Peeping in our Pantries?

Little Sis here.  In Baby Step 3, Big Sis (against all rationality) offered you all a look into our pantries. Mercy.  Despite my many fine qualities, I have to admit to being somewhat (and I am being uncharacteristically generous with myself here) organizationally challenged.  But since my sister showed you HERS, I guess I have to show you MINE.  Yikes….  Yes, we are still talking about the pantry, not our panties, although we have been know to go that far for your entertainment. Really, this blog is getting a little personal… but all in the name of Food.  Real Food!

Now that I’ve given you a visual, let’s talk about what’s in that puppy. Big Sis was kind enough to compile her pantry list first (since she offered, it only seemed fair) so I will share hers and add the things that I keep in my pantry that she hasn’t included.  Before we get to the lists of ingredient staples that we both keep on hand in order to ensure that we can cook real food, we both have some processed bits to confess, just so’s you know that the road just keeps going before all of us and neither of us would dream of claiming to be at the finish line.

 Mr. Little Sis and I keep coffee and tea on hand as both parents in this house are nowhere near ready to drop that crutch.  We keep a few boxes of cereal (all under 5g of sugar per serving or they must be mixed with a SUPER low sugar cereal).  We also keep the occasional box of whole wheat and white cheddar macaroni and cheese for Daddy’s traveling and Mommy’s had enough emergencies.  In addition we usually have a package of storebought cookies (of the fig newton variety) to bridge the gap between baking bursts.  There are also our beloved Triscuits. :-)   – Can’t believe I didn’t mention Triscuits!  We also keep these simple gems on hand.

You want to peep in my pantry as well, eh?  I’m going to leave out the staples like coffee and tea (decaf for me because I’m a little (Big Sis is also generous with herself ;-)) high strung shall we say?), but I’d be remiss if I did not share a few smudges on an otherwise clean enough to put the scraps on record…I do keep a steady supply of boxed cereal in my pantry.  I get brands with no additives / organic once in awhile and all on sale – but there you have it.  I do make granola and we do eat hot cereal but we all like a little bit of boxed cereal with fruit as a bedtime snack.  But that’s it… except for the not-as-bad-for-you natural tortilla and potato chips that my son takes to school.  There!  I feel cleansed and refreshed, and I hope some of you are feeling better as well… We all have skeletons in the pantry, don’t we? Here are the items that I always keep stocked so I’ll be prepared to make healthy food rather than get fast food or eat something pre-made. Grains:

Dried Beans:

  • black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, garbanzos, etc.
  • lentils
  • mung Beans for sprouting

Part of Big Sis’ pantry is not IN the pantry. Pretty jars, eh?

Canned goods:

  • canned beans
  • canned (or boxed)tomatoes and paste
  • canned pineapple
  • artichoke hearts, olives

CONDIMENTS

  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I use in place of soy sauce)
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • safflower oil
  • salsa
  • mustard
  • bouillion
  • ketchup – I buy organic with no added sugar
  • rice vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • coconut oil and butter

VEGGIES:

  • sweet potatoes
  • Yukon gold or red potatoes
  • onions
  • winter squash when it’s cold out

NUTS & DRIED FRUIT

  • cashews
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • almonds
  • pecans, pumpkin seeds
  • raisins
  • other dried fruit purchased on sale ;-) cherries are a favorite of ours, dates, occasionally figs

REFRIGERATOR:

  • eggs
  • whole grain bread
  • milk (both dairy and almond)
  • cheese
  • carrots and celery
  • qpples
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • flax meal for vegan eggs
  • tofu 
  • sunflower cheese

FREEZER:

  • whole grain flour
  • frozen peas, green beans, corn, spinach
  • nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds – all raw)
  • frozen herbs
  • frozen leftover pancakes

Whew.  When you list it all it seems like a lot, but it’s really NOT so much.  And truthfully, neither of us ALWAYS has all of these things. I don’t keep this list in my pocket and freak out when one item is low.  This is simply the list of things that we have discovered make it easy for us to keep our promise to ourselves to NOT turn to takeout out of desperation.  It would be lovely to have oodles of time for every dinner, but that ain’t life, and some nights there’s a shortage of time AND patience.  Being stocked up on REAL ingredients makes these nights a lot easier to face healthfully and economically.  Stick with us and we’ll show you how.  Do it for a while, and you’ll know why.

