It's always good to take a look at your pantry at least yearly to purge items that have made their way in and aren't necessarily the food you want to meet your plant-based and healthy eating criteria. So, before you go to the store to stock your pantry, take some time to sort through and get rid of items that don't serve you well.
Begin sorting by reading the ingredient labels on the existing cans and packages.Establish in your mind some criteria to determine what to toss and get started.
Ideas of items to purge
The easiest choices to purge are items containing too much salt, oil, and/or sugar. These three ingredients are more detrimental to our health than most others. Especially watch for saturated fats and trans fats.
Purge canned goods and packaged items that are marked with a long list of ingredients — especially those that contain chemicals or ingredients you can't pronounce and have no idea what they are or what they do.
Purge chips, crackers, cookies, candy, and snacks that are left after getting rid of things described in the first two items. Most of these are loaded with salt, oil, and/or sugar; and many of them go through a deep frying process.
Check labels of all canned soup, vegetables, and fruit to purge the pantry of the ones containing excessive sodium.
Flours, breads, rice, and pasta. The general criterion for these items is to substitute whole grain products where you can for any of these.
Beverages. In devising a healthy way of eating, often sugary drinks are difficult to give up. However, by doing so, you will go a long way in making your diet healthier. Sodas and many juices are mainly sugar and diet versions are filled with chemical ingredients. The more you can substitute water for other beverages, the better off you will be.
Items for your pantry
You are the best judge of what you want to put in your pantry. I have very few packaged and canned items in my pantry as I prefer to eat fresh and frozen foods these days. You may be the same, but there are certain items that are convenient to have: Here are some suggestions for your pantry.
You can find canned beans in BPA free cans with beans being the only ingredient. This is true of other canned items. Watch for the BPA-free cans.
Brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta.
Oatmeal, barley, millet and other whole grains.
Nuts and seeds.
Dried beans, black eyed peas, lentils, split peas, etc.
Once you have stocked the main items in your pantry, take a look at your spices. Ensure you have a variety to meet your needs and to enhance the new dishes you will be cooking.
Since we’re redoing the pantry, we might as well take a look at utensils and appliances. We’ll do that in the blog post next Monday.