I always get super envious reading US food bloggers posts full of all the wonderful ingredients that you just can’t buy over here in the UK. It is so frustrating getting halfway through a delicious looking recipe post to realise that you can’t get hold of everything to make it… Talk about jealousy.
Not wanting to fall down at the first hurdle I started doing a bit more research and found that, actually, the UK isn’t so bad if only you know where to look. So I thought I’d give a bit of a run through of the ingredients that I use most often and where I buy them. Being on a student budget and also a fan of quick and easy meals I tend to keep it pretty simple, but then again isn’t that what paleo should ideally be?
Fruit and Veggies
This one’s pretty easy, if you’re lucky enough to live near a greengrocers I’d really recommend checking it out as there’s usually a much better selection that in supermarkets and better value to. Also keep an eye out for local farmers markets, typically on weekends, for great local produce that is in season and often organic too. Sometimes I’m lazy or busy and buy everything from the supermarket but that’s okay!
A slightly pricier but very useful option is the new range of organic food delivery services such as Riverford and Abel & Cole so check those out as well.
Meat, Fish and Eggs
For convenience obviously supermarkets are ideal but frustratingly a lot of them don’t seem to have free range as the standard options so be careful on that one, although as Cat has pointed out to me all beef in the UK tends to be grass fed so that’s a massive bonus. (Yes I had been desperately searching for a ‘grass fed’ description…) Again, try and visited local farmers markets for some great deals and a much higher quality of produce.
There is also an up and coming trend for organic food delivery services, as mentioned above, and you can now buy a whole cow/lamb/etc. and get it delivered to you in portions. There’s even a bacon delivery service with Cure & Simple.
Obviously dairy is a no-no if you’re strict paleo but if you like to dabble in the occasional goat or sheep milk yoghurt now and again, more and more supermarkets are stocking them.
COYO is probably the most popular coconut yoghurt option, even my corner shop stock it now, although it isn’t cheap it’s a great treat. COYO is also stocked in some Waitroses and I believe other supermarkets are catching on. The Coconut Collaborative is another coconut yoghurt option but personally I really didn’t enjoy it, I found it much runnier and thinner than COYO but that’s personal preference.
The Coconut Collaborative do, however, do a pretty good coconut milk ice cream which you can find in Sainsburys. I’m still dithering over whether I like coconutty ice-cream but with a few toppings this was rather nice! COYO also do a varient but I haven’t tried that yet so can’t vouch for it. My personal favourite however has to be Booja-Booja ice cream – made from just four ingredients (it’s got a cashew base) it is seriously amazing. Check out their truffles also for a little bit of heaven.
Whilst we’re on the subject of chocolate, Ayni also has a great range of handcrafted allergy-free chocolates that are on my wish list to try!
Perfectly Paleo is a great website stocking a wide range of UK paleo products (obviously). From coconut aminos to edible insects to flavoured nut butters to snack box subscriptions they’ve got it. Definitely one to visit for the more interesting, and slightly different, paleo options. They also have a sweet rewards system and, if you are referred by a friend, 10% off your first order (so let me know if you want me to refer you!).
Well this was obviously going to make the list but is pretty tricky if you don’t live in London or near one of the few other UK locations. It’s pretty overpriced but, as always, makes a nice treat. It’s also one of the few places that I’ve managed to find untouched (GF, chemical free, etc.) sausages and bacon for it’s worth a visit just for those!
My love for Planet Organic has been growing of late. Ideal for Infinity Foods flours – coconut, tapioca, etc. – which tend to have the best price-quality ratio as well as Biona coconut products.
I couldn’t not mention nut butters! It’s so much cheaper to buy these in bulk, 1kg tubs are easily available either from Meridian (via Amazon) or MyProtein. However, for portability the absolute winner (with the best name ever) is Pip & Nut with their new range of squeezy nut butters.
Pret a Manger
So this isn’t exactly shopping to cook at home but when you’re caught in a rush Pret is ideal for a quick, easy, paleo emergency meal. Their chipotle chicken salad is amazing and they’ve recently started stocking coconut yoghurt, yes it has caramalised nuts on top but nobody’s perfect. Plus, they’re delicious.
I’m sure there’s plenty I’ve missed off this list but these are just some of my favourites! What would you add?
Disclaimer – all opinions are my own. I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post, I just really like these companies!