By donR 3/31/15
Okay, every pantry will be different. And when I say pantry I’m talking about cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, back room, or any place where you store food. In parts one through four we have shared some ideas on stocking ingredients for healthy salads, soups, vegetables and sauces. Today, I will give you our final list of what we keep in our pantry for baking, desserts,and a few odds & ends. Of course yours will look different but here are 10 general guidelines for you to consider.
- Have ingredients ready for last-minute emergencies.
- Store enough to cook once for several meals.
- Fill your pantry with healthy ingredients while limiting sugary, fatty comfort foods.
- Restock your pantry on regular basis.
- Make a meal plan and shopping list with your family.
- Use planned-overs whenever possible.
- Think about keeping healthy snacks in your pantry.
- Watch “pull dates” and use older food first.
- Freeze scraps of meat, veggies and fruit juice in containers to use for soup stock, soup, juices, smoothies or with gelatin.
- Stretch your budget by limiting packaged baking mixes, spice packets and meals in a box.
Finally here are some ingredients we keep on hand and a final list.
Baking is an art all by itself and what’s in your cupboards will depend on your baking and nutritional needs. For general purposes you will want to have fresh aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, fresh yeast, whole wheat flour, unbleached all-purpose flour always available. You might also think about trying non-gluten flour for a change. You will need some type of fat like canola oil, unsalted butter, vegetable shortening or lard. Baking recipes also call for eggs, milk, natural sweeteners and specialty ingredients like nuts, cocoa and coconut.
Sure, desserts are comfort foods and are the highlight of the meal for many kids. To stay on the healthier side, you can choose to stock Knox unflavored gelatin, fruit purees, Greek yogurt and a tub of whipped cream to go along with baked goods and fruit for dessert.
We live in the Pacific Northwest so seafood of every type takes up a lot of our freezer space. If you have no freezer consider buying a small one to share with friends or rent space from butcher. Don’t forget the white wine to use when poaching or stir-frying seafood.
Master baking mixes, tea and spice mixes are stored in tight containers in small quantities as is honey and cane sugar. When they’re gone, fresh ingredients are rotated in.
Hot sauce, chili peppers, cocktail sauce, Worcestershire sauce and pickles are good additions to warm your guests when company comes for dinner.
For the Master list of healthier pantry items visit Cancer.org We challenge you to go through their list or our 5 posts and make your own list with family members. Attach your list to the inside of a cupboard and note when you are getting low on items. You will not only save time and money, you will eat healthier meals.
“Let food be thy medicine…and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates