Pantry Essentials: Top 5 Must-Haves for Paleo, Gluten-Free & Vegan Desserts

Learn the essential, must-have ingredients you need to keep stocked to make Paleo/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free desserts, where to find them and how to save money on expensive ingredients! 

You want to enjoy dessert when you’re on a restricted (gluten-free/Paleo/Keto/Vegan) diet? Yeah you do! Me TOO.

But first you’ve gotta have the necessities in your pantry!

I keep these 5 basic ingredients stocked in my pantry at ALL times so that when the mood strikes, I’m ready to whip up a healthy dessert.

BONUS: I’m also sharing WHERE I buy my ingredients and how I save hundreds of dollars a year on my grocery bill! 🙂


Disclosure: As an Affiliate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through referral links in this post (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Pretty Pies!

Main Ingredients: Top 5 Necessities

These are the basic building blocks of gluten-free/grain-free, dairy-free desserts.

Thrive Market Almond Flour

  1. Almond Flour – the KING of grain-free baking! Use this to make my pie crusts, scones, 5 minute donut holes and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies! I use Thrive Market brand. Great quality at a great price! Bob’s Red Mill brand from Amazon is also great.
  2. Coconut Oil – this is the KEY to raw desserts because it acts as a binder to hold everything together. I use Nutiva brand from Amazon.
  3. Coconut Milk (or Coconut Cream) – the ultimate replacement for dairy! It’s super creamy and makes the BEST whipped cream and chocolate mousse. I use Thai Kitchen brand milk from Amazon and Thrive Market cream.
  4. Your favorite nuts: Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts. I love the neutral flavor of almonds for no-bake crusts! I buy nuts from Aldi.
  5. Your preferred sweetener (see my recs below)


Sweeteners (Dry and Wet)

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes (Keto/Vegan/Paleo) PrettyPies.com

For Keto/Low-Carb (my preference) I use:

For Paleo & Vegan:

  • Pure Maple Syrup Steer clear of Aunt Jemima, folks. You want the real deal! Lighter “Amber” maple syrup has a more mild taste, which I prefer.
  • Coconut Sugar A fantastic replacement for refined sugar. It has a graham cracker/brown sugar type of yummy flavor. Buy on Amazon.

With the 5 Essentials, you’re pretty much ready to rule the world of healthy desserts!

We just have to add in a couple of extra things for flavor and INCREDIBLE texture.


Your Favorite Nut Butter:

Nut butters are amazing at creating rich and creamy textures in pies, plus they are my #1 ingredient in fat bombs, bark and healthy bites! Keep a jar or two of whatever you like on hand.

Keto PB Cookies - ingredients PrettyPies.com

  • Almond Butter
  • Peanut Butter – I buy Aldi’s Simply Nature Organic PB which is super affordable and tastes GREAT. Just peanuts & salt!
  • Cashew Butter

Tip: Always check the labels. Read the ingredients! It seems like so many companies are sneaking in sugar these days. Try to find ones with just ONE or two ingredients (nuts and salt).

If you have a food processor, it’s easy to make your own! See how to make almond butter here.


A Few Flavors:

Healthy No-Bake Brownie Bites (Keto, Paleo, Vegan) PrettyPies

 


Nice to Have Sometimes:

These you don’t need to keep in stock ALL the time. I typically only make desserts with these for special occasions.

Cherry Almond Cheesecake (Vegan & Paleo) PrettyPies.com

Cherry Almond Cheesecake (Vegan & Paleo)

 


How to Save Money on your Grocery Bill:

Fun fact: I used to be a coupon blogger known as The Coupon Bomb! lol

Yep, way back in 2010 I was one of those “Extreme Couponers” that scored tons of FREE stuff using coupons, sales, and shopping at multiple stores.

Well now stores have majorly tightened up their policies on coupons, and frankly I just don’t have the time to shop all over town in search of the best deal! I bet you don’t either.

But I DID learn a LOT on how to save money on everything! Especially all these ingredients that can add up quick.

Here’s how to get the most bang for your buck:

1. Buy in BULK

Paleo/Vegan Dessert Ingredients

That 15 oz jar of coconut oil is great. But did you know if you buy the 54 oz jar, it’s actually SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper? Yes! Per ounce!

The small jar is $0.57/oz vs 28 cents with the large jar! (when you subscribe! See below) Almost HALF the price!

For foods you know you’ll use all the time, like coconut oil, buy the biggest size you can get for the most savings.

When buying ingredients like almond flour and nuts in bulk: store them in the freezer for maximum freshness. They’ll last a really long time.


2. Plan Ahead

Make an actual LIST and stick to it! That means planning your meals (and desserts) in advance so you know what you need.

Planning will help you save in three ways:

  1. You won’t be spending extra at the store.
  2. You’ll have less food waste.
  3. You’ll spend less on eating out since you already planned your meals!

3. Shop Discount Stores

Aldi is my absolute FAVORITE store. I buy my groceries there EVERY week. The prices are so low!! I can’t bring myself to shop at high-end grocery stores when Aldi has such quality foods for so cheap.

Some of my favorite picks from Aldi, (besides fruits, veggies, and meats) are almonds, walnuts, pecans, flax, oats, maple syrup, gluten-free pasta, organic peanut butter, avocado oil, organic coffee, organic spices and more! They even have La Croix !! YESS!

ps they frequently sell avocados for 49 CENTS. Praise the Lord.


4. Shop ONLINE

Thrive MarketThrive Market has become my GO-TOs when buying ingredients I can’t buy at Aldi.

They literally have thousands of organic and natural products to choose from, already discounted 20-50%.

I’ve found their prices to be even cheaper than Amazon in most cases! (Especially on your initial order where you get an extra 25% off everything 😍)

Save an extra 25% off your first order at Thrive Market! Click here

Amazon! The next best thing to Thrive. If you’re not buying your specialty ingredients online, you’re probably paying too much.

Amazon Prime is my BFF when I need something and I need it FAST. I am totally spoiled by their FREE 2 day shipping (even next day sometimes!)

Amazon Subscribe & Save (it really does save!)

If it’s an ingredient you’ll use a lot of and use up quickly, go ahead and subscribe. You save an EXTRA 15% with your subscription when you have 5 or more items. Or 5% with 1-4 items.

Start Stocking Your Pantry Now:

Have a money-saving tip or ingredient YOU can’t live without? Share in the comments! 🙂

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