10 Organic Foods You’ll Always Find in My Kitchen

Written by Max Goldberg on February 9, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

artisana-coconut-oil-680x1024 (1)For someone who loves organic food so much and cooks so often, my refrigerator is surprisingly empty. How could this be?

Well, I go food shopping A LOT and pretty much only buy whatever I need for the next meal that I’ll be eating. I have the good fortune of being able to do this because an amazing organic market is literally less a one minute walk from my apartment

Plus, I LOVE going food shopping and making multiple trips to the market in one day is not exactly a burden. Staring at all of the amazing fruits and vegetables in the produce section is one of my favorite things to do.

Even though I do tend to “buy on demand”, you’ll pretty much always find these 10 organic foods in my kitchen:

COCONUT OIL I am a huge fan of coconut oil.  Not only is it high in lauric acid and great to use after a workout but it is one of the few oils that you can safely heat and cook with. (Olive oil is not one of them.)

Aside from using organic coconut oil in my smoothies, I use it as a moisturizer as well.

PALM SUGAR Not only is palm sugar low on the glycemic index but it is a very sustainable alternative sweetener.

I am pretty much obsessed with palm sugar these days and love its mild sweetness. Plus, it is super-easy to travel with.

CHIA SEEDS Named one of my top 5 organic food trends of 2011, chia seeds continue to explode in popularity –  and for very good reason.

Chia seeds are an incredible source of protein, and I use them in my morning smoothie and for puddings.

I seem to alternate back and forth between the seeds and the sprouted chia seed powder. Some people believe that the powder is more easily absorbed in the body.  I go both ways on that one.

BRAZIL NUTS I drink a good amount of nut milk, and my preferred nut is definitely Brazil nuts.

Brazil nuts are high in fiber and protein (14%), and contain many amino acids and minerals, including selenium.

I always store my Brazil nuts in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

CACAO POWDER According to various pieces of research that I’ve seen, cacao contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any food on the planet.

Along with using it in my smoothies, I will also drink it straight.

I’ll take a 1/2 teaspoon of cacao powder, 1/4 teaspoon of maca, 1/8th of a teaspoon of palm sugar, and then stir in 1/4 cup of warm water. I’ll drink this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach in order to allow for maximum absorption.

QUINOA I must eat quinoa about 3-4 times per week and can’t seem to get enough of it.

Rich in protein and containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is also an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

SAUERKRAUT If you’ve never added sauerkraut to your salads, definitely give it a try it. This will take your salad to a whole different level.

Sauerkraut is a fermented food and provides the body with beneficial bacteria. I particularly love the biodynamic caraway sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley. It is spectacular.

SEA VEGETABLES I try to consume sea vegetables, either kelp and dulse, on a daily basis.

Kelp has very high levels of iodine and is fantastic for the thyroid. The importance of sea vegetables does not get nearly enough attention as it should.

BLACK SESAME SEEDS As I wrote about recently, black sesame seeds have become an absolute fixture on my salads and quinoa.

Not only are they full of magnesium, calcium, copper, and zinc, but some people believe that they help to reverse gray hair (of which I have plenty).

GOJI BERRIES Considered the most important food/herb in Chinese medicine, goji berries are rich in minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.

I have a tremendous amount of difficulty not devouring the whole bag in just one sitting. They are that good and that good for you.

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35 Comments

  1. Can you share what and how to use seaweed that you mentioned? Thanks

    Written by eli on February 9, 2012 @ 7:52 pm
  2. Hi Eli,

    The dulse flakes I sprinkle directly on my salad. With loose dulse and kelp, it is best to soak them first. Adding some dressing to them afterward would make them taste better.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 12, 2012 @ 12:59 pm
  3. Thank you for a great list, Max. It’s good to see I am well on the right track to healthy organic eating.

    We have slowly been changing our pantry items to healthier choices over the last six months. We enjoy coconut oil & quinoa most days, we’ve just switched to palm sugar recently, and I have just ordered chia seeds and nori to include in our diet, really excited about that.

    We get our antioxidant fix from Miessence Berry Radical which contains cacao powder, and from dried certified organic/wild blueberries and cranberries – the Berry Radical is great in smoothies or as a healthy hot chocolate, and the berries add loads of zing to so many dishes, savoury and sweet.

    Other items we are enjoying include certified organic herbal teas in an effort to limit/omit caffeine. And we are building up a supply of certified organic herbs and spices.

    The best part about making these changes, besides the amazing health benefits, is that the regular inclusion of new, exciting ingredients and recipes in our daily diet has our tastebuds dancing in the clouds!

    Going healthy tastes great!

