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What Elly Eats: 11 Tasty Must-Haves From Her Kitchen

Elly Truesdell, Whole Foods Market’s local forager for our Northeast region, tastes her way through five states to discover new products to stock on our shelves. Some days she’s in Manhattan dipping a spoon into a delicious new sauce from a New York City chef, on others she’s trekking through rows of pear trees on a farm in rural New Jersey. Either way, she always ends up in her happy place when the day ends—her kitchen in Brooklyn where she cooks for family and friends. Here are the 11 products you’ll always find in her fridge and pantry:

Hu Kitchen Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa Chocolate Bar

“I always have dark chocolate on hand in my cupboards. This bar has only four ingredients. The combination of coconut sugar, cacao, almond butter and the crispy quinoa bits makes this bar so rich and delicious. Also, it sounds silly, but the squares are small and break so perfectly. You can easily snap off a piece now and save the rest of the bar for later.”

Stumptown Coffee Beans

“I’ve been cold brewing for about eight years. It was my brother-in-law, who grew up in New Orleans, who taught me how to cold brew my own coffee (toddy-style) in big batches. Stumptown has a couple of great beans that work well for cold brewing, but I use Holler Mountain most often.”

Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Hot Cereal

“I know Elizabeth personally—I helped facilitate a Local Producer Loan for her company 3 years ago that helped her fund the ingredients to produce her hot cereal line, so I feel especially connected to it. There are lots of flavors, and I especially love the 6-Grain Ancient Grain Hot Cereal—made of quinoa, millet, buckwheat, flax and chia. I make big batches on Sundays with almond butter and berries, so I have something to grab and go on busy weekday mornings. The cereals can also be savory—I’ll add sautéed greens, hot sauce and other veggies for lunch at the office or a quick dinner.”

Wild Arugula from Satur Farms

“This is the most flavorful arugula I’ve ever tasted. Their farm is located on Long Island, and they plant a variety that’s traditionally found in the South of France and Italy. It’s slower growing arugula, so it has more time to develop that peppery flavor. It’s so nice on its own that you don’t need to add much—my favorite way to eat it is just with parmesan shavings and lemon vinaigrette.”

Sir Kensington’s Mustards

“Laura, who is Sir Kensington’s director of product development, befriended the chef at her favorite Brooklyn beer garden to find out what made his mustards so delicious. It turned out that adding a sweet note offsets the spice like in Sir Kensington’s Spicy Brown version with Vermont maple syrup. This mustard is absolutely delicious—it’s perfect in vinaigrettes and on veggie burgers too.”

Catsmo Smoked Salmon

“This smoked salmon is so clean tasting. I visited their facility and have loved their product ever since. Catsmo is so careful in their supply and sourcing of salmon, and it makes a real difference in the flavor. I usually have it on hand to snack on, and I also pick up extra if I’m having people over for brunch. I make a little platter with rye bread or bagels and cream cheese, and add sliced tomato, red onion and avocado.”

The Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce

“I do a lot of hot sauce sampling, and this is one of my all-time favorites. It’s all serrano peppers from small community gardens in the Bronx. It has such an interesting flavor and has a nice kick without being too spicy. I splash it on eggs or breakfast tacos. It’s a constant staple in my fridge.”

Chocolate Sea Salt RXBAR

“I spotted this company at a trade show last year—it’s only about a year old. And I really like their chocolate sea salt bar. It’s just seven ingredients and the protein comes from egg whites. It’s great to keep in your car or purse when you need a quick, filling snack.”

Evergreen Farm Asian Pears

“The family who grows these pears are fourth-generation fruit farmers, originally from South Korea. When they immigrated to the United States, they searched for the right climate and soil, and decided on central New Jersey. These pears are only available in our stores in the Northeast, but I want everyone to know about them anyway—they’re crispier and more flavorful than anything else we have here. I use them in salads and for snacks, but recently I’ve been mashing them up with sugar and vinegar to make a really delicious shrub to add to drinks.”

365 Everyday Value® Organic Peanut Butter

“Our nut butters are some of the best things we have in our stores. I add this peanut butter to everything: I make a chia-cinnamon mixture with raisins and smear that on a banana in the mornings. I put it on rice cakes. I even add a spoonful to my ice cream.”

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water

“I’ve never been the kind of person who drinks coconut water straight, but I always have it on hand when I’m cooking. I use it as a liquid when I’m making smoothies or sauces. My philosophy is that you’re adding to the flavor of whatever you’re making, rather than watering it down.”

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