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We found the top 15 ingredients on Food24, so we made a cheats shopping list for #SAlockdown

These are the most common ingredients across over 25 000 of our recipes - make sure you have them in your cupboard.

by: Katy Rose | 26 Mar 2020
shopping, tips, cooking, south africa

We can all agree that panic-buying and stockpiling isn’t the right thing to do, neither for your fellow South Africans nor for your pocket. However, it is important to make sure that you have enough in your home for the next few days at least. 

It can be difficult in this fervour to remember the essentials. So to make sure you’re not missing anything, we took a look at the Food24 recipe collection (which contains over 25 000 recipes) to pick out the ingredients that appear most often and therefore should be making it onto your shopping list. They are, in descending order:

1. Water

Water is absolutely essential for cooking! Whether you’re boiling potatoes or making bread dough, water is the cornerstone of most recipes.

2. Castor sugar

Finer than regular sugar, castor sugar is ideal for smooth and creamy cake batter, cookie dough and even ice creams.

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3. Oil

You pick your favourite – whether olive, sunflower, coconut or vegetable – but one thing is for sure: oil is an important item in every kitchen.

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4. Lemon juice

Lemon juice brings acidity and freshness to everything from salad dressings to rosé slushies! Buy fresh lemons if available, but prepared lemon juice can work just as well in a pinch.


RECIPE:Frozen Rosé and watermelon cocktails

watermelon rose slushy

5. Cream

Perfect for adding richness to sauces and soup. A carton of UHT cream is always useful! 

6. Baking powder

Baking powder gives lift and lightness to your baking creations. Just remember that it can go stale, so keep its lid closed tightly!

TRY AT HOME: Classic scones with whipped cream and jam

Gluten free buttermilk scones

7. Salt

Honestly, we would put salt at number 1 if we could. Add it to your pasta water, sprinkle a pinch in your oatmeal and season your braai meat – just be careful with the quantities! A little salt goes a long way.

YOU MIGHT LIKE: Salt of the earth: A new look at sodium

8. Black pepper

Ah, the perfect partner to salt! Grind it fresh for the best flavour.

RECIPE: Coriander and black pepper sauce

Ostrich steaks with creamy mushroom sauce

9. Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic stores well outside of the fridge and adds a distinctive kick. Use it fresh and chopped for the strongest flavour, or slow-roast it for a deep, caramel-like flavour. 

10. Vanilla essence

Great in desserts and cakes, this pantry staple should always be on hand. 

RECIPE: Vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd buttercream

vanilla cupcakes

11. Honey

Honey is a great way to add sweetness to your recipes, and it makes an excellent sticky glaze for ribs and chicken wings!

TRY THIS: Lemon and honey glazed lamb chops

12. Eggs

Cooked on its own, egg is delicious, but its real superpower is how it binds other ingredients together. Use eggs in cakes, hamburgers, to coat chicken and even to brush over pastry! 

Kitchen confidence:How to poach, boil and scramble eggs like a boss

13. Brown sugar

Similar to number 2, castor sugar, this unrefined sugar adds a more caramel-like flavour to your cooking. 

14. Flour

Where would we be without flour? Use it to make staples at home such as bread or fresh pasta, or use it to thicken sauces and soups. 

Baking project: 4 recipes to try using alternative flours

15. Chicken stock

Cooking with stock cubes can really elevate your cooking, and it’s an essential ingredient in risotto and other rice dishes. 

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Read more on: isolation  |  covid -19  |  budget cooking

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