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5 Pantry Staples a Champion Baker Always Buys at the Grocery Store

published Jul 24, 2020
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Credit: Vallery Lomas

We love Vallery Lomas, aka Foodie in New York, as much as Vallery loves baking. On her popular website and Instagram account, the former lawyer and Great American Baking Show winner shares her exuberant attitude and exceptional skills, whipping up everything from savory fig galettes to dreamy carrot cake. While she’s known for her baking, Vallery is an all-around kitchen all-star. We asked what staples she keeps in her pantry to make her tasty signature dishes.

Credit: Vallery Lomas

1. Honey

Nature’s favorite sweetener is Vallery’s, too. “I love using natural sweeteners when I’m making homemade granola or just topping some plain protein-rich yogurt or warm porridge,” she says. “Honey is so versatile that I’ve used it in savory galettes to make a salty-sweet dish. I also use it to balance out flavor in homemade vinaigrettes, or add a hint of sweetness to roasted carrots.” (We’d also like a large slice of her Honey Lavender Lemon Tart, please.) “Honey doesn’t send my blood sugar levels through the roof, but it’s actually sweeter than granulated sugar. A little drizzle goes a long way!”

Credit: Vallery Lomas

2. Pace® Picante Sauce Medium

“I love adding this sauce to ground turkey to spice up family taco night. But it’s so much more versatile than just for tacos and burritos,” Vallery says. “It also works great with making stews in my Dutch oven. There’s just a hint of heat from the peppers which brings all of the flavors together nicely.” Pace® Picante Sauce Medium has perfected that peppery balance of flavor and heat, so it won’t scorch your recipes (or your tastebuds).

Credit: Vallery Lomas

3. Toasted Nuts

“Nuts are nutrient-dense and add texture to many of my favorite dishes. By toasting them, I’m amplifying their delicious umami flavor. I love using them in desserts like these pecan pie tartlets, but I also add them to salads, granola, banana bread, or even to top soup.”

Credit: Vallery Lomas

4. Creole Seasoning Blend

“You can take the girl out of Louisiana, but you can’t take the Louisiana out of the girl!” says Vallery, who was born in Baton Rouge. “This blend of salt, red pepper, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika goes on top of just about everything I eat — from scrambled eggs to roasted veggies like these Brussels sprouts. It’s for more than jambalaya and gumbo (although it’s required for both). It’s for everything, and my pantry always has some of this blend.”

Credit: Vallery Lomas

5. Rolled Oats

As a baker, Vallery knows that oats are for way more than breakfast. “Oats are versatile and amazing flavor vehicles! Of course they’re awesome for oatmeal, but they are also the base of granola or a number of my favorite baking recipes — from crisps to crumbles. You can ditch the pie dough and make a ‘healthier-for-you’ dessert like this rhubarb crisp. Rolled oats add crunchy texture and a punch of fiber to boot.”