Ingredients Guide

Given the vast number of emails, posts and comments I get asking “what are those strange ingredients and where do I get them?”, I have a suspicion that a lot of you will find this Ingredients Guide totally useful.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

There’s a few ingredients in my recipes that you may not be familiar with.  They make healthy eating easier, and in the case of baked goods especially, they make eating healthy possible.  So we love them.  There aren’t many, and I try very hard to minimize the number of new things you need to stock your pantry with to enjoy a healthy eating lifestyle; but there’s a few things we need to bridge the gap.  So here’s the brands I use and where to get them.

What are those strange ingredients and where do you get them?  These are your new pantry staples!! Welcome to your handy-dandy Ingredients Guide.



Allulose is a natural rare sugar used as a natural sugar alternative that has no impact on insulin or blood sugar. Amazon: allulose


Almond Flour / Ground Almonds / Blanched Almond Meal (white)

Almond Flour is almonds that are ground after the skins have been removed, and they are creamy-white in color.  Almonds with the skins removed are also called Blanched Almonds.  I use almond flour (ground almonds, blanched almond flour) a lot in baked goods.  Almond flour is not regularly available in most grocery stores in the US, although it is sold in all supermarkets as ground almonds and / or blanched almond meal in the UK and Australia.  Because it is not easy to find in regular stores in the US, and because I get through huge quantities as I develop and test new recipes for you, I buy it online and in bulk because it’s a lot cheaper per pound that way.  I store it in the freezer.  The brand I use is Honeyville, because it is the best there is in the US.  I buy the 25lb box, but it is also available in smaller quantities.  You can also purchase almond flour in several stores that have the bulk-buy bins – PCC, Whole Foods, etc.  iHerb:  almond flour  Amazon: almond flour


Almond Meal / Natural (or Raw) Almond Flour (speckled brown and white)

Almond Meal is almonds that are ground with the skins still on, and they are speckled white and brown in color.  You cannot swap these in recipes that call for almond flour as the skins have a material effect on the result, so make sure you use the kind that a recipe states.  Almond meal is readily available online.  In the US you can buy it at Trader Joe’s and many regular grocery stores, especially those with bulk bins.  You may also find it called Natural or Raw Almond Flour.  Amazon: almond meal


Apple Cider Vineger (ACV)

Apple Cider Vinegar is magical, and you can read about it’s powers all over the interwebs.  The mother of all ACVs (hands up if you get the pun!) is Bragg’s, and it’s what I use.  Amazon: apple cider vinegar


Avocado Oil / Avocado Oil Spray

Avocado oil is a great oil for cooking because it is extremely stable when heated and can withstand very high temperatures.  It is full of omega-3 fatty acids and has a very light flavor, so whatever you use it with not be altered by the taste of the oil.  It is readily available online.  iHerb:  avocado oil  Amazon: avocado oil

Avocado oil is also available as a spray, for handy dandy prep of baking trays and anywhere else you would use a spray oil.  Amazon: avocado oil spray


Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are readily available online, and increasingly available in regular grocery stores.  Trader Joe’s, PCC, Whole Foods, and most stores that have bulk bins have them. Black or white, chia seeds are all-awesome.  Don’t worry about the tiny nutritional differences between the two.  iHerb: chia seeds  Amazon: chia seeds


Cocoa Powder / Cacao

Cocoa Powder is roasted cocoa beans, with much of the cocoa butter removed, ground into a powder – not to be confused with hot chocolate mix or sweetened cocoa powder.  Because I am a chocolate snob and a pastry chef I use Valrhona cocoa powder – it is the best in the world – and I buy it online in bulk because it is a lot cheaper that way.  Other brands of cocoa powder are readily available online.  You can also find cocoa powder in most regular grocery stores.  Just be careful to check the label and only buy unsweetened.  iHerb:  cocoa powder  Amazon: cocoa powder


Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are smashed up roasted cocoa beans.  If you just finished reading about cocoa powder above, it will not surprise you in the least to know that I use Valrhona cocoa nibs and I buy them online and in bulk because it’s cheaper that way.  Other brands of cocoa nibs are readily available online.  In the US you can find cocoa nibs at Trader Joe’s, PCC, and Whole Foods, and increasingly in the “natural” or “health food” sections of regular grocery stores.  Make sure they contain nothing but cocoa beans.  iHerb:  cocoa nibs  Amazon: cocoa nibs


