The ultimate guide to stocking your AIP pantry for quick and easy AIP meals and snacks, plus a printable AIP pantry staples list!
When you’re first starting out on the Autoimmune Protocol, it’s a good idea to stock your pantry with some AIP pantry staples. That way, you have everything you need to make preparing AIP meals and snacks much quicker and easier. This guide will help you to decide which AIP staples you’ll need now and which you can save for later on your AIP journey, as you grow your AIP pantry. If you stock your pantry before you begin the elimination phase, you will be better prepared to make quick AIP meals and snacks, and you’ll ultimately be much more successful on your autoimmune healing journey.
Since the Autoimmune Protocol emphasizes lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, and seafood, your AIP pantry can actually be fairly minimal. Hopefully, you’ll be eating more fresh foods than pre-prepared, shelf-stable AIP foods. But you’ll still want plenty of flavor boosters and snacks, so you don’t get bored or resort to non-AIP food in a pinch. Plus, you may enjoy experimenting with AIP baking, so you may want to stock up on AIP baking supplies for a little treat once in awhile!
So let’s get started stocking your AIP pantry!
First, get rid of the inflammatory foods
First, make room for all your tasty new AIP foods in your pantry by getting rid of the items that are not AIP or Paleo-compliant that you’ll never use again. Get a box or bag and fill it with any inflammatory foods you currently have in your cupboard. Highly-processed breads, pastas, flours and treats containing gluten or a long list of ingredients are out forever. As are inflammatory nut, seed and vegetable oils (especially canola). Highly-processed sugars and sugar substitutes can also go in this box. Donate to your local food pantry, if you can, but get it out of the house as soon as possible.
If someone in your household will continue to use these products, just make sure they are separated from your foods. Especially if you have celiac, I highly recommend your entire house be gluten-free. It is just too easy to spread gluten without even realizing it, and any amount of cross-contact could be detrimental to your health. Especially with flours and baking products. We all know the plume of flour that erupts like a mushroom cloud when we bake. It’s better to just never have to worry about it. Trust me.
Store the foods you will reintroduce later
Let’s be honest: the AIP elimination phase is pretty restrictive. But the good news is you’ll likely be able to reintroduce a lot of foods back into your diet at a later date. For now, store these foods out of reach, so you’re not tempted by them while you go through the elimination phase. Foods like nuts, seeds, coffee, chocolate and nightshade, seed and berry spices can go in a box that you can hide in a closet until you’re ready to start reintroductions. No need to throw them out if you may be able to eat them in the near future.
The same rule applies to this box as the last: even if someone else in your household will be eating these foods, keep them separate from yours so they’re not staring you in the face every time you open the pantry. I still have these foods in my pantry, because my husband eats them, but they are on separate shelves designated for non-AIP foods, so I don’t even look on those shelves when I open the pantry.
Stock your AIP pantry
Finally! Let’s get started stocking your AIP pantry! If you have already been eating a fairly healthy, whole foods or Paleo diet, you likely have a lot of these ingredients already. I recommend stocking up on the essentials that you’ll use often, and only stocking up on other items as you need them. For instance, you may not need all the baking supplies until you have a specific AIP baking recipe to follow. AIP baking is a tough nut to crack, so it will be difficult to substitute ingredients if you don’t have what the recipe calls for. For example, don’t stock up on Tigernut flour if all the AIP baking recipes you find call for cassava flour. They are not interchangeable, unfortunately. Purchase what you need to get started and build from there.
Where to find AIP Pantry Staples
Your favorite grocery store, Whole Foods, New Seasons or Natural Grocers
Most neighborhood grocery stores will have most of what you need for your AIP pantry staples. There are a few specialty items that many grocery stores don’t carry, but many health food stores like Whole Foods, New Seasons or Natural Grocers will have lots of options.
My favorite place to get AIP pantry staples is ShopAIP. It really is an amazing resource for those of us following AIP! Everything on their website is categorized by the phase of AIP you’re in. So, if you’re in the elimination phase, you can search for foods that qualify for AIP elimination. If you’re in stage 1 of reintroductions, you can search for foods that are stage 1 compliant, and so forth. No more spending hours scouring food labels and second-guessing your choices! They also have a Paleo category, if you’re not following AIP, but are following Paleo. And they have tons of specialty items that are super difficult to find anywhere else.
Most of the items linked in this post are to ShopAIP pages. I compared their prices to Amazon and ShopAIP was less expensive for most items. Sometimes, significantly so (as in 4x!). If, however, items are less expensive on Amazon at the time of this writing, I linked to their Amazon pages.
(All product links in this post are affiliate links. See here for my affiliate disclosure).
Thrive Market is also a really great resource for pantry staples, whether following AIP or not. All of the foods they carry are non-GMO, they carry organic whenever possible, and you can also filter results by “values” such as AIP, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, etc. You can also get items other than pantry staples, such as cleaning products, personal care products, supplements, and even frozen meat and seafood. Plus, all of their items are offered at a discount of 25-50% off what you’d find at other retailers.
You do have to sign up for a membership (which is about $5/month), but for every membership purchased, they offer a free membership to a low-income family, student, teacher, veteran, or first responder. Plus, if you have an annual membership and you don’t make back your membership fee in savings, they’ll give you store credit to make up the difference. Plus, there’s a 30-day risk-free cancellation period, if you decide it’s not for you. You really can’t lose! Click here (affiliate link) for 25% off your first order and a FREE gift when you join Thrive Market (1 year and 1 month memberships available)!
