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Forbes - Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Pantry Staples For From-Scratch Cooks

Aly Walansky

Being a home cook is all about having a pantry stocked with all the right ingredients for flavorful dishes.

This Mother’s Day, the mom who is an avid home chef doesn’t want a whole bunch of boxed mixes and pre-made simmer sauce. She wants the proper pantry ingredients she needs to cook from scratch — and that is fodder for some perfect gift ideas.

Slofoodgroup Ground Pasilla Chile Powder

Ground Pasilla Chile Powder_Slofoodgroup

They don’t need a ton of spice blends, they just need a few great multi-purpose spices that do a whole lot all at once. This ground pasilla chile powder ($15.50) is peppery, smoky, and sweet, and will work great in a wide assortment of dishes.

Sweet July Olive Oil

Sweet July Olive Oil-1

This 100% extra virgin olive oil ($39) was produced in California using Arbequina olives from the Catalonia region of Spain. A great olive oil is a pantry essential, for everything from dipping crusty bread and making salad dressings to to use as a finishing touch to countless dishes.

Sonoma Syrup Co. Organic Pure Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush”

If she loves to bake, she’s going to want to keep a high-end vanilla extract on hand, and this one ($47) is a blend of Tahitian and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla with vanilla bean seeds. Plus, it’s from a female-founded brand. That’s just the Mother’s Day energy we need.

Vahdam Kitchen Essentials Spice Box, 9 Spices

VAHDAM Spices Kitchen Essentials Box 11

A collection of quality spices can make or break any pantry, and if she loves to cook Indian fare, she’ll be obsessed with VAHDAM India’s spice essentials box ($100). These spices are grown in India and sealed fresh right at the source, for the ultimate in flavor and aroma potency. The Kitchen Essentials Spice Box includes Turmeric, Black Pepper, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cumin, Onion, Garlic, and Himalayan Pink Salt.

Boonville Barn Collective Chile Flake Trio

 Boonville Barn Collective Chile Flake Trio

If she likes to get adventurous with unique flavors and spices, she’ll want to try this trio of chile flakes ($33), that was sustainably produced on a woman-owned farm. This trio has a spectrum of heat levels, too, so she can choose her adventure.

Soom Foods Premium Tahini

Soom Foods Premium Tahini

Tahini is more than a condiment for her falafel. This ingredient ($18 for a 2-pack) is an essential in everything from hummus to dressings, and if there’s going to be tahini in her pantry, Soom (which has been a top option in the US for a decade) is a great way to go.

Primary Beans Brothy Beans Set

Primary Beans Brothy Beans Set

There’s no end to the use of a great selection of beans, and avoiding the canned options is always the best way to go whenever possible. Primary Beans is sister-founded and offers a bunch of varieties of dried beans.These beans are so fresh, too, so she won’t even have to soak them before cooking. The Brothy Beans Set ($23) offers Cranberry beans, Chaparro, and Bayo, all from the fall/winter 2023 harvest and perfect for the next seasonal bowl of soup, stew, or casserole.

King Arthur Espresso Powder

King Arthur Espresso Powder

We love freshly brewed espresso in the morning or after dinner, but espresso is about so much more than a beverage. This espresso powder ($10) is ground and brewed, then dried from specially selected coffee beans. It's a great ingredient to add to baked goods, from brownies to a chocolate birthday cake.

New York Shuk Preserved Lemon Paste

New York Shuk Preserved Lemon Paste_Credit Maria Midoes

New York Shuk’s Preserved Lemon Paste ($16) is an ingredient she never knew she always needed. It’s a citrus level with a kiss of salt that works great in Middle Eastern dishes as well as marinades and salad dressings, and so much more.

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