Coconut Flour

Used to partially replace wheat flours in baking, coconut flour is a tricky little devil, and needs care when using, because it sucks up water like blotting paper and can make a big mess of your baking. Use it cautiously unless you have a great recipe that you know works.  Swapping out coconut flour for wheat flour or almond flour will almost always end in tears otherwise. A little goes a very long way, so I wouldn’t buy too much at one time.  Keep it in the freezer.  iHerb:  coconut flour  Amazon: coconut flour


Coconut Milk – THICK / Coconut Cream / Cream of Coconut

Thick Coconut Milk aka Coconut Cream or Cream of Coconut is coconut meat made into a thick, creamy paste.  It gets tricky because coconut milk and coconut cream seem to have a huge variety of meanings to different people.  When I include “thick coconut milk” in a recipe I am referring to the coconut milk that comes in a can and is extremely thick, and it is unsweetened.  If you open the can without shaking it, you have an almost solid white mass with some clear “water” on the top.  You can find other brands in regular grocery stores, and also in specialty stores such as Asian and Indian.  I use Thai Kitchen brand.  Amazon: thick coconut milk


Coconut Milk – THIN

When I use “thin coconut milk” in a recipe I am referring to the coconut milk that comes in a carton and is exactly like cows milk in color and thickness.  Coconut Milk is the #1 cows milk alternative.  I use Trader Joe’s brand, but most supermarkets have other brands.  Always make sure it is unsweetened.


Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the #1 oil for cooking.  It is very stable when heated and does not taste of coconut, although you will doubt that until you’ve tried it because it smells heavily of coconut.  Coconut oil is packed with MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which are highly beneficial to our bodies.  It is readily available online.  You can buy coconut oil in most grocery stores.  Check the cooking oil section, or the natural food section.  Amazon: coconut oil


Coconut Oil Spray

Coconut Oil Spray is used to grease baking trays and dishes for baking.  It is readily available online.  You can also buy this is regular grocery stores and you will find it along with the other baking oil sprays.  Amazon: coconut oil spray


Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Cold brew coffee concentrate is a great way to get some coffee in your cooking without brewing your own and then chilling it. Being concentrated you also use less to get the same intensity of flavor.  It also has a very smooth flavor because it is not heated like regular brewed coffee.  I use Trader Joe’s. Because Trader Joe’s.  Amazon: cold brew coffee concentrate


Egg Whites – powdered

Absolutely the easiest and cheapest way to get egg whites is to use them in powdered form.  They are readily available online.  Reconstituted they work exactly like regular egg whites  – they even make great meringue – except you don’t have to crack them and separate them, and you don’t get left with a whole pile of egg yolks.  iHerb:  egg white powder  Amazon: egg white powder



Erythritol is a natural sweetener to replace sugar. There are many erythritol “blends” on the market now, such as Swerve and Pyure, but these are a lot more expensive for no extra benefit. Many of them also contain other ingredients which may or may not be beneficial to you health-wise, so I recommend sticking with plain erythritol – way cheaper and now hidden nasties. I typically use Now brand erythritol. iHerb:  erythritol   Amazon:  erythritol


Espresso Powder

For a deep, dark espresso flavor without the hassle (or water) involved in brewing beans, some of my recipes utilize espresso powder.  I use Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee in my recipes – it has a great flavor and is a great price compared to many others available. Amazon: espresso coffee powder


Extracts / essences

Extracts and essences are concentrated natural flavors – the base used is typically either alcohol or oil – that allow the addition of a whole lot of flavor without adding a whole ton of stuff.  Extracts are regulated and required to be made from things that were once alive and kicking, so extracts are not a chemical s*** storm like imitation flavors.  My go-to source for extracts is Olive Nation, which you can get for the same price from Amazon but without the shipping. Amazon: extracts



Amazon: Gelatin


Glucomannan Powder

Glucomannan Powder or Konjac Flour is a fiber made from Konjac Root and it is my go-to thickener instead of corn starch (cornflour) or wheat flour in sauces and gravies.  It is readily available online.  You use much less glucomannan than you would use corn starch or flour, so a little goes a very long way.  iHerb:  konjac/glucomannan  Amazon: konjac/glucomannan


Glycerin / glycerine

Glycerin is a sugar alcohol that has a negligible glycemic load, being digested differently to regular sugars.  Glycerin is 60% as sweet as regular sugar, and derived from fats, typically coconut if it is vegetable glycerin.  Glycerin performs wizardry in recipes where it is included.  Yes, I know you are a little wary of strange ingredients you haven’t used before, but you cannot swap out or leave out the glycerin from a recipe and still get a successful result.  The recipes that use it rely on it to do their thing. I use vegetable glycerin in my recipes – make sure it is food grade – which is readily available online if you cannot find it in local stores.  In stores it’s best to just ask because sometimes it is with the skin care, sometimes it is with the supplements, sometimes with the first aid, and sometimes in the pharmacy.  This stuff gets around a bit. I use Now brand. iHerb:  vegetable glycerine  Amazon: vegetable glycerine


