Building the Best Pantry You Can

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 by No Comments
Building the Best Pantry You Can

Stocking a pantry can sometimes feel like a guessing game. What should you put in it? How long do products last? What size jars of spices should you buy?

There’s a lot of opinions out there on what you should keep on hand; some with as many as 62 ingredients (courtesy of Jamie Oliver), but most in the mid-20s (like this list of 23 ingredients).

Regardless of what you stock your pantry with, there are some things you can do to make your pantry healthier overall.

1. Get rid of the hydrogenated oils. Yes, they often make your food taste yummy … but they also aren’t good for you (of course). So take out the processed food that use these oils and opt for simpler ingredients. Triscuits are a great example; a yummy cracker with just three ingredients.

2. Think outside the peanut butter box. Our neighborhood elementary school is peanut free. Which, depending on your child’s pallet can be a bit tricky. But subscribing to the almond or sunbutter movement is really not so bad. And they’re just as soft as natural peanut butter for dipping sliced fruit.

3. Buy in bulk. Our local grocery store has a huge bulk section and it’s so great because I can stock up on dried fruits, trail mix, raw nuts (that I can roast and salt on my own) and grains like oatmeal. As an added bonus, since things are stored in those clear containers, the kids can point and choose to new things they want to try.

4. Don’t forget the wonders of frozen fruits. Though these aren’t exactly a “pantry item,” you can never have too many frozen fruits on hand. They’re great for cereal, baking, smoothies, and a variety of other snack ideas.

Pick fresh in the summer and freeze them on your own, or buy frozen for less than fresh (the same nutritional value by the way) whenever you’re at the market.

What items do you like to have on hand?

photo credit: InAweofGod’sCreation via photopin cc

Posted in: Food
Stacie McClintock

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