5 Obscure Pantry Staples

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If you’ve read any of my recipes or followed my instagram account, you know that I sometimes use some pretty obscure ingredients. Not all of them are that hard to find, but just often aren’t commonly used. While I have been introduced to some of these items on Instagram, I have done my own research before purchasing and using these products. Additionally, none of this is sponsored content. I simply love and use these pantry staples, and want to share them with you! If you’re looking for some fun things to add to your wellness routine, I got you covered!

My 5 Obscure Pantry Staples:


If you follow any wellness accounts at all on Instagram, Facebook, or even Pinterest, I guarantee you’ve seen influencers using collagen. Often, they mix it into their smoothies, baked goods, or bulletproof matcha lattes. And, there’s a reason for that. It’s been known for years that collagen is good for your hair, skin, and nails, but it has other benefits too! Collagen is a great supplement for improving joint health and gut health, as collagen is used to rebuild tissues. It’s also a good source of protein. pantry staples collagen

The collagen I’ve seen all over Instagram is Vital Proteins or Further Foods. While I’m sure those are both great brands, they’re a little pricey for my grad student budget. I shopped around a bit and read some reviews, and I decided to go with Neocell Collagen. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it’s good quality! I use it in some of my smoothies, in my adaptogen hot chocolate, and even my cookies!

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is something I discovered through the granola brand Purely Elizabeth. They did a “Save the Bees” promotion a while ago and included a jar of bee pollen if you purchased a certain bundle of products. Well, I loved the products in the bundle, and I love the bees, so I decided to give it a try. And man am I glad I did! I love putting these little balls of gold on yogurt, smoothies, and oatmeal. I’ve even topped my Adaptogenic Walnut Brain Balls with bee pollen! It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is a complete source of protein! Bee pollen may be an obscure pantry staple, but it’s the definition of a superfood! pantry staples bee pollen

Adaptogens & Tonic Herbs

Okay okay, I know “adaptogens” are kind of the new wellness thing right now. They seem “trendy” and “new age” and all that. But you guys, I’m telling you, these herbs are POWERFUL. Like, the difference I’ve noticed in my life since taking reishi, pine pollen, he shou wu, and schisandra berry daily is insane. These obscure pantry staples are so much more than that. They are truly life-changing supplements that, when used correctly, can really help you out. pantry staples adaptogens

My go-to’s right now are Pine Pollen for energy, Lion’s Mane for cognitive support, and Green Love Beauty Elixir Powder. The schizandra berry, goji berry, and reishi in this elixir all have beautifying benefits, but they also have other healthy effects! Schizandra and goji berries are both great mood boosters and support the immune system. Reishi, as I’ve discussed before, is wonderful for stress management. But it’s also great for regulating blood pressure and blood sugar!

I highly recommend doing you research on these different substances before just diving in. Talk to a naturopath, an herbalist, or some other qualified expert. And most importantly, listen to your body! While some adaptogens may work wonders for others, your body may not tolerate them. My body, for example, can’t handle maca, but other people swear by it. Listen to the experts and listen to yourself! Find what works for you!

100% Cacao Chocolate Chips

Full disclosure, these guys are bitter. I mean, they’re literally made from pure cacao mass. Like, that’s the only ingredient. There’s no sugar, no binders, nothing. Just cacao. It’s seriously amazing. If you like super dark chocolate, these are for you! Anyway, I love having this obscure pantry staple on hand because you can literally use 100% cacao chocolate chips for anything. If you want to melt them and use them as a chocolate coating, but you want something a little sweeter, simply add a little maple syrup. Or, you can make your own chocolate bar by melting them down, adding a little sweetener (if you want), and topping with just about anything. pantry staples chocolate chips

My absolute favorite way to use these is in my Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies. I use the 100% cacao chocolate chips in place of the 85% cacao chips in the recipe, and use coconut instead of walnuts for some extra natural sweetness. By using these sugar-free chocolate chips, the Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies are completely free of added sugars! These 100% cacao chocolate chips are the perfect pantry staple for anyone trying to avoid added sugars or going through a sugar cleanse.

Coconut Butter

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a huge fan of healthy fats. For one, I’m not much for calorie counting. It just doesn’t work for me. I have been working really hard to listen more to my hungry cues and eat intuitively, listening to what my body (and soul) need, as opposed to what a calculator says I can have. Anyway, the main reason, besides the taste, that I love coconut butter is because it’s so satisfying. It’s filling, gives you a little brain boost (healthy fats people!), and satisfies your sweet tooth without any added sugars. pantry staples coconut butter

Coconut butter is also one of my favorite obscure pantry staples because it’s actually pretty darn versatile. I put it in my Adaptogen Hot Chocolate every morning for an early shot of healthy fats and natural sweetness. It’s also super tasty mixed into oats with some fresh berries and a little bee pollen! Another favorite way to use it is in my Pine Pollen Peppermint Patties. They make the perfectly nourishing sweet treat to get you through an afternoon! Honestly though, I’ve even been known to eat a spoonful or so when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth or a little boost of energy. It’s just that good.

I’m all about investing in your health. High quality foods with real ingredients and real benefits. It’s all about finding pantry staples that work for you and your lifestyle. I know some of these items may seem a little out there, and maybe even a little unnecessary. While, no I don’t need these products to survive, they are what work for me. Find what works for you! Let me know below, do you have any pantry staples that others may find unusual? I’m always looking for new things to try!

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22 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I never knew you could eat collagen! Thanks for teaching me something new! My Husband has bad knee joint 🙁 so maybe I should add some to his smoothies! 🙂

    1. I love using the powder because it’ll literally dissolve into anything! I hope it works well for you guys!

  2. You noted that these are 5 obscure pantry staples, but for me the most obscure was the collagen. I did not know you could cook with it. I only thought it was a topical solution or included in supplements. I also did know about pine pollen, so you definitely educated me. Thanks.

    1. Most people I know don’t really know about these products and definitely don’t use them. So to me, they’re obscure. And I’m so glad you found something new in this post with the collagen and pine pollen! Hope they work for you!

    1. That’s awesome! I know so many people who’ve never heard of some of these things! And yeah, I love using collagen. Put it in my drink every morning and sometimes add it to my baked goods for some extra protein & other health benefits!

  3. I had no idea you could eat collagen…I’m always looking for new healthy things I can hide in my family’s food so this is really informative!!

    1. I’m so glad you found some value in it! That makes me happy! I love collagen, even put it in my cookies today!

  4. Pine pollen may just be my next purchase! Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t heard of a few of these. I’ve been seeing collagen everywhere lately and may have to give it a try as well!

    1. Yay! That makes me happy! I love sharing this kind of stuff with people because it really has helped me so much!

    1. Haha I love them! But they definitely take some adjustment. Pairing them with something naturally sweet like fruit is a great way to go!

  5. These are great! I haven’t hear of half of the stuff. I honestly thought collagen was only in beauty products – I had no idea people added it as a supplement to foods!

    1. Thank you! Yeah I love putting collagen in my morning drinks, smoothies, and baked goods! It dissolves and has no taste, but the beauty benefits as well as the overall health benefits are great! Highly recommend

  6. Wow! I have never tried any of those products except the cacao, but I am definitely interested in trying the bee pollen! Great post!

    1. It’s the perfect topping for smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal! Tastes really good with fresh berries! I hope you like it!

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