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how-to: SPRING CLEAN YOUR PANTRY

spring clean your pantry

WHEN WE THINK OF SPRING CLEANING, IT’S OFTEN OUR WARDROBES AND STORAGE AREAS THAT COME TO MIND…

BUT GIVING YOUR PANTRY A THOROUGH REFRESH IS A FANTASTIC WAY TO START THE NEW SEASON. Here’s how by bM contributor and paediatric nutritionist, Mandy Sacher


Clearing out the old and making way for the new has multiple benefits; it’s a great way to make space for healthy habits, it will help you get more organised with your cooking and baking, plus you’ll be more inspired to create delicious, healthy meals when everything is at your fingertips. In fact, a study from the University of NSW found that people with cluttered kitchens were more likely to overeat or make unhealthy decisions. So roll those sleeves up and let’s get going!
spring clean your pantry

Empty your shelves

Your first step is to take everything out of your pantry and give those shelves a good wipe, using a mix of hot water, bicarb soda, lemon and vinegar. If pantry moths are a problem, a few drops of clove oil in hot water and wiped over all the surfaces will help repel them.

Start to cull

Go through every food product in your pantry and chuck anything past it’s sell-by date. How a jar of capers from five years ago is still in there when you only moved house two years ago is anyone’s guess, but it happens all the time! Keep the jars themselves though, just wash in soapy water or run through the dishwasher – they will come in handy, as you’ll see later.

Make a plan

Now that you’re left with food that’s actually edible, make a plan to use it up. Anything still sitting in bags should be decanted into clean containers and labelled. Use up rice, pasta and flours as soon as you can in your next week of meals, so you can start to buy fresh for spring. Put all the older products to the front and add new food to the back so the old stuff gets used up first.

Start to make swaps

Another great benefit of a pantry spring clean is that it gives you an opportunity to make little tweaks to your diet. So if you’re running out of plain flour, for instance, take this opportunity to buy wholemeal flour next time you shop. Similarly, swap white pasta for whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, refined crackers for seed crackers and refined sugar for coconut sugar. I would never advocate throwing food away, so this is a nice way to gentle ease into new habits while still using up what you have. Also, as you buy new dry goods pop them in the freezer for two days first to kill any bugs and then store in the pantry. Eventually try to aim for a pantry that’s filled with one-ingredient items. If a food product has 30 ingredients it’s unlikely to be healthy! Keeping a list somewhere handy (like on the inside of the pantry) helps you to keep up to date with everything you need. Each time you run out of something, place it on the list for the next time you go shopping.

Get organised

This is the fun bit. Store all your products in clean glass containers and label everything so it’s easy to see what you need when you open the cupboard. This is where are all your old jars come in handy. There’s no need to run out and buy a dozen mason jars or a load of Tupperware. Try to use up old, clean glass jars – even the little ones are good for storing sesame seeds or cacao nibs. Finally, place everything back on the shelves, make a cup of tea and put your feet up. You’ve earned it!
+ CLICK HERE to find out more about Mandy
{Pics: Pinterest / The Grace Tales}

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