I started Livia’s Kitchen so that everyone could enjoy sweet treats. Whether you have food allergies, intolerances or are interested in eating more natural foods, no one should miss out on indulging their sweet tooth! Unfortunately, this way of baking does have a reputation for being pretty pricey. Likewise, some ingredients can be tricky to get hold of. I’m not going to say this isn’t true, but I believe you can still make delicious and nutritious treats using inexpensive ingredients from the supermarket. So, I’ve put together a list of my favourite supermarket staples… (and, if you are looking for some of the more alternative ingredients, I would always recommend checking out amazon, buywholefoods online and realfoods)

Oats

Oats would be top of my list of favourite ingredients no matter what! I could go on forever listing why they are so great, but firstly, they’re super cheap. Plus, if you buy a large bag like I do, they usually last a long time… usually. Oats are in many of my recipes, as they’re incredibly versatile. In porridge squares, granola and flapjacks, oats are a must. In other recipes, they add a great texture. Best of all, if you grind them down really finely and sieve them, you practically make another ingredient – oat flour. Of course, flour is a baking essential!

Honey

Honey is a wonderful sweetener. Although you can buy good quality maple syrup in most supermarkets, it is definitely the more pricey sweetener. Honey often does the job equally as well, and can be used as an sweetener swap if you prefer. I find that it’s an ingredient that most people have lying around in the cupboards. If you’re vegan, most supermarkets will also have date nectar. I like the one by Beloved, which works out around the same price as honey.

Peanut Butter

The most loved, and least expensive, of all nut butters. What’s even better is that a lot of the best brands out there are now available in supermarkets. One of my favourites is Meridian, who only use peanuts and a little salt to make their peanut butter. Of course, the flavour of peanut butter will always be a winner for me. Especially because it’s the key to one of my favourite recipes – the raw snickers slab – which was the inspiration behind my raw millionaire bites!

Bananas

There are always bananas in my fruit bowl. They’re incredibly versatile, as not only can they be used as the main flavour, like in banana bread, they also act as a binder. Bananas help to stick mixtures together, for example in pancakes, scones and muffins, without you noticing they’ve even been added. Plus, they’re incredibly sweet, so often you won’t need to add as much sweetener either.

Cinnamon

A simple, warming spice that adds the best flavour to recipes. Using cinnamon is  a cheap and easy way of making everything taste that little bit special. It works in most recipes, from pastry to cakes, and definitely doesn’t have to be restricted to Christmas! It’s also one of those ingredients where a little goes a long way, meaning you won’t have to buy it too often.

Raisins

I know a lot of people who are disappointed when they find out those chocolate chips are actually raisins! But I think they can be delicious, and I love adding them to cookies and cakes for a chewy texture. Their stickiness makes them a lot like dates, too. So, if you’re an energy ball lover, you can often replace dates for raisins, as long as you add some nut butter. Like oats, it’s worth buying the biggest bag. This way, they’re better value and will last a long time. Win-win!