Guar Gum

Guar Gum is an emulsifier and thickener.  It is readily available online.  In the US you can find it in a lot of grocery stores now.  It is not cheap, but you use tiny amounts in recipes so it will last you a long, long time.  Store in an air-tight jar.  iHerb:  guar gum  Amazon: guar gum


Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is cows milk alternative made from hemp seed.  It has a slightly thicker texture and a few caramel-y undertones.  I use this in dessert and other sweet recipes rather than savory dishes.  I use this mainly for various flavors of ice cream.  It is readily available online.  In the US it is increasingly available in grocery stores.  Amazon: hemp milk


Nature’s Hollow is the brand of jams recommended and used in Kim’s recipes.


Kirsch (Cherry Liqueur)

Licensing laws prevent internet sales of booze, so for this you’ll have to wander down to your grocery or liqueur store.  Unless you are going to use it for drinking as well as cooking, I suggest getting a mini bottle since the quantities involved in each recipe are very small.


Konjac Flour

See Glucomannan Powder (above).  iHerb:  konjac/glucomannan  Amazon: konjac/glucomannan


Liquid Smoke

Liquid Smoke is not, as you might suppose, some chemical s*** storm of noxiousness. It is smoke that has been condensed into a liquid and bottled – literally liquid smoke. I use Wright’s Hickory Liquid Smoke in my recipes.  Amazon: liquid smoke



MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. MCT Oil is a great source of good fats for energy and helping folks get into ketosis. It is mainly used as an additive to coffee.  I use Now brand.  iHerb:  MCT Oil  Amazon: MCT OIL


Pork Panko

Amazon: pork panko


Psyllium Powder

Amazon: psyllium powder


Stevia Glycerite

Amazon: stevia glycerite


Sugar-free Syrups

By sugar-free syrups I am referring to the clear syrups sold primarily to flavor coffee and other beverages.  These are readily available online.  In the US you can buy them at Starbucks and many grocery stores such as Safeway, Fred Meyers, IGA,etc.  Amazon: sugar-free syrups



Erythritol is a natural sweetener to replace sugar. There are many erythritol “blends” on the market now, such as Swerve and Kim does specify Swerve in some of her recipes. Amazon: Swerve


Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum is a thickener and stabilizer.  It is readily available online.  In the US you can find it in a lot of grocery stores – PCC, Whole Foods, Safeway, IGA, etc.  It is not cheap, but you use tiny amounts in recipes so it will last you a long, long time.  Store in an air-tight jar.  iHerb:  xanthan gum  Amazon:  xanthan gum



Xylitol is a natural sweetener to replace sugar.  It is readily available online.  I buy it in bulk because I get through so much of it in recipe development that it is a lot cheaper per pound that way.  Make sure that you get xylitol that is made from birch bark and not corn.  I typically use Xyla brand xylitol.  NOTE: Like chocolate, xylitol is harmful to dogs, so please be sure to keep any xylitol-containing goodies away from them!  iHerb:  xylitol   Amazon:  xylitol


What did I forget? See something in one of my recipes that is strange to you?  Let me know and I’ll add it to the Ingredients Guide above!



Note: using these links to make your purchases *may* result in me receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you), which will help enormously in being able to maintain this site and create new recipes for you.  The costs of running this site and developing recipes come entirely out of my own pocket.  The purpose of this site has never been – and never will be – to make money, however, I would hugely appreciate your support by using these links, so that I can continue to produce delicious and nutritious recipes and other content for you for free, and also avoid the use of those wildly annoying ads for stuff you don’t want.  Thank you!








Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • gabi - Hey Carrie! I was just thinking about emailing you to ask about all this info you just shared :) Visionary !!!!! :) Would you mind adding COCOA to the list? Thanks a lot! and have a SANE week :)ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - Carrie – love your posts and recipes, thanks so much for developing and sharing! Please remind your readers that xylitol is EXTREMELY poisonous to dogs. Even a very small amount can quickly cause liver damage and other issues. Not a good thing if you have a counter-surfer like me. Not that I want to share my SANE goodies!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer H - Awesome list, Carrie. So helpful. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Janknitz - The term “coconut cream” can be so confusing! Let’s Do Organic (brand name) sells boxes of “coconut cream” which are solid blocks at room temperature. Other companies sell the same stuff (for a lot more money) in jars as “coconut butter”. But you can mix some of the coconut cream/coconut butter with warm water, and get a creamy consistency that the company recommends using in recipes like curry.

