Here's where you'll find a description of the ingredients I use in my recipes and tips on where to buy them. If you find these items for a good price at other locations, let me know in the comments section below or send me an email at : email@example.com.
Agave syrup: Agave is a cactus, whose juice is either fermented to make tequila and thickened to make syrup. There is a debate over the worth of agave as an alternative sweetener, because it has a decent fructose content. Its glycemic index is much lower than sugar and rice syrup, and slightly lower than maple syrup and honey, and I like it. Paleo folks can replace it with a ratio of 1:1.25 of maple syrup. The best place, by far, to buy agave syrup is Segal's.
Almond Flour: Almond flour is made from ground blanched almonds. It's a great low-starch, high-protein alternative and is Paleo-friendly. It's impossible to mention almond flour without mentioning Elana Amsterdam, to whom almond growers and gluten-free folk alike owe their gratitude. I order my almond flour online from Nuts Online. I wouldn't spend more for the organic, as almonds are shelled. But go for it if you can.
Almond milk: I buy unsweetened "Original" Almond Breeze from Segal's, where it is 1/2 to 2/3 of the price it is anywhere else. But you can get it anywhere now: all the Loblaws and health food stores carry it. And it is now soy-free.
Coconut butter: Coconut butter is the same as creamed coconut. See below and save your money.
Coconut flour: Made from the fibre of coconut meat. Very high in fibre and Paleo-friendly. It gets you a texture similar to wheat, but absorbs an incredible almond of moisture, so you need lots of liquid and very little flour. I didn't know this when I discovered it and bought 13 pounds, 12.5 of which are in my freezer. So drop me a line and I'll send you some. I strongly suggest you order online at Nuts Online, because Rachelle-Béry just started carrying it but it is pricey.
Coconut milk: I use canned coconut milk in ice creams, custards, drinks, to whip and in curries. I buy the Native Forest organic from Segal's where, once again, it's way cheaper. You can also get very reasonably priced canned coconut milk at the supermarket on the east side of St Laurent, between Mont Royal and Marianne (I'll get the name up here when I can). For soups I use creamed coconut, which you can find at Indian and Pakistani grocery stores. It comes in a box. Fruiterie Mile End and Rocky Montana's both carry it. You can also order it in a spreadable version from Tropical Traditions.
Grapeseed oil: Very high in antioxidants, grapeseed oil most closely mimics butter in baked goods. You can find it in most grocery stores, but it is actually cheaper at Rachelle-Béry.
Potato starch: Great neutral tasting starch for flour mixtures. Be careful: potato starch and potato flour are NOT the same thing. You want starch. You can find it at Rachelle-Béry and next to the corn starch in many grocery stores.
Rice flour: There are 3 kinds of rice flours to which I'll refer here. Brown rice flour is a whole-grain flour made from--you guessed it--brown rice. You can get it at Rachelle-Béry and Segal's. It comes in a brown 5 pound bag and I'll get the name of the mill up next time I buy some. White rice flour is starchier and has a softer mouthfeel, better for cakes and loaves. I buy Bob's Red Mill, from Rachelle-Béry, Canada Only or Nuts Online, and (if I'm really stuck, cause it's pricey) Frenco. Sweet rice flour, also called mochiko, is made from glutenous rice (which is gluten-free, despite the name). It is all starch and can stand in for tapioca, potato or corn starch in your flour mixes. You can order some online from Nuts Online. The only place I have found it in Montréal is at Eden, in Galleries du Parc, where it comes in a white box and is made by Koda Farms.
Quinoa: Often confused as a grain, and used as such, it's actually a seed. If it were a grain, it would be the grain with the highest yield. Used whole in soups, salads, entrees. Rolled for use in cereal and porridge. Milled for use as flour in anything you'll like. It's flour has a faint taste.
Tapioca: Tapioca, or yucca, or manioc, is a tuber originally from South America, which became very important for Western African cooking. Most people know it in little balls in tapioca pudding or as gooey squares in bubble tea, but ground into flour it is indispensable for gluten-free baking. Use it as a starch in your flour mixture, to thicken soup and homemade non-dairy yogurt, or to substitute for sweet rice, cornstarch or potato starch when necessary. You can find it in many grocery stores and most health food stores. Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing.