These are some of the common AIP foods and ingredients that typically don't show up in a standard American-type diet. Even if you've come from a gluten-free or Paleo-style diet you may be familiar with some of these, but this will get you up to speed quickly!
AIP Foods Aren't Always “Normal”
When starting the Autoimmune Protocol, you may find yourself scratching your head when reading some of the AIP recipes you come across.
Tigernuts? Cassava flour? Mace?
These aren't normal everyday foods that most people eat on a regular basis.
Yet they can make your time on AIP a lot more delicious.
Read (or watch) the rest of this to familiarize yourself with the various AIP foods that are common in many recipes so that you'll be confident in your cooking!
See also: The ULTIMATE Guide to the AIP Diet – Everything you need to know to be successful
the AIP Food List (with free printable pdf)
and AIP Spices
Common AIP Foods Video
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Arrowroot powder (also called arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour) is a fine powder that looks very similar to tapioca starch (see below).
It's made from several different root plants and can typically be used interchangeably with recipes calling for tapioca.
Arrowroot is also great for thickening up soups and stews, coating chicken or veggies when pan-frying to crisp them up, and also in some baked goods.
Carob powder is an excellent substitute for cocoa powder (chocolate) and is made from the pods of a carob tree.
It's naturally sweet, contains calcium, fiber, and antioxidants and is caffeine-free.
You can use it 1:1 for cocoa/cacao powder.
Be careful with carob chips though as most commercially available chips contain gluten (wheat or barley).
It's best to make your own carob chips, which is not a difficult process. Just google AIP Carob Chips for several recipes, but my favorite are the ones from these amazing AIP Carob Chip cookies!
This is flour made from a cassava root (also known as yuca or manioc).
The root is dried, peeled, and then ground into a high-fiber flour that can often be used 1:1 for wheat flour.
It's high in carbohydrates though, so it should only be eaten in moderation, and makes great baked goods and cassava flour tortillas.
Chicory root is a coffee substitute made from the roasted root of the chicory plant.
It's bitter like coffee and contains inulin (prebiotic) fiber, manganese, and Vitamin B6.
is a flour made from dried and ground coconut meat.
It's high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
It absorbs a LOT of liquid, so it cannot be used 1:1 for any other flours in baking, and typically in a Paleo or AIP-type baked good you would use very little (typically 1/4-1/2 cup). Often you'll find it mixed with other grain-free flours.
It's not used as much for baked goods on AIP as eggs are typically the liquid of choice to make the baked goods taste their best (and hold up without gluten), but some recipes do call for it.
It does make a great coating for chicken or pork though to crisp them up.
If you want to know more about this flour, I wrote a whole post about where to find it, uses, etc, so see more about coconut flour.
Coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from the dehydrated sap of a coconut palm.
It's not the same as palm sugar.
It has a lower glycemic index than white sugar and contains some trace minerals, but it should still be used in moderation while on AIP. Sugar is still sugar!
Cream of Tartar
Cream of Tartar is a white powdery substance that's a byproduct of wine fermentation.
It's used as a leavening agent with baking soda to replace baking powder in AIP recipes. Commercial baking powder unfortunately often contains corn or other non-AIP ingredients.
The acid from cream of tartar helps baked goods have a certain tang and remain chewy rather than crispy. Spacer
Dandelion root is another item used to make a bitter, coffee-like brew (often known as dandelion tea).
It also is used in conjunction with chicory to make a coffee substitute.
And yes, it's from the actual plant that most of us despise as weeds in our yards, but it has long been thought to help the liver as well as have other health benefits.
Mace is a spice is made from the outer red coating that covers the nutmeg seed.
It tastes quite similar to nutmeg, yet is slightly more delicate in taste. Some people actually prefer the taste of mace to nutmeg once they try it!
This spice can be used 1:1 for nutmeg, therefore making it a great substitution for AIP recipes where you want a nice little warm kick.
It's not always easy to find in stores, but Amazon does typically carry it.
See my AIP Chai Latte that uses mace.
Tapioca Starch (also called tapioca powder or) is a fine powder flour also made from the cassava root.
This is just the starch of the root though and cannot be used as a substitution for cassava flour.
Just like the cassava flour it's also high in carbohydrates.
Tapioca starch is good for thickening up soups and stews, coating chicken or veggies when pan-frying to crisp them up, and also in some baked goods.
These are actually a tuber and not a nut, and are high in fiber (especially prebiotic fiber), magnesium, potassium, and protein.
They can be eaten whole (typically peeled), sliced, in a “nut-butter” type form (see how to make a quick 30-second tigernut butter), or made into a milk that's a great substitute for cow's, almond, or coconut milk.
They also go by the name chufa or ground nuts in some countries.
Check out my “Chocolate” Tigernut AIP Granola!
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