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10 Essential Foods for the Traditional Foods Kitchen

Watch the 10 Essential Foods for the Traditional Foods Kitchen video

In my latest video, I review all 10 essential traditional foods that are must-haves for the traditional foods kitchen. And good news! These foods are all readily available at your local grocery store! No need to order anything online or visit a specialty grocery store.

In this blog post, I highlight a few of those essential foods from my video and provide you with detailed step-by-step instructional videos to help you learn more. These foods and the ones you create will keep your four corners pantry, from your refrigerator to your main kitchen pantry, well-stocked for healthy and happy future meals.

Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

Roast Chicken

For those of you have been with me awhile, this essential food will come as no surprise! 😉 First and foremost on your grocery list as you begin to stock your traditional foods kitchen should be a whole chicken.

If you’ve never roasted a whole chicken, I will show you how easy it is. So be brave and buy that whole chicken, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to have one of the most delicious home-cooked meals that you, your family, and friends are absolutely going to love.

And don’t worry if the chicken that you buy is not perfect. It’s OK if it’s not organic or pasture-raised. Buy a chicken that you can afford—one that is in your grocery budget. Do not overspend. Overspending only causes stress, which is terrible for digestion…not to mention your overall health. Buy a whole chicken, roast it, and serve it with love. Roasting a whole chicken is one of the best actions you can take to begin your journey to creating a traditional foods kitchen.

And when you’re all done enjoying your roast chicken, save the carcass and make Roast Chicken Bone Broth. This bone broth will literally cost you pennies a jar, and it’s a wonderful way to add a gelatin-rich, gut-lovin’ food to your diet.

Milk and Yogurt

When it comes to dairy, if it agrees with you, buy whatever whole milk you can find. Yes, I like raw best, but if you can’t find raw milk, don’t worry. Even if all you can find is ultra-pasteurized milk, buy it. But while you’re at it, also buy a small carton of plain yogurt with active cultures. You are going to use that yogurt to culture your ultra-pasteurized milk to make it more nutritious!

Whole milk is so versatile. You can also use whole milk to make a whole host of other homemade items that you would normally have to buy at the grocery store. With your carton of milk, in addition to making homemade yogurt, you can also make evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Plus, if you want to take your yogurt one step further, you can turn it into a homemade probiotic-rich “mock” cream cheese. What you can do with a carton of milk will definitely surprise you!

Flour and Sourdough

Yes, I am going to tell you to buy a bag of all-purpose “white” flour. What did I just say? Yes, you heard that right! I am actually recommending that you purchase white flour! Trust me. I have my reasons.

When you begin your journey from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen, one of the best things you can do (in addition to roasting a whole chicken!) is to start making your own bread. If you have been eating grocery store sandwich bread, you really need to start with a simple homemade sandwich bread before trying to bake a 100% whole grain bread.

And making homemade sandwich bread is A LOT EASIER than you think. Once you make my No Knead Sandwich Bread, you won’t look back. You’ll never buy sandwich bread in a plastic bag from the grocery store again!

As you master your bread baking skills, you can gradually upgrade your baking by creating a sourdough starter. In my Complete Sourdough Starter Guide, I walk you through the entire process step-by-step to make it as easy as possible for you. And once you have your starter all frothy and bubbly, you can make my simple No Knead Sourdough Bread. You’ll be taking the all-purpose flour that you initially bought and turning it into something very nutritious—just like you did with your ultra-pasteurized milk!

Plus, I also share in one of the videos below what I like to call my “Busy Mother’s Sourdough Secret.” If you are nervous about trying your hand at making a sourdough starter, or if you are struggling with getting one started, this video is for you!


Oatmeal is definitely an essential food that you should be stocking in your traditional foods kitchen. You can choose from old-fashioned rolled oats or steel-cut oats, which are both easy to find in the cereal aisle at your local grocery store.

And if your grocer has a bulk bin section, be sure to look for oat groats, which are the whole oats. No matter which type of oats you decide to buy, they are nutritious and make a wonderful breakfast to help wean you off boxed cereals.

Apple Cider Vinegar

In my essential traditional foods video, I talk about adding butter and oils to your pantry. You can also add vinegar. You can buy apple cider vinegar from the store, but if you’d like to create it yourself, I show you how to make it homemade in this three-part series.

A Final Word About Traditional Foods

The most important thing to keep in mind as you begin making the transition from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen is to always shop for foods that are within your grocery budget. Do not feel the need to have everything be “perfect.” Start with basic foods that are in your budget and that are also easy to find at your local grocery store.

When you transition slowly from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen, you are much more likely to be successful in incorporating real foods into your daily home-cooked meals than if you try to rush. For example, if you and your family are used to eating a boxed rice mix with lots of artificial flavors to stimulate the palette and you suddenly put plain brown rice on the table, there will be some frowns and raised eyebrows!

Try to incorporate traditional foods from your pantry slowly. For your first rice dish, you can simply start with plain white rice that you have sautéed in butter with some sea salt and your own dried herbs and then cooked in bone broth. It’s very likely that everyone will find your rice to be delicious and won’t notice that the rice didn’t come from a box. Now that’s a success!

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

Kitchen Academy Videos

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? If so, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

In following members-only video, I talk about the stocking the traditional foods pantry.

Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

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Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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