    I make your hot chocolate with LDO’s coconut cream now. When I soften the block, I pour the coconut cream/butter into ice cube molds for easier use. The cubes (mine are fish-shaped!) stay solid at room temperature (at least this winter they are!) and I can just grab a fish and drop it in with my cocoa and sweetener for almost instant SANE hot chocolate.

    I consider the canned stuff you call coconut cream as coconut milk–but the solid part of that can full is the coconut cream you refer to. The coconut milk sold in paper cartons and steri-packs usually has a lot of additives, so it’s to be used with caution.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Janknitz – yes! So confusing! Trader Joe’s cartonned milk is good, and cheap, so it is what I use. All other brands you need to read the labels first to be sure of what you’re getting. Wish coconut products weren’t so complicated by the manufacturers!ReplyCancel

  • Lorriew - What a brilliant idea to post this, your a mind reader :-)
    Thank you Carrie BrownReplyCancel

  • Meghann - Thank you Carrie.
    One you didn’t mention was psyllium husks (sp?). If your goal is to make broccoli soup the same gloppy consistency of mayonnaise, then this soluble fibre is your ticket home. Ooops.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Meghann (I have not forgotten your email!) – I have not used psyllium husks in any recipes, so have not included here. If that changes, I will add for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Hey Carrie,

    Totally down with the Valrhona chocolate!!!!! If one is going to indulge in your fabulous cookies they need to use great chocolate.

    A Trader Joe’s is coming to my town soon and I’m so looking forward to it.

    Because some of these ingredients are pricey I am happy Costco has extra virgin coconut oil in a 2 qt container, unsweetened coconut milk and flaxmeal. Love the idea of getting the bulk almond flour but do you think it needs to be frozen/refrigerated if one isn’t baking on the scale you do?

    I can’t find the bulk size of Xyla on the website.

    Do you know if there is much difference between the vanilla ice cream and french vanilla creme ON Whey powders? I wish they just had one called vanilla.

    Finally, I would love to know more about using chia seeds. As if you didn’t have enough to do!

    P.S. Yummy lunch featuring your lasagna, might have to have it for dinner too.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Nancy – you will LOVE Trader Joe’s! So much great, cheap goodness coming your way. I freeze my almond flour / almond mean even though I use it so much. Frozen is best for nuts. I would say there is an undiscernable difference between the two ON vanilla whey powders. I have no idea why they do two! I will add chia to the post – thanks for the reminder :-) I admit, I love my lasagna too.ReplyCancel

  • Tara - Thanks for this list Carrie! Very helpful!

    I can’t remember where I read it, but I thought Jonathan was fairly adamant that we get non-dutch-processed cocoa (looks like Valrhona is dutched). Has he softened on this issue, or are the flavors of Valrhona just worth it?

    NANCY… You can get Xyla in bulk here: (Carrie recommended this site in a blog post a while ago)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Tara – Jonathan has not softened – there’s a few things we differ slightly on and cocoa powder is one of them. I will write you a full answer on our differing views as soon as I can. I use Valrhona for flavor, consistency and usability :-)ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Thank you Carrie – I especially like the info on syrups – after my chocolate syrup debacle! I feel a shopping spree coming on! You’re awesome. :)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ellen – your syrup mishap inspired me to get this up ASAP. Hope it helps!ReplyCancel

  • Claire Lucas - Hi Carrie,

    Well I’m in the UK, and have to get my products from a variety of sources!! I use Holland and Barrett for xylitol (called Total Sweet), chai seeds and cocoa nibs. Cocoa I get from the supermarket, but as you say, you have to check the labels. The only one I have found so far has been Green and Blacks, which you can’t always buy. I also buy xanthum gum at the supermarket in the ‘free from’ aisle. Coconut cream is readily available in the supermarket, as is coconut cream and coconut oil.

    As for sugar free syrups and guar gum – please help me UK readers/listeners as I can’t find where to get these from!!

    Whey protein – I’ve used Maximuscle up to now, but with the advice above I can get the Optimum Nutrition on subscription from Amazon so will be doing that as soon as my stocks run out – which won’t be long as I eat green smoothies at least once per day!!

