am suffering from alopecia areata from 1.5 years and it is growing worse. I am from Pakistan and keeping up with the AIP seems quiet difficult. Does AIP really work with alopecia? And how long does a person need to keep up with the diet. Is it for the rest of our lives?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Anna! We have heard reports from many with alopecia who have found getting at the root of their food allergies and sensitivities to be helpful at managing. You never really know until you try though – the elimination and reintroduction protocol produces different results for everyone. Your two questions are big ones, and I’d urge you to read some of the articles on our site, as well as our books linked in the sidebar for the in depth info there. In short, the AIP diet is a template and not meant to be followed forever. Hope it helps!

  • JB says

    I’m confused. Most other sites promoting the AIP diet say no sweeteners but you have a quite a few on here. Can you clarify?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi JB! Not sure what sites you are referring to, but there is only one AIP that is outlined in Sarah Ballantyne’s book The Paleo Approach – that is the one we follow. She sets a 20g limit per day on fructose, but natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and fruit are OK in moderation. Hope it helps clarify for you!

  • […] a great AIP pantry list from Autoimmune […]

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