FGK Pantry Tour

by - 9:22 AM

Week Two of my #fiveorless challenge with Tartan & Sequins is Pantry Purge! Today I'm taking you on a tour of my pantry, including my favorite staples for cooking, snacking and of course, breakfasting.

Julia did a beautiful recap of her experience from Week One, including the switches she made in her pantry for Week 2. (we both are fans of cheese. I'm all good with cheese as long as it doesn't have a bunch of junk in it. I'll admit I am spoiled living in Wisconsin aka #landofcheese).

So what is this pantry purge all about?

Avoiding Food Additives

The shelf life on unprocessed foods is much shorter because whole foods don't contain fake additives to keep them “fresh” longer. Hate to break it to you, but the additives big box labels put in their foods are not to make you healthier or feel better. It's all about dollars and cents - what can be marketed as "Sugar Free!" or "Fat Free!" and still TASTE good? Fake shit. 

What can we do to increase the shelf life of our products so our margins increase? Add synthetic substances that don't cause food to go rancid*, obviously.

Big brand companies do not care about your body. They care about their earnings. Period.

Using that theory, I choose to gravitate towards brands that aren't as widely distributed, or better yet local, as those typically don't have additives or are as concerned about shelf life. Granted, they can sometimes be more expensive. However, I have found that Trader Joes is a fantastic source of affordable, unprocessed foods and my pantry is chock full of them.

What's In My Pantry

So when we moved into our house, I was alarmed to discover we didn't actually HAVE a pantry. 

Uh huh. That's right - 1927 house. Zero pantry. Now the kitchen has been redone to include this lovely pull-out cabinet, but other than that, I've allocated this and three small shelves to my foodstuff cupboards.

This has been surprisingly easy, as I don't buy that many packaged foods and it also forces me to do a pantry purge about once a month to get rid of, ahem, almost empty bags of chips (not from myself).

Here are my kitchen staples, and where to find them:

Shelf One

1. Tera's Whey. Use in smoothies for a great source of protein. (Buy at Whole Foods or Amazon).
2. Trader Joes Pecan Halves. Use in salads for extra crunch instead of croutons or those scary packaged salad topping bags.
3. Sesame Oil. Great for dressings and other asian cooking needs. A little goes a long way.
4. Raw Agave. Use instead of honey or syrup as a sweetener.

Shelf Two

5. Trader Joes 10 Minute Barley & 10 Minute Farro. Best buys ever. These precooked grains finish in 10 minutes, and are perfect for quick weekday meals. I typically make one bag at the beginning of the week and use it all week long in salads, or as a side with some other fresh veggies or herbs. If you're going to buy one thing from this list, make it this.
6. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. So many reasons.

Shelf Three

7. Sea Salt. Put it in your grinder or sprinkle whole.
8. Sprouted Lentils & Cous Cous. For sides and salads galore.
9. Pure Maple Syrup from our CSA :) :) :)

Shelf Four

10. Breakfast additions: Flaxseed, Chia Seed & Hemp Hearts. Flax & chia for fiber and fatty acids, hemp seeds for kick ass protein. See my ways to incorporate them here. 

Other Pantry Staples

All of the above pictured are limited in processing and include whole ingredients. I found the best selection of variety of Peanut Butter & Co. from Fresh Market. Def visiting these guys when I'm in NYC next week!

And last but not least:

Buy the boxful. (Whole Foods has a case discount.) Lara Bars are what turned me on to unprocessed stuff. The only ingredients: dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries, sea salt. Perfection.

How to Pantry Purge

  • Make time this week to clean out your kitchen cabinets just like you would your closet. Same process applies - if you haven’t worn/eaten it in a year, throw it out (or donate if it isn’t expired.) 
  • Get rid of foods with labels as long as your arm and look for foods with additives like Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT). *Read: 12 Food Additives to Avoid
  • Lots of chips and snacks? Throw a party. 

Good luck cleaning and leave a comment below with what recipes you'd like to see for Week Three of our #fiveorless challenge - COOK!

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