    Thanks again Carrie, you’re amazing!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Claire – HUGE thanks for the info on the UK!! There is a brand of sugar-free syrups on Amazon UK called Sweetbird – check those out! Guar gum is also available on Amazon UK, just do a search for it and several brands pop up. Looks like you’re an Amazon shopper, so that would be the easiest route until someone helps us with a retail location. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • sarah - For those in Australia, I will add my 2 cents! I buy a lot of these things from They ship to Australia for $4 to $6, provided the package is less than 4 lbs. And even with that shipping, things are about 1/2 the price that they are in Australia (which is the most expensive place I’ve ever lived!).

    As for cacao nibs, you can buy those from lots of health food stores and from iHerb, or you can get them from an online retailer like (they call them cocoa nibs). 2brothers has thinks like almond meal, coconut flour, chia seeds, flaxseeds, nuts, etc. as well.

    For whey, I highly recommend Professional Whey (, as there are now customs restrictions on bringing whey in the country. Professional whey is an Australian company that sells Australian, New Zealand, and US Whey. All are unsweetened and unflavoured 100% whey. You can buy flavouring packets which are completely pure. I love the vanilla powder which is just pure vanilla bean powder. I use it in baking as well. They also sell stevia there, though I haven’t tried that brand and stevia can vary widely by source. Oh, and they have chia seeds!

    For Xylitol, there’s Naturally Sweet brand. You can find out where it’s sold near you here:

    Xanthan and guar gums are a bit tricky. I usually have to buy them at the local health food shop, but I have found them in the health food aisle of Coles and Woolies every now and again. You can also buy chia seeds at Coles and Woolies, but the price is a complete rip off and I wouldn’t recommend it.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sarah – HUGE thanks for this info! Fantastic about iHerb – plus you can get guar and xanthan gums there too if anyone is having issues finding it in a retail store. You are right on Stevia – so many different brands and they are NOT all the same – manufacturers can be very tricky :-( Huge appreciation for you taking the time to share this info – THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Forgot to mention, my local World Market/Cost Plus has a big selection of the sugar-free Torani syrups. I paid as much for a big bottle there as a small one cost elsewhere.ReplyCancel

  • Ladyp1234 - This is fantastic, will save hours of searching the Internet.
    i had been going to ask you which flavoured whey you use because I can really taste the sweetener in the 100% gold standard optimum nutrition, particularly in your yogurt recipe and in Jonathan’s fudge brownie. :-((((! I thought I’d read somewhere that you didn’t like the taste of sweeteners other than xylitol so I’m surprised that’s the one you use.
    Btw my order of xylitol arrived today so I can make more almond cookies, hooray!!
    Is garbanzo flour the same as chickpea flour?
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ladyp – I use this brand because Jonathan said so ;-) Yes garbanzo is also known as chick pea. HURRAH for Almond Cookies!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - Hi Carrie,
    I just wanted to tell you that I made your nutty cereal this morning, and it was delicious! I miss oatmeal, but your creation helped to fill that void for me. Also, I just made your sour cream and chive biscuits this afternoon and I am in love… Everything I have made from your website thus far is so tasty (“rice pudding”, ridiculously amazing chocolate cookies, chocolate pudding). I really, really appreciate all of your hard work. Sometimes I fall off the bandwagon and eat some ice cream, but your recipes help me to be more sane by giving me healthy options on the old insane favorites. 1000 thank you’s!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ann – I love that you love the Nutty Cereal! It totally fills the porridge void for me too :-) And I do love those biscuits too!!! THANK YOU for your kind words. DOn’t worry too much about the ice cream. Enjoy a dish and then go back to the SANE stuff – you’ll be fine!! I am working on SANE ice cream by the way.ReplyCancel

  • Sharlene - This is exactly the info I needed! Thank you so much!!!ReplyCancel

  • Chad - Hi Carrie — I noticed that that particular brand of whey protein is sweetened with Acesulfame Potassium (ace-K): not a good artificial sweetener. My preferred brand is Jay Robb: it’s sweetened with stevia and uses non-soy lecithin.

    Thanks for the list! We use everything except the gums — off to shop for those now….ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Chad – thanks for swinging by! I trust that JB has great reasons to use the ON whey that he does – I just cannot remember what those reasons are :-( I’ll get a reminder next time we’re in the studio recording.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Was at Costco yesterday and discovered they are demo-ing (not sure how to spell that) chia seeds. I recently learned that all those product samples one sees at Costco are run by an independent company. Regional Costco’s evaluate sales of these demos to decide what to carry.

