As part of the #NOWWellness Influencer Program, I received product samples and compensation from NOW® to thank me for my participation, but the product selection and all opinions are genuinely my own.
I talk about NOW® Foods on this blog a lot, so I think most of you here already know that I have a lot of love for this company. Today I wanted to share something a little more personal and introduce you to my time-tested favorites. As much as I enjoy trying new things, over the years I discovered many staples that now dominate my pantry. These are the products I keep ordering over and over again, and if you see any of them on the shelves of your favorite grocery stores, I want you to know that they have my family’s seal of approval.
1 // ELLYNDALE® COOKING OILS – I dipped my toes by trying Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil first, which quickly became the only EVOO we use in the house. I know olive oil is serious business to some people, but for me it all comes down to the flavor and I love the way this one tastes. It’s a little bitter and smells just like fresh green olives!
Other Ellyndale cooking oil that we love are Organic Extra Virgin Sesame Seed Oil that I add to every fresh batch of cooked rice [1tbs for every 2 cups of uncooked rice you used]. Just stir it in after the rice is done, and while it’s still hot and steaming. You won’t believe how this little addition enhances the flavor of the rice! It was truly game changing for my husband, who used to hate rice, and now we eat it almost daily.
I also started making my own mayonnaise. I needed an oil with a neutral flavor that won’t overwhelm the flavor the eggs, lemon juice, and seasonings. I tried Ellyndale® Organic Canola Oil and it was perfect! Every batch of mayo uses about half a bottle, so I actually go through these pretty quickly. By the way, if you spot some fancypants natural and organic mayo at your store with a sky high price tag, remember that good quality mayo is actually pretty expensive to make. I never realized that before and always rolled my eyes, thinking the company must have hiked up the price just because they can. My bad!
Last but not least, Ellyndale® Avocado Oil is by far my favorite for frying, roasting, and broiling; basically, anything to do with cooking at high temperatures. Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and very high smoke point, so it’s ideal for those tasks. I made a mistake trying to cook with EVOO. I think it’s best used in salad dressings and added in to warm sauces when they’re off the stove already to enhance the flavor and nutritional value.
2 // NOW REAL FOOD® NUTS & SEEDS – I loved snacking on nuts and trail mixes for as long as I can remember, and it’s still one of my favorites. NOW® has me covered for pantry staples like Raw Almonds, Cashews, and Pecans that I use for cooking, adding to smoothies, and combining in homemade trail mixes. I started making my own nut butters earlier this year and they always taste so much better than store bought ones! I don’t just use one type of nut, though: so far my favorite recipe contains Raw & Unsalted Cashews, Marcona Almonds, and Sunflower Seeds Roasted & Unsalted with a dash of cayenne, cinnamon, ground cloves, pumpkin pie spice mix, and stevia. Yum!
I also recently discovered Dry Roasted & Salted Macadamia Nuts, and they are just delicious. Here’s another thing that NOW® changed about my husband’s eating habits: he used to think nuts are no fun, but now he eats a handful of these every other day as a snack – they are his favorite.
And did you know that Whole, Raw & Unsalted Brazil Nuts are a great natural source of selenium? I don’t get a lot of it with my food otherwise, and having a few nuts a day for me is easier and more pleasant than taking a supplement with the recommended dose. Pro tip: brazil nuts tend to turn rancid quicker than other nuts in my experience, so I wouldn’t recommend buying big quantities of these at once – maybe a few weeks worth at a time tops.
Luna also prefers gluten-free foods :3
3 // LIVING NOW® PASTA – I can’t imagine my life without pasta, but in the recent years I discovered that consuming large quantities of gluten is one of my migraine triggers. I am not allergic to gluten so I can easily have a slice of pizza without getting a headache, but indulging in a nice bowl of pasta would most certainly have consequences. That is why I’ve been exploring other options, and so far the best-tasting gluten-free pasta I found is quinoa pasta. Living Now® Quinoa Pasta is not only gluten-free and delicious, it’s also organic. The flavor is not strong like other gluten-free pasta types, and it resembles the traditional wheat pasta the most; when I eat it with my favorite sauce I don’t even notice the difference. If you or someone in your family is sensitive to gluten, you have to check these out!
4 // OATMEAL – Technically, steel cut oats are slightly superior nutritionally, but I just love the convenience of rolled oats. NOW Real Food® Organic Rolled Oats have been my go-to breakfast staple for the past several months, and they make me feel full and satiated until lunch while being very low on calories. Oatmeal is an acquired taste for many of us, and I too started eating it just for the nutrition at first, but now I’ve come to love the flavor and the consistency.
5 // NOW® SPORTS PROTEIN POWDER – I do my best to make sure our family meals are balances so we get enough protein through food, but we sometimes run out of groceries in-between the trips, and need to supplement with protein shakes. Pro tip: I use an app to count my macros, so I always know when I’m off.
I tried every single protein powder NOW® has to offer, and discovered two clear favorites. Egg White Protein (16g of protein per 1/4 cup) is hands down a family favorite for its purity, ease of digestion, and neutral-ish flavor so it can be easily mixed with anything. I mean, it’s a protein powder, it’s got to taste like something. For a plant-based diet, Plant Protein Complex Creamy Vanilla is my personal pick. It contains 22g of protein per serving and combines a blend of peas, hemp, and quinoa for a more complete amino acid profile that mimics animal protein. It also tastes like a vanilla cream smoothie!
6 // PAPAYA SPEARS – To wrap up my list of NOW® pantry staples, let’s talk about desserts! Papaya is one of my favorite fruits, and NOW Real Food® Papaya Spears is my favorite sweet treats that I order almost every month. I’ve been trying to cut back on heavily processed snacks and desserts, so I was really happy to discover this yummy alternative. These spears are sweet and taste like candy, but there are actually only two ingredients: papaya and evaporated cane syrup. I don’t specifically avoid sugar and try to eat everything in moderation, but if I had to choose between a few papaya spears and a slice of cake, I’d go for the spears.
I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my NOW® pantry staples! I originally planned to share all of the products I use around the house that are from NOW®, but quickly realized that my pantry list alone would make this post way too long. One thing is clear though: the quality and the variety of products offered by NOW® is very impressive. I sometimes feel nervous recommending things to other people, but in this case I am confident that you guys are going to love these.
You can use this handy store locator to find a retailer near you that carries NOW®.
What are some of your pantry staples that you keep buying over and over? Have you tried anything from NOW® Foods? Let me know in the comments below!