5 STEPS TO MAKE YOUR KITCHEN PANTRY HEALTHIER
You made it through the quarantine glut, and you’ve made a good start sticking to dry April and following a healthy eating plan. So, what’s next? Well, there’s no reason to fall off the wagon and go back to old bad habits. You can stick to the ‘new you’ in 5 steps with ease, and it all starts with what you keep in your kitchen pantry.
Apart from the obvious candidates (no wine and no chocolate – well the standard, milk variety anyway), there are lots of tweaks you can make to your larder contents to keep you eating healthily all year round. And it’s not just about the contents of your kitchen pantry, it’s how you store it and organise it too. Here are 5 easy peasy steps to make your kitchen pantry the healthiest it has ever been!
Ditch out of date ingredients
First of all, give your pantry an early spring clean. Take everything out and give your larder a jolly good scrub. It may seem like an arduous task, but you’ll feel seriously good when you have a sparkling pantry filled with a new healthy and organised array of foods. Your new healthy and organised pantry is sure to help you get your cooking mojo back.
Once you’ve cleaned your pantry until it’s sparkling new, don’t be tempted to shove everything back in higgledy-piggledy fashion. First of all, check expiry dates and ditch anything past its best. Now review what’s left – seriously if you aren’t going to use the canned artichoke hearts don’t put them back in, or at least set yourself a challenge to use them within 30 days. Now you can put everything back in an organised way. Read on for some more tips.
Switch to using glass storage jars
Pantry organisation is key to healthy cooking and staying on track with a healthy eating lifestyle. Easy access to ingredients is essential to encourage cooking from scratch, and helps you to only buy what you need. Use glass containers to store foods so you can easily see what’s inside the container and when it’s running low. Incidentally, glass is also healthier for storing foods than plastic.
Organise your pantry in an attractive way
You want to be inspired to cook healthy food when you open your larder, so make it look pretty and fill your pantry with exciting healthy ingredients. Keep healthy items at the front and centre, and importantly keep healthy snacks in an easy-to-grab position.
Healthy meal planning is much easier with a well-organised pantry stocked with healthy ingredients, as is preparing shopping lists. Use baskets, glass storage jars and attractive cannisters to keep everything organised. A bespoke pantry is ideal if you are having your kitchen renovated. Otherwise, use stacking shelves to make full use of the space you have.
Fill your pantry with plenty of easy-to-reach healthy snacks and ingredients
Eating healthily isn’t about deprivation. Creating a healthy larder does mean sticking to more wholefoods, but there are plenty of delicious wholefoods you can snack on, including nuts, seeds and dried fruits, as well as homemade trail mix and cereal bars. These mint chocolate power bars by Green Kitchen Stories are healthy, delicious and are sure to pep you up when you hit a mid-afternoon slump. Nut butters (preferably not peanut) are also delicious with wholegrain crackers, or spread on slices of apple grabbed from the fruit bowl. See how easy it is!
Keeping your pantry topped up with healthy ingredients is also key. An empty larder and an empty stomach is the time you are most likely to crack and order a takeaway.
Switch to non-GMO food products and avoid processed foods
It’s time to say goodbye to processed and GMO foods. Processed foods are full of nasties such as chemicals and toxins, which are detrimental to your health. Processed foods also generally have a much lower nutrient content than their healthier equivalents you can cook at home from scratch.
Processed foods are also pumped full of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which have been engineered, rather than grown naturally. Refined sugars, processed flours and other artificial ingredients cause inflammation, which is one of the leading causes of chronic disease.
Refined sugar is another no-no. If you love baking, there are plenty of healthier alternatives, such as maple syrup and honey. There are plenty of natural sweeteners that make bakes just as delicious as those made with refined sugar, but are far healthier. For sweetening alternatives that don’t elevate blood glucose levels try stevia or coconut sugar.
And there you have it – 5 easy steps to a healthy kitchen pantry. Enjoy!