It may seem daunting, but seriously, physically taking everything off the shelves and seeing what’s hiding in the dark corners of your pantry is the first step to starting fresh. This allows you to have a blank canvas to work with (so to speak), and also take stock of what you already have (hello 5 bottles of balsamic vinegar, were you guys having a party back here or something?)
If you’ve found yourself in a comfort food rut over the cooler months, there is no better time to shake things up then right now. With your whole pantry laid out bare, take this as an opportunity to remove temptations and replace these with healthier alternatives (but we’ll get to this part later).
This may come as a surprise, but pantries do absolutely nothing to preserve your foods. Did you know that spices can go off? That’s right, that jar of Sumac that you bought for that one recipe two and a half years ago probably isn’t in the best shape right now. So take stock of what you have in your cupboard and cull everything that isn’t up to scratch, or passed their use-by date. As a rule of thumb, spices are good to go for six months to a year, if in doubt, trust your nose, spices passed their prime won't give off a strong odour.
TIP - pimp your spice jars by washing off the standard brand labels and adding your own cute ones.
We’re starting fresh here. Don’t get complacent, chances are your shelves have been long neglected and are in dire need of some TLC. Getting those cupboards shining is the next step in getting a Pinterest worthy pantry. Try a combination of white vinegar, warm water and essential oils such as tea tree, citronella, and eucalyptus. This blend is a great toxin-free way to clean PLUS wards off pantry bugs that can pop up in the warmer months - we're looking at YOU weevils.
TIP - Try taping bay leaves to the bottom of your pantry shelves and backs of jars of flour to keep pantry bugs away.
Now comes the fun part (believe us, it’s way more fun then it sounds) - it’s time to get organising.
Think of your favourite grocery store: things aren't arranged on the shelves willy-nilly, they’re organised in a way that makes sense. Use a system that works for you, and the way you cook.
The way that we like to do it is arranging items that are often used together, or used as a substitute for one another, in the same place, eg. spices all live happily on the same shelf, as do our oils, our flours and baking supplies, all things pasta and grains, you get the idea.
Another important step within this step is arranging these so that the oldest products are used first, a little hospitality term we call ‘first in first out’. Have it so that you’re reaching for the oldest products first, which will help reduce your food waste as you’re not going to have them sitting there getting older, while you’re using newer product!
Now that you’re all over what is actually living in your pantry, you can now restock on the things you're low on or healthy alternatives for all that junk you chucked out earlier. The Wholefood Pantry Range by Nutra Organics is a great place to start.
Keeping nuts and seeds on hand makes for an easy snacking go-to, plus they make great additions to a quick and nourishing salad.
We recommend upcycling jam and pickle jars to store flours, nuts, seeds and other powders.
So go forth and organise, and don’t forget to tag Nutra in your freshly spring cleaned pantry photos! #wholefoodpantrygoal