Your pantry says a lot about you. Is it bare and basic? Bursting with temptations? Are there items that expired yesteryear? Or is it packed and labeled to perfection?
More often than not, having a well-stocked pantry (along with fridge and freezer) becomes a no-brainer when it comes to preparing healthy meals quickly and easily. These foolproof steps will give your pantry a healthy makeover in no time.
Rearrange. Peering into the depths of your cupboard can be scary. There are probably items in there that you haven’t touched in months. Be ruthless and start chucking. If you can’t bring yourself to ditch just yet, rearrange any temptations – chocolate, chips or biscuits – that can throw off your diet. Out of sight, out of mind!
Build better foundations. Restock your pantry with the nourishing staples so you make less room for junk. Think dried legumes, wholegrains, canned tomatoes, heart healthy oils, nuts, nu butters, seeds, spices, rolled oats, wholegrain flours and crackers. If you’re not much of a chef or juggle a busy life, stock up on healthy ‘fast food’ like canned fish, beans or microwave-ready meals, such as brown rice or quinoa. Stock your pantry with these key staples and you’ll always have what you need for a quick, healthy meal.
Lose unhealthy liquids. If your kitchen is home to soft drinks, sport drinks or fruit juices, then it’s time to make a switch. Sipping on these liquids is an easy way to consume empty calories and load up on sugar. Swap them for bottled or fruit-infused water.
Smart snack stash. We all have those cravings that leave us rummaging for food. So prep your pantry with healthy snacks. The only limit is your imagination – cut up fruit, make raw nut slices, combine nuts and dried fruit, or whip up a tasty hummus or bean dip made with canned legumes and enjoy with chopped veg sticks or crackers. As long as you’re prepared, there will be no cookie jars to tempt you.
Get organised. A little structure goes a long way. Group your pantry into an organised ecosystem that makes things easy to find (and stay on top of). Categorise things like snacks, cereals, lunch box fillers, spices, baking goods, and grains (rice, pasta, quinoa, noodles). Don’t be afraid to tip food into jars, snap-lock bags or tupperware and label clearly to gain a little more order.
Say good bye to plastics. A truly detoxed pantry is one free from plastics. A lot of food packaging still contains Bisphenol A (BPA), which is a chemical used to protect food from contamination and extend shelf life. Although small amounts of BPA are safe, too much exposure has been linked to harmful health effects. So err on the safe side by re-packing your food in glass containers.