    Anyway, I bought a bag. Looks like it’s a mixture of white and black seeds and I think it will last a long time :)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Go, Nancy! My chia seed porridge remains one of my favorite things to eat!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - Thanks very much for the info. Tried buying “gum gar” in the grocery last week. Got a funny look from the manager. Now, I’ll buy ghar gum online. No funny looks — and what I need. Ha! :0)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Glad you found it, Ann! Have fun making yummy SANE stuff now :-)ReplyCancel

  • What’s in my cupboards? » Carrie Brown | Marmalade and Mileposts - […] What are those strange ingredients and where do I get them? […]ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Hey Carrie,

    Had to pop on and say I bought a 5 lb bag of Xyla. I still have a little bit left in the bag of Truvia so I was able to taste them side by side. WHAT a difference! Truvia – yuk, Xyla – YES. (Although bummer because I can get Truvia at Costco for a lot less.)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - NANCY – HURRAH!!!! Truvia is NASTY!!! You’ll never look back.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Hi,

    I just found your site, it is amazing !
    I live in Ireland and I was wondering where you buy your Shirataki noodles… I can;t find them anywhere here and I don;t feel like paying 10 euro for 2 small bags :(

    Thanks for your help!ReplyCancel

  • Britton... - Carrie,

    Simply awesome info!

    Thanks so much for your diligent work.


  • Toya Ann Brown - Hi Carrie, BTW your FUNNEEEEE!

    Now on to my question.

    How do you decide whether you are using Xantham Gum or Guar Gum. With Xantham being a corn derivative and guar gum being a Bean derivative?

    Just wondering….It seems to me that the Guar gum would be a better choice because of the fiber.

    Your thoughtsReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Toya! Guar gum works best in cold applications and xanthan gum works best in hot. The amount you consume per serving is miniscule, so please don’t worry about it from the perspective of more fiber, or the corn / bean thing. Hope that helps! I am glad I make you laugh :-)ReplyCancel

  • Gilly - Can you advise me , in UK the 100 % gold standard whey Vanilla contains sucralose is this a problem? the ingrediants can be found at the link below it doesn’t seem to be the same as the USA version. Other varieties if you research well are sweetened with fructose! it’s a mine field. are there any unsweetened ones you have heard of?

    • carrie - Gilly – I am so sorry I missed your question – apologies!! Sucralose is probably the best you are going to get in terms of artifical sweeteners, and I expect the amount is so small it’s not worth worrying about. This is what I would use if I were in the UK. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Fiona - Hello from glorious Devon, uk!! Thanks for all your great work, Carrie. I need to ask, ON protein powder is your recommended choice, but has Acesulfame K. Is this not a bad sweetener? Would it be better to use another brand? Or is there a reason it’s ok? Is Acesulfame K actually an ok sweetener? Thanks for helping me in my confusion!! XReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hello, delicious Devon! Whey protein powders are so tricky, and you have to do the best you can. This is what JB and I use. It is not perfect. More important is the quality of the whey protein and the lack of sugars in it, and the reasonable price. The amount of AceK you would consume with one serving is tiny. I am not sure if that answered your question, but I hope it helps!ReplyCancel

  • julie - Hi Carrie – I struck out on konjac powder today locally in bellevue/redmond. I tried super supplements and whole foods but no luck (and they thought I was crazy at both). Is there a substitute for it that I can use in the lasagna soup for tonight? Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Rod & Kathy: “We’re Not Dieting, We’re Eating Healthy!” » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] lived with the kitchen counters amassed high with all sorts of bags that had strange ingredients in them such as Chia Seeds, Guar Gum, Ground Flax, and Xylitol. Whenever we wanted to cook […]ReplyCancel

  • SANE “Sugar” Cookies » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] Questions on ingredients? Check out this info. […]ReplyCancel

  • Rose - Today I rec’d my very first 15 lbs bag of almond flour. Holy cow, didn’t realize all that flour came in one ginormous bag! How does everyone store this massive amount of flour…?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Rose – I buy mine in 25lb boxes :-) I keep it in the freezer. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Flourless Mandarin Cake - Run Mum - […] *Almond Flour and Almond Meal are NOT the same.  Please go here or here or here to learn more.  You can use almond meal in this recipe, but the texture may not be the same. ** […]ReplyCancel

  • Rose - So… I don’t need to worry about storage so much as purchasing another freezer. Got it! (*lol*)ReplyCancel

  • Brian Milby - I’ve found unflavored whey on Amazon (ingredient list is just whey and soy lecithin <1%). Is there a quick conversion for recipes that use the vanilla flavored (or chocolate)? I know that those will have something for the vanilla flavor and some sweetener. I would imagine that it would not change the way the recipe goes together too much, but may impact the taste slightly. Thoughts?
    PS Thanks for the ingredient guide!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Brian – it depends on the recipe. I don’t have a quick conversion because I have not tested any other whey than the Optimum Nutrition one that I use and I don’t want to lead you astray telling you something that doesn’t actually work in real life. The taste WILL be impacted and you will have to tweak accordingly. Sorry I can’t be more specifically helpful until I try other whey powders.ReplyCancel

  • Jyoti - Hi Carrie,

    I am trying to go SANE but I keep getting confused.

