One Simple Change: Revamp Your Pantry + A Kilner Jar Giveaway!
03.25.14 One Simple Change: Revamp Your Pantry + A Kilner Jar Giveaway!
Guest Post: This is the third post in a series excerpted from Winnie Abramson’s book, One Simple Change. Consider her advice to do a little spring cleaning of your pantry shelves, then take the pledge below. You could win $100 of Kilner glass storage jars for your pantry, and $100 for your school!
In my book One Simple Change, I wrote quite a bit about clearing out the clutter from your life. Winter is now officially behind us so it’s the perfect time to revisit this concept. Spring is a great time to focus on cleaning and organization.I am someone who is very likely to feel anxious and unhappy when my spaces are cluttered. This goes for both my brain and my physical space: the existence of clutter makes it hard for me to get things done. Is the same true for you? It can feel so amazing to let go of emotional baggage (and I give some suggestions for how to do that in my book); focusing on ways you can clear your physical space can do wonders, as well.
Take a look around your home: Open your closets and your drawers. Are you holding onto things you don’t need? Now is a great time to let them go. You will likely feel so much better when you do.
One of the places in just about everyone’s home that can typically benefit from some clutter control is the pantry. If yours is a mess, it may be hard to know where to begin, but I suggest you get started simply by taking stock of what you’ve got. Clear a surface and empty all your cabinets out.
Next, toss everything that’s past its prime. Most packaged and processed foods should probably go. (Though if these don’t make up much of your diet, I don’t think you should worry too much about them…I believe there is room for all types of food in a healthy diet.). I hate telling you to throw things away, so if something is compostable (or suitable for donation), please go that route.
A lot of people don’t cook much because they don’t keep many staples in their pantry. If this is going on with you, now’s the time to make a change! I want you to restock your kitchen with everything you need to create wholesome, nourishing meals for you and those you love.
My goal, when I stock my pantry, is to know that I can throw together a tasty meal with what I have on hand pretty much anytime. I want to be able to make any dish that pops into my head, or that I see online or in a cookbook or magazine, with a very minimal amount of shopping for additional ingredients (like fresh fruit or vegetables, dairy, or meat). The more items I have on hand, the better off I am. So I keep a lot of staples in my pantry.
I’ve got many different oils and vinegars; dried legumes, like black beans and chickpeas; different types of lentils; grains and pastas; various nuts, seeds, and dried fruits; a variety of unrefined sweeteners and sea salts; and a giant collection of herbs and spices. I’ve also got a pretty big collection of regular and gluten-free flours for baking. I buy as many of my pantry items as possible in bulk (to save money and avoid packaging), and I store everything that is suitable in glass jars with tight-fitting lids. This works very well for keeping my ingredients organized and away from pests; it also means I can keep as much of my food away from plastic (and its potentially unsafe chemicals) as possible.
I also have a lot of home-canned fruits and vegetables, which I preserve each summer. I make many jars of sauce with tomatoes from my garden, for example. Though homemade jams can end up being pretty high in sugar, I make them with local fruit and derive great pleasure from having them around. I use them in small amounts throughout the winter, and I also give them as holiday gifts.
What about you? Do you have a lot of stocking up to do? Feel free to take your time with this—getting your pantry where you want it to be probably won’t happen in one day.
Tell us, what’s in your pantry that you’d be only too happy to get rid of? Or what healthy staples would you like to stock up on to have on hand? Pledge to get real about real food storage, and it could be a win-win for both you and your school!