    Written by Sherrie Turner on December 9, 2012 @ 5:01 pm
  4. Hi Sherrie,

    I am so happy to hear that you’ve been making a transition to healthy eating! Keep spreading the word to others.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on December 11, 2012 @ 12:26 pm
  5. I like to make a porridge with quinoa flakes and chia seeds for a breakfast. I sprinkle a little palm sugar and cinnamon on top along with some nutmilk. Yummy! What kind of sauerkraut do you use?

    Written by Rebecca Johnson on December 28, 2012 @ 10:42 pm
  6. Hi Rebecca,

    I buy whatever is in my local organic market wherever I am. In NYC, I generally buy Hawthorne Valley.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on December 31, 2012 @ 10:37 am
  7. Max,

    I cant thank you enough for your posts and blog articles. I just added all the items you mentioned into a cart on Amazon. Thanks for linking each item mentioned to the amazon store, that really helped! I am also slowly/steadily making changes to my diet. As of late, ive suffered from fatigue, low energy and the list goes on. But I do see the benefits of eating well and as a result living well. Ive started to use my blender for breakfast Vs. living off of coffee and coffee only.

    I will start adding maca/cacao to my morning smoothies and start adding nutrients to my salads!

    Ill be sure to share this blog with my family!

    Thank you,

    Pawan

    Written by Pawan Narwani on February 8, 2013 @ 7:24 pm
  8. Hi Pawan,

    I am so happy that the posts are helping you and that you are making positive changes to your diet. It is so, so important the kind of foods that we put into our bodies. Keep me posted on your progress!

    Have a great weekend!
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 8, 2013 @ 9:16 pm
  9. Hi Max,

    I’ve been consuming chia seeds almost daily for the past two years. A great source of protein as you mention. They also have numerous minerals and help to keep one hydrated. I add them to granola, oatmeal, salads, sauteed vegetables, etc.

    Love your blog!

    Kate

    Written by Kate on February 9, 2013 @ 10:00 pm
  10. I appreciate it Kate!!! Thanks for reading what I have to say here.

    All the best,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 10, 2013 @ 10:10 am
  11. I have all these products in my kitchen to. I also like to use raw hamp seeds. and raw flaxseeds. As part of my diet. I Also use a lot of avocados In my salad dishes and smoothies. I probably consume one avocado each day Sometimes even 2. I get a lot of fat from coconut milk . And coconut butter.

    Written by Sandro on March 28, 2013 @ 5:23 pm
  12. Hi Max,

    I always have plain Greek yogurt on hand. Your list reminded me of a great breakfast recipe. All measurements are approximate. Using 1/4 c. Greek yogurt, 1/2 c. almond milk, 1/4 c.oats, sweetener of choice, and chia seeds. Mix all of the above together in a glass canning jar, mix in fresh fruit of choice. These can be made up the night before and are delicious oat breakfast on the go. I love it for summertime, when I wouldn’t want to eat hot oatmeal, but wish I had something more substantial than yogurt. My favorite is with raspberries. Try it and see what you think. I am going to add black sesame seeds to my repertoire, after seeing all the benefits.
    Thanks!

    Written by Laura on March 28, 2013 @ 9:17 pm
  13. Hi Sandro,

    You sound like a very healthy guy with a great diet. Keep up the fantastic eating!!!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on March 29, 2013 @ 9:09 am
  14. Hi Laura,

    Very interesting recipe, and thanks for sharing! Yes, I am a HUGE fan of black sesame seeds as well!! Tons of mineral and nutrients in them.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on March 29, 2013 @ 9:10 am
  15. Max . Do you ever drink coffee. I enjoy organic cold Coffee. Mixt with half can of coconut milk Of course full fat . You can add some organic cinnamon . Organic vanilla extract. Mix all this together . And poured the mixture over Glass filled with ice. This is delicious Treat with Much better and healthier ingredients Then any latte In any coffeeshop .

    Written by Sandro on March 31, 2013 @ 1:56 pm
  16. Did you guys ever tried to make . Coconut milk from fresh Coconut. I made some yesterday I chopt coconut took all the meat out , I put coconut water and coconut meat and blender . I added some vanilla extract Blended in high speed for couple minutes, At T and i added one more liter of water .

    Written by Sandro on March 31, 2013 @ 2:16 pm
  17. Hi Sandro,

    I drink organic coffee in a very limited amount – only when I am completely exhausted and need a shot of caffeine. By no means, however, is this only a regular basis. Organic coffee with organic coconut milk sounds great!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on April 4, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
  18. Hi Sandro,

    The problem is getting organic Young Thai coconuts in the U.S. You can’t get them. There are other organic coconuts but they’re not as easy to break down into milk.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on April 4, 2013 @ 10:32 pm
  19. I have just discovered black tahini. Amazing. Makes normal tahini seem tasteless. I put it on fruit but Asians use it to make deserts. Do you use it max?