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51 responses

  1. How funny! Some of the things you added we try to keep on hand also… just forgot them – the balsamic vinegar is over the stove, not in the pantry! Wish I could come over for a quick dinner tonight.

  2. My pantry started out very organized…and then quickly degenerated into chaos as I bought more and shoved one thing on top of another. Finding stuff is – a challenge. And like yours, my pantry has escaped its narrow confines and moved into other territories.

  3. I have organised chaos in my cupboard. I know what shelf my “stuff” is, BUT not exactly where because Steve likes to cook and could care less about where he puts things back. I would go mental and rant but he is an amazing cook so I keep myself in check! ;). Cheers for sharing your pantry. Mine spreads to 3 rooms! ;)

    • Good point! Definitely always good to have some healthy dry goods around to get you through. I hope you all have not been hit hard – you are in New England, aren’t you?

      • We were in Europe during the storm but upon arriving home in New Hampshire our home was fine. Just lost some big tree limbs. Wish others had been as lucky as we were.

      • So glad to hear that the effects on you were minor. It’s not over for so many people – glad the last snow storm wasn’t as bad as expected!

  4. You two should start doing stand-up with your pantry humour!! All kidding aside, I’m another reading nodding her head about the importance of a well stocked pantry. It’s reassuring in a variety of ways.

  5. I’m a year and a half into eating natural foods. I’ll buy the odd box of crackers for entertaining and make the odd baked good that’s full of crap stuff. Other than that, I’m doing okay at sticking to it!

    • Good for you! Both Little Sis and I have found that it actually does get easier the longer you eat well because your body appreciates it and you begin to notice how bad crappy food makes you feel. Have you noticed that?

  6. Hi,
    I guess, my first time to visit you. That’s a idea. Always ready and dried good are the best.
    My pantry is not as well organize as “Big Sis” as it is too petité. But all I need fits in there that matter, right?

    Thank you for sharing. Have a great week ahead.

    Greetings from chilly Stockholm,
    /CC

    • Never fear Chie! I chose the neatest corner of my pantry to share in a photo… and every couple of months I have to straighten it up so I know what’s lacking :-). So glad you visited us from chilly Stockholm! I am in Tennessee – which at 55 degrees probably sounds pretty toasty to you!

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  12. what a clever post! i love it :) i think we should all be a little more honest about what’s in our cupboards!

    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! i look forward to seeing what other seasonal & whole/real food posts you have for us this week! xo, kristy

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    • I have not had a problem keeping dried beans, quinoa, barley, millet and wheat berries and rice in them. I have had sunflower seeks go bad in a mason jar and I now keep the in the freezer, unless I’m going to use them up right away. I also have a variety of tops to the jars, from older bales with an actual glass top to old one piece metal screw on lids and the more recent 2 part metal lids. Doesn’t seem to be a difference between them. And it makes a pretty display… also gets people asking me about the healthy food inside, which I LOVE to talk about ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thank you for that info! I will certainly look into it. Most of mine are clear, but sounds like I might need to abandon the blue ones to some other use!

  16. My pantry can go from organized and well-stocked to disorganized chaos in a flash! I have some of those blue jars…use them only for decor since I am not certain of the lead content and they are too pretty to hide in the pantry. Thanks for posting this. Saw it on the One Project at a Time blog hop.

    • I do have to haul stuff out, straighten and rearrange every couple of months. I always find something I didn’t know I had! So far I have been unable to find anything on the safety of storing dry goods in these jars. I certainly don’t recommend putting liquids in them, but still trying to get some definitive answers on the safety of storin dried beans in them. Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Mine is a lot similar to yours, also not always in the pantry and then I hate having to run to the store whilst busy with a recipe and then short of something which should have been there! {we have a system in replacing finished stock, but the kids do not always stick to it!} This post reminded me of my late Mom taking stock some years ago – she ended up with about 40 packets of pasta – different ones at least ! and her only “defense” was that it must have been on sale !

    Linda
    With A Blast

    • Oh do I hear you on the sale thing. That often happens to me with natural and organic boxed cereal – which I only buy on sale, so if its’ on sale I think I should buy it! We get a little ahead sometimes ;-) Thanks for stopping by Linda!

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