Wednesday, April 18, 2012
What Does Your Pantry Look Like?
Recently again I rearranged my pantry. Organizing it is like therapy to me. I know I'm crazy...I'm okay with that. I'm resolved to my OCDs. Seriously though we need order and one area is your kitchen pantry. My hope with this post is that maybe how I do things will be helpful to the organization-challenged individuals. Quite frankly it still looks disorderly to me, but I know where everything is and it works for me.
Truly having an organized kitchen can cause you to actually want to be in your own kitchen more and want to prepare your own food. Preparing your food is healthier, more cost effective, and truly depending on what you make less time consuming. I realize cruising through the drive thru may not seem so then again consuming food like processed products sitting under hot lights doesn't exactly make me salivate...just saying.
Back to the pantry an important health aspect is storage. How do you store your food? When I can I choose to use glass containers. The reason for this are the chemicals and toxins that are contained in plastic or aluminum. I say when I can because we have to be realistic. Everything is a transition. You may not be able to afford buying all new glass containers, neither could I. That's okay. Do what you can do in your family.
One thing I do that you may already do and if not feel free to adopt this is I reuse glass jars from the store. It's simple, you already have it, and it's as simple as a trip thru the dishwasher. In fact many of the coconut oil jars that I accumulate turn into our drinking glasses. They come with lids so it's great for kids, cheaper than plastic sippy cups, and the glass is so think they hardly ever break if dropped. If they do, and you've been saving them, then it's no sweat to replace one.
I save all size jars. What really helps is saving the glass spice jars. I've bought cinnamon and paprika from the store. Well spices are expensive. Now I refill them in the bulk spice section. I get just what I need. Whole Foods has bulk spices. The health food store I work at called The Vine Health Shoppe in Fuquay-Varina, NC also has bulk spices. We have bulk spices, teas, and medicinal herbs.
So I still have plastic containers. They are large, and larger glass containers are pricey. I did accumulate some half gallon mason jars at one point when I was buying raw goats milk. It was for my cat. Laugh those of you who get the joke. Anyway, I stopped buying it and had these great larger mason jars. So I use those for my oats, buckwheat groats, and chickpeas. You can buy those at Ace Hardware stores, and I'm sure order them somewhere.
I label my containers with masking tape and a sharpie. You can use. A fancy label maker if you want to, I'm not that together I guess :) I will say that something I'm a stickler about is if I'm storing any liquids I will put them in glass no if, ands, or butts. Its a fact that poisons can leach into liquids much easier than dry goods. Something else to consider is that most of our dry foods these days are stored in a plastic bag or bin before we bring them home anyway. Just be realistic. If you use plastic try to get BPA free containers.
My approach to a healthier lifestyle is simple, take consistent small steps, eat cleaner and simply, do what you can within the means the Lord Yeshua has given you, be thankful for all things, avoid as much of the garbage as possible, and smile. Put the good stuff in whenever you can and wherever you can. Be wise. Don't fret. Don't listen to everything you hear, watch, or read. Compare and contrast options.
Next time I'll talk about what I use to cook with and why. If you have any tips to share post them down below. If you live locally, the first 2 people to post this blog entry on your face book page let me know below, and if you come in The Vine I'll give you a spice jar to fill with any of our herbs, spices, or teas. You pay for the spices, I'll pay for the jar. If you have any questions post those below also.