    Written by Dina on April 10, 2013 @ 6:13 pm
  20. Hi Dina,

    I don’t use black tahini, primarily because the jar of black tahini at my local market is about $25. I use the black sesame seeds a lot, however, including on my salad last night for dinner.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on April 14, 2013 @ 2:52 pm
  21. Hi Max,
    I wanted to purchase a strainer to rinse off my organic quinoa. Would the one you use for your brazil nut milk work for the quinoa as well.
    I really enjoy your website. Thanks for all the good healthy tips. I will be ordering my sauerkraut today along with other great things you mentioned. Can most of these items be ordered on Amazon?

    Written by Stephanie on December 5, 2013 @ 12:48 pm
  22. Hi Stephanie,

    Most of these items can be purchased on Amazon and there are links to them above. For quinoa, you’ll need to buy a bigger strainer but to use it for both, make sure it is a “very fine” screen.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on December 11, 2013 @ 1:08 pm
  23. Hi Max,
    Where can I find raw honey?
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

    Written by stephanie on December 13, 2013 @ 3:53 pm
  24. Hi Stephanie,

    Either at your local organic market or local farmers market. Those would be the best bets.

    Written by Max Goldberg on December 15, 2013 @ 7:18 pm
  25. Hi Max,
    Where do you purchase your organic quinoa. When preparing it, do you use salt? Also, looking to purchase a few “nut butters”. Any ideas where to purchase them? I received my caraway sauerkraut, just wondering do I have to heat it before I add it to my salad.
    Thank you.
    Stephanie

    Written by Stephanie on December 20, 2013 @ 9:27 am
  26. Hi Max,
    I always enjoy receiving and reading your newsletters and enjoyed this one too; however, I disagree with your comment that olive oil isn’t okay to cook with. There are different smoke points for different extra virgin olive oils but most are stable and a perfectly healthy choice for cooking and I cook with it all of the time. I’ve included a link to an article (and there are many more) that supports this claim. Thanks for all of the healthy information.
    Janell
    http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/heating-olive-oil

    Written by Janell on January 7, 2014 @ 6:06 pm
  27. Hi Janell,

    I appreciate your support of what I am doing here. Cooking with olive oil is a controversial one, and there are people on both sides of the argument. Some believe cooking with it is okay while others don’t. I am one of those who does not believe it is okay.

    Thanks for reading my blog.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 8, 2014 @ 12:14 am
  28. Max, you are so awesome! Love this list — so varied and so delicious. I have a really hard time not eating the entire bag of goji berries too ;)

    Sauerkraut is the only item on this list I’m yet to incorporate into my diet (yet!). Also, I found some insanely tasty black-sesame-peanut crunch bars in Thailand and am about to make my own.

    All the best!

    Written by Gracefruit on January 17, 2014 @ 8:23 pm
  29. Wheatgerm. High in vit.E and minerals.

    Written by Ge on January 26, 2014 @ 4:59 pm
  30. Trying beetroot powder

    Written by Ge on January 26, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
  31. now people will think a healthy lifestyle is expensive! replace coconut palm sugar with carob mollasses and grape mollasses.. i buy a big jar of carob mollasses for 4 or 5 dollars! much cheaper and carob is very sweet (depends on the carob type though) i find it in middle eastern supermarkets. quinoa can be replaced with millet millet tastes like corn, is cheap and whole grain… and its okay to cook with olive oil on lowest heat three times a week or so.. just not everyday… and as long as the olive oil is real olive oil… i buy one which is certified to be made of only olives.. also i sometimes buy palestinian fair trade olive oil that is not even filtered, so pure and thick.. but i dont always find that.. anyways its much cheaper than coconut oil!

    Written by salma on April 15, 2014 @ 10:38 pm
  32. i forgot to say i also buy roasted chickpeas found in indian food isles.. its much better and much cheaper than buying nuts.. there is an article i read once it says “nuts come in hard shells for a reason”. marcobiotics sees nuts as too yin, roasted chickpeas are great alternative..

    Written by salma on April 15, 2014 @ 10:47 pm
  33. Thank you for all you do to help us live a more healthy life. I’ve used your list on how to eat organic on a limited budget, but there are still things that are simply too expensive to buy. Goji berries are on that list. Do you have a source that is more reasonable?

    Written by Laurie on June 10, 2014 @ 10:58 pm
  34. When I click on the link for the sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley. it says not found. is there another link for Hawthorne Valley or another brand for the sauerkraut.
    thanks

    Written by Nancy on August 23, 2014 @ 1:20 pm
  35. Hi Nancy,

    The link should be working now. Thanks for letting me know.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on August 25, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

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