    I am a vegetarian and I hate the smell of Chocolate and coconut oil. So that eliminates a lot of your cookies(coconut oil), a lot of your main dishes(omnivore oriented) and a lot of the other drinks( containing chocolate). :(

    We eat lots of non starchy vegetables and I prefer cooking from scratch, so that is not an issue.

    I have a few question for you…

    1. What’s good substitute for Coconut oil, coconut spray?
    Coconut and coconut milk are fine as they do not smell of the oil. I don’t like the smell of oil.

    2. I have read somewhere of the Xylitol making process, and how and why it is harmful to dogs and little kids. It sounded like the most insane( highly processed) substance to consume. Yet you use it extensively. Why? Is there an alternate way?

    3. Why are lentils not sane? … Moong beans, Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, … why are these not sane?

    4. Could you post a comprehensive list of all sane ingredients in one of your blog posts. That would make it easier as we can refer to it and prepare our own recipes.

    5. Also, if I could have a list of protein sources, vegetarian ones, listing how much protein they provide per unit( a spoon or a cup full) it would be helpful.
    In fact, even in your recipes, If you could let us know, that how many cups of any dish would give me the required 30gm of protein, it would be easier for me to balance it with any other dish. As they are, none of the dishes actually tell us how much nutrition they provide or how much to be consumed. Each of us has a different appetite… but I’d love to know how much gives how much nutrition.

    6. What about oats? Are they sane? I did not see too many oat-ty recipes.

    I’d understand if you were not able to answer all my questions and clear all my doubts, but would definitely appreciate it if you did. :)

    Warms Regards,

  • Patmick - I clicked your link for hemp milk and it brought up Amazon at $77 a quart! Sometimes Amazon does that. Vitacost has it for around $4.00 :)ReplyCancel

    • Amanda - the link shows 72 and change for:
      Pack of twelve, 32-ounces per container (total of 384 ounces)

      it’s roughly $6 a quart then, though your price is better it’s not THAT big of a difference.ReplyCancel

  • Sally - Carrie, thanks so much for the list. I’m just getting started on this program and the list really helps. Can you do one on flours? Which ones can be substituted for all purpose in recipes. I have seen quinoa flour in the store and wonder about it’s use. Almond flour is very expensive here, and I thought I may be able to grind some quinoa into flour to save $ and use 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 almond flours in recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Carrie – Thanks so much for this info! In recipes that call for coconut milk, it is not always clear if you mean the coconut beverage that comes in boxes or the canned kind that I would use to make Thai food. Also, my son is allergic to tree nuts, so wouldn’t use almond flour (even if he’s not eating it). Is there another option you recommend for your baked good recipes? And I’m seconding the request that someone made above for the recipes to list the number of protein grams as well as vegetable servings in the recipe. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Update – I reread the descriptions up top and that cleared up my coconut milk confusion. (at least for now!) But still looking for substitute for almond flour in baking.ReplyCancel

  • Kendra - Carrie,
    Hi!! I’m loving the smoothies and trying to stock my fridge and pantry to be all SANE. My issue is with Kale and Avacado. I cannot , and I have tried several times, stand the taste or smell of either of these ingredients!! Can I sub spinach for Kale and what can I use instead of Avacado?
    Thanks! KendraReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Kendra – sub out spinach for the kale and some thick coconut milk (comes in a can) for the avocado. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Pam - HI Carrie – I’ve been, finally, devouring your website for recipe ideas etc etc etc – I’ve gotten most of the “unusual” ingredients listed on this post but some of your earlier recipes call for garbanzo bean flour – is there anything I can use as an alternative for that?? I sometimes get all excited to make a new recipe only to discover I am missing something then I never get back to it…ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Pam – I now use konjac flour exclusively for thickening instead of garbanzo bean flour. I will be updating all the earlier recipes with konjac flour very soon. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Siobhain - I am sooooo glad you posted that information about xylitol. my dog ate a VERY large amount and nearly died. i don’t think i could have it in my house again!ReplyCancel

  • Sharvo - Hi Carrie & all,
    Made the Lasagna Soup from the book … ate it for 4 consecutive lunches … face broke out in a rash. I’m pretty sure it was the Guar Gum (have taken konjac in other forms before like PGX, etc, w/o problems … there were no other changes to face hygiene, etc.).

