I once read that 50% of people admit to snooping through other's medicine cabinets. Not this girl. To me, the pantry is the new age medicine cabinet. A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for a Pantry Peak story on Munch Better. The interview forced me to take a good hard look at our pantry.
One of our biggest secrets in maintaining healthy eating habits day-after-day is pretty simple: keep the junk out of the house! Make your environment work for you, not against you. You won't find much junk food in our pantry and that's because if it is there, then we will eat it. With that being said, we are definitely not perfect and we do house some ingredients that might raise a few eyebrows. But more on that later.
Real talk. Our pantry is pretty darn tiny. We live in a one bedroom condo downtown Toronto, so space is limited, which means organization is key. We only have room for the things we absolutely need.
We try to organize things by category. On the bottom shelf we keep baking-related ingredients like flours, oats and sweeteners. Can you tell we have a huge crush on Bob's Red Mill?
On the next shelf, we store mostly nuts, pastas, rice and some other odds and ends like bagged spices, straws and nori sheets. You'll notice a lot of No Name and PC products scattered throughout. We live near a Loblaws and try to do all our shopping there to save time and money. PC has a great points program called PC Plus and I am a fiend when it comes to collecting points. Free groceries for the win!
Our spices live on the next shelf. We keep them organized in these handy glass jars I get at the Dollar Store. Ground spices can last anywhere from months to years but they do lose their potency over time, so we try to keep them refreshed for maximum flavour in our cooking. Our top 5 spices are sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and paprika. Labelling is key.
On this next shelf, we keep our oils and vinegars. We use a ton of extra virgin olive oil in our cooking. You'll also find some canned lentils and beans in the back.
And last but not least, the top shelf is where we store all our teas. Tea has become a ritual around here. We go through a lot of mint tea and our favourite green teas, Roasted Gyokuro and Japanese Sencha from David's.
Behind the tea is where we keep those ingredients we just can't part with (but probably should) including icing sugar, brown sugar and white refined sugar. We keep holding onto these ingredients thinking we might need to bake a cake from scratch someday, but the opportunity never seems to present itself. But hey, out of sight and out of mind. Right?
If you are wondering how to clean up your pantry to set yourself up for success, LeChing wrote more about it here.
What are you tricks to keeping your pantry clean and organized? Leave us a note below!