Many of these AIP pantry staples can also be found on Amazon, as well. Though, I have found it much more difficult to find what I need lately, and the prices are all over the place. Sadly, many items are twice as much as they used to be, or no longer available. Though, Amazon is still a great resource for many of these items. Especially if you already have a Prime account. I often buy AroyD coconut milk and canned seafood from Amazon, because I can buy it in bulk.
AIP Pantry Staples
*Always read labels carefully and avoid anything with additives, preservatives, chemicals, gluten-containing ingredients, or added sugars.*
- Canned protein
- Shelf-stable fruits and vegetables
- Artichoke hearts
- Hearts of palm – I love slicing these up and adding them to salads for extra texture!
- Canned pumpkin, butternut squash, and/or sweet potato puree – great for baking recipes as well as mousses and puddings.
- Olives (all varieties)
- Applesauce – great for baking as well as just eating with a spoon.
- Collagen peptides – I use this all the time in smoothies, drinks and baking recipes for a boost of collagen protein for healthy hair, skin, nails and gut lining.
- Beef gelatin – Great for thickening sauces and making AIP-friendly gelatin treats and mousses.
- Bone broth (or make your own. It’s super easy!)
- Pasta alternatives: Kelp noodles, Miracle noodles or Jovial cassava pastas – fusilli, orzo, penne, elbows, spaghetti
Oils, Vinegars and Flavorings
- AIP-friendly oils & fats
- Coconut oil – great for cooking with, or making AIP treats.
- Avocado oil – great for cooking with, or making salad dressings.
- Extra virgin olive oil – great for salad dressings or low-heat cooking.
- Palm shortening (please choose sustainably harvested) – perfect for a butter substitute in AIP baking or making frosting. It’s also great fat for deep frying.
- Tallow, lard, and/or duck fat – the best fats for cooking with.
- Balsamic vinegar (avoid any with added sugars or colorings)
- Herbs & Spices – great for adding flavor and nutrients when fresh herbs aren’t available. There are also pre-made AIP spice mixes, but I prefer to mix my own (for flavor & cost reasons). Having lots of flavoring options goes a long way in helping prevent food boredom on AIP. Be sure to stock up!
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves
- Garlic powder
- Ground ginger
- Ground mace
- Onion powder
- Minced onion
- Ground sage
- Coconut aminos – the perfect substitute for soy sauce.
- Red Boat fish sauce – gives an added umami flavor to Asian dishes. Especially when combined with coconut aminos.
- Non-fortified nutritional yeast – great for adding a cheesy flavor to AIP dishes, or sprinkling on top of roasted veggies and salads.
- Vanilla powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract
- Seaweed – try dulse, nori or a seaweed mix
- Pre-made AIP-friendly sauces, such as marinara, BBQ, dijon, salsa, etc.
- Real wasabi and/or real horseradish – these are great for adding a bit of spice when nightshade spices are off the table.
- Coconut milk & coconut cream (look for ones with no gums or sweeteners)
- Shredded coconut/coconut chips
- Coconut butter/manna
- Coconut wraps/Cassava wraps
AIP Baking Products
- AIP flours (you may not need all of these, but they are helpful for many AIP baking recipes)
- Tigernut flour
- Cassava flour
- Coconut flour
- Arrowroot starch/powder/flour and/or Tapioca starch/powder/flour
- Carob powder
- Baking soda
- Cream of tartar (for making AIP baking powder)
- Active dry yeast
- Maple syrup
- Honey (or, preferably, buy honey local to your region)
- Medjool dates
- Blackstrap molasses
- Coconut sugar
- Herbal teas (Numi is my favorite brand and Rooibos is my favorite tea, but there are lots of herbal teas you can drink on AIP)
- Black tea
- Coconut water
- Seltzer waters (steer clear of ones with added flavors and sugars)
- Matcha powder
- Coffee substitutes, such as Sip Herbals or Coffig. Pro tip: Sip Herbals has some amazing flavors (other than their original flavor) like Mocha, Salted Caramel, and Dirty Chai.
AIP Snacks & Additional Items
These AIP snacks are not required, by any means. But if you are a snacker, it’s a great idea to have a few AIP-approved snacks on hand, so you don’t resort to non-AIP snacks when you’re hungry.
Additionally, the number of AIP-approved snacks, treats and baking mixes seems to grow by the day! Be sure to check out ShopAIP for some awesome options you probably didn’t even realize were available!
- Paleo Power Balls (AIP variety pack)
- Plantain chips
- Cassava chips
- Sweet potato chips (Ingredients should just be sweet potatoes, coconut oil and salt. Jackson’s Honest is a great brand, as is Thrive Market)
- LesserEvil Paleo Puffs
- Dried fruits (avoid any with added sugars or preservatives. Steve’s PaleoGoods has some great options)
- Peeled, chopped and/or sliced tigernuts
- Meat snacks:
A Final Note
Hopefully this AIP pantry staples list is helpful and doesn’t overwhelm you. Don’t feel like you need to purchase every single thing on it, especially if you don’t have the means to do so, or the space to store it all. Buy a few basics and gradually try new things as you learn more about what works for you.
Did you stock up on anything I don’t have in my list? Let me know in the comments!