    (1) Do you have a recommendation to substitute?
    (2) Do you / Bailor have opinions on addition of gums/thickeners reducing the bioavailibility of nutrients?

    PS congrats on your reduced appetite.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sharvo – sorry to hear about your rash :-( You could just leave it out, or add another 1/2 tsp. konjac to keep it thick. Konjac doesn’t have the same emulsification properties, but I am sure you won’t mind that in favor of no rash! I have not read anything to suggest that gums reduce availability of nutrients. JB did mention once the specific health benefits of guar gum but I can’t for the life of me remember where to point you for that info :-(ReplyCancel

  • Deborah - I’m trying the Sane Solution. Your recipes are awesome. What do I use for salad dressings?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Deborah – I am working on salad dressings. In the meantime, learn to read labels and look for the ones with least sugars and least crazy ingredients (read additives and artificial stuff). Congrats on starting your SANE journey!!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin - Hi Carrie! I was just wondering what your reasoning is for using Xylitol over Erythritol, as the latter has essentially no calories, a glycemic index of 0, and seems to cause less GI distress? Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • Megan Loahr - I couldn’t see where to comment on the holiday cookbook Q&A. I just bought the e-book and am SO excited to try these recipes! I want to make the pumpkin bars, but I have xylitol, not erythritol. Can I substitute?ReplyCancel

  • Ollie Swoboda - Can you explain the world of coconut aminos?ReplyCancel

  • Dany - Hi Carrie,

    Got to you via the creativelive SANE where you perform with Jonathan.

    First I must say I live in France/ Paris
    I got and looked at your recipes, and in most of them you use
    whey vanilla, or eggs powder.
    1/ Why do you use those instead of raw products ?
    2/ where could I purchase them ?ReplyCancel

  • Debi - Hi Carrie
    What is orange essence? Is there something I can use in place of it? I can’t find the essence in stores, just orange extract. I wanted to make your Brussels and cabbage dish for thanksgivingReplyCancel

  • Lois Gerschefske - Where do I find information on how to convert g’s to cups or spoons? Presently I have a recipe that calls for 90 g blanched almond flour and 100 g lily’s dark chocolate melted?


    • carrie - Hi Lois – there is no way to convert weights of dry ingredients to volume measure successfully. I *highly* recommend that you get yourself a scale so you can have consistently great results every time!ReplyCancel

  • FirstGladis - I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks every month because you’ve got hi quality content.

    If you want to know how to make extra money, search for: Boorfe’s
    tips best adsense alternativeReplyCancel

  • Debra Huewe - Hi Carrie,I think I have bought all of your cookbooks from your Sane Days. They’re the best recipes!! I love them.I also have purchased your KETO Crock pot Cookbook.
    Thank you for reading!ReplyCancel

  • Dan Dolaptchieff - I cant us any other sweetner besides stevia. Sorry but strict diet. Can u give a conversion please.
    Out here in lava land big island

    • carrie - Hi Dan – Aloha!!! There is no easy conversion for stevia from other sweeteners. Also, I do not use stevia because of the bitter taste and inability to use it for most baking applications. I hope you’re safe over there in lava land. Love to you!ReplyCancel

  • Nell - Quick question about hemp milk. I’m getting together ingredients for the Kept in the Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, and only found the vanilla hemp milk. Will that alter the ice cream flavor enough to worry about it or should I use original flavor?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Nell – the flavor of the chocolate is strong enough that you won’t notice the vanilla.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Herron - What are cocoa solids (kept in the dark chocolate ice cream?)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Linda – it refers to the amount of cocoa solids in a bar of chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate has 100% cocoa solids in it.ReplyCancel

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  • Debbie - Hi Carrie, I am a patron of your website and I am trying to print your ingredients list. It doesn’t seem to be working. Have there been any other complaints or is it on my end.
    I am so sorry to be a nuisance, I know how very busy you are.
    Thanking you in advance.
    Debbie Mattatall
    Nova Scotia CanadaReplyCancel

  • kathy doise - hi carrie, I just got your ice cream recipe book and I was wondering if there is something else I can use instead of the kirsch, I can’t find it anywhere and also can I substitute something to replace crème fraiche?thanks in advance for your helpReplyCancel

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