We are off on another road trip starting today as an early celebration of our wedding anniversary……I can’t believe it has been 11 years since we got married and in October, we will be together 20 years! Where does the time go?
No, this is NOT a picture of our kitchen in our forever home But we do have lots of space. As a result, I am always on the hunt to find ways to keep things well-stocked and organized. What about you… do you have an organized kitchen and pantry? Are you ready with plenty of items on-hand to whip up a healthy meal anytime – without having to leave the comfort of your home? Keep these tips in mind while you’re shopping and putting groceries away to be a prep pro!
Your pantry may not be this big (not mine BUT ours is about this big!). Organize your pantry or cupboard in sections:
Baking ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda. Mine also includes chips, brown sugar and anything else I may need when baking.
Oils & vinegar (mine are actually over my stove in a cabinet so they are easy to reach)
Herb & Spice blends (a totally separate cabinet close to the stove so I don’t have to go to far)
Canned goods: beans, lentils, fish, tomatoes, vegetables
Dry goods; pasta, rice, quinoa
TIP: Put veggies like onions and potatoes in bins and store in a cool, well-ventilated place. Mine are in Tupperware bins in yet another cabinet in the kitchen. LOL.
STOCK YOUR FREEZER
Is meal prep a thing at your house? The closest I get to meal prep in the freezer is having lots of frozen vegetables, and meats on had. Extra portions of meals (aka leftovers) are also frozen for those quick easy lunches or dinners when I’m not feeling well. For many, meal prep means making big batches and then lay soups, broths, and chili flat in resealable bags for use during the week. Always keep frozen veggies and fruit in your freezer, along with your favorite protein.
TIP: Freeze leftovers in family-or-individual-sized containers for a quick “heat-and-eat meal” for the nights when you’re too busy to cook.
Divide your fridge into sections:
Dairy/eggs, condiments (in the side door)
Veggies/fruit, meat/fish/poultry on a tray or plate to avoid leaks or in drawers if you have them.
TIP: Keep prepped veggies and fruit near the front for quick access
The foods you choose to fuel your body directly impact your health. Whether you’re shopping online or stocking up on groceries to avoid the grocery line, here are some kitchen staples to keep you going:
Greek yogurt | Buy: 2%, plain, non-sweetened | Why: Fat-free can mean added sugar, and flavored yogurts can greatly increase your sugar intake. Plain greek yogurt adds extra protein and can be “sweetened” with fruit or granola or a little Stevia.
Canned tomatoes | Buy: Low sodium | Why: We want to live well and feel great. For some people, too much sodium can make them retain water.
Olive oil | Buy: Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil – this is the healthiest because it comes from the first pressing and no chemicals were used in extraction | Why: Light olive oils do not mean light in calories, often, it means light in flavor.
Canned beans | Hack: Rinse your beans before use and reduce sodium by almost 30%
Pasta | Buy: Look for the first words to be “whole grain” on the ingredient list | Why: You want to avoid overly processed refined grains
Nuts & seeds | Buy: Natural, unsalted | Why: Sometimes nuts and seeds are coated with partially hydrogenated oil and added salt
Canned tuna & salmon | Buy: Packed in water, low sodium | Why: It will have less sodium and added fat
Crackers | Buy: Look for “whole grain” to be the first words on the ingredient list. They should have at least 3 g of fibre per serving and be low in sodium Why: Crackers can be overly processed and made with refined grains | Hack: Make your own healthy crackers with Everything Bagel Crackers.
Finally, remember to keep the following tips in mind:
Buy real food. Use wholesome ingredients.
Avoid shopping when you’re hungry (in-store or online).
Always have a list and stick to it.