Photography: Liz Smithers of Laka Living
We applied the Marie Kondo method to our pantry upon the New Year and did some much needed reorganizing, minimizing and re-evaluating of what feels most essential to occupying shelf and refrigerator space versus what had been sitting there for way too long, taking up space and likely expiring or going rancid.
Much of the process felt intuitive based on where we’re naturally striving to become more intentional in our current lifestyles and dietary habits (for example, less plastic/waste, minimizing impulse purchases, sustainability practices, healthy budgeting and finances, etc). And then of course in true Marie Kondo fashion, asking ourselves if the product truly brings us JOY (and creativity) in the kitchen.
We’re sharing some of our methods, tactics, and ideas in hopes they serve as a little inspire for you to follow suit — in addition to some considerations for new pantry items to throw into the mix that encourage creativity in the kitchen and promote overall wellbeing. Think: stabilizing blood sugar, supporting digestion, providing gentle daily detoxification, and improving sleep.
ITEMS TO MINIMIZE OR COMPLETELY TOSS
Expired or those “I’ll never use this again” flours of all kinds, especially those that contain any refined or enriched ingredients.
Expired condiments, cooking oils and dressings that have likely gone rancid.
Expired milks, dairy products, juices and other liquid drinks like kombucha that have likely gone flat.
Rotted, bruised produce and fruit. We found a lot of lemons, zucchinis and other random items that were just lurking in the back of our refrigerator.
Unlabeled spices, herbs or other cooking ingredients — especially if you’re unable to identify what they are or how long they’ve been sitting there.
Stale items such as crackers, chips and other snacks.
Anything that’s loaded with refined sugars or sketchy ingredients! Look through your stashes of “sweets” and nut butters for these hidden, unnecessary ingredients that could be contributing big time to inflammation, hormone imbalance, fatigue, etc.
And finally, your freezer is likely a black hole, so unless there is a clear intention or purpose for something still being in there, it’s probably time to toss it. Ice cream, frozen dinners, very old leftovers…etc.
ITEMS TO REORGANIZE + REPLACE
Glass jars to fill with any dry, bulk ingredients such as lentils, rice, oats, nuts, and seeds. If they’re in a plastic bag or container, dump the contents into sealed glass jars to minimize BPA exposure and then take that jar with you to refill from the bulk section when that ingredient runs out.
Condiments that serve a bigger purpose. For example, if you’re a fan of ketchup and mustard, we can’t help but tout the insane taste and nutritional benefits of the Dark Horse Organics condiments that are appropriately salted and brimming with gut-friendly probiotics.
Ghee and extra virgin olive oils for cooking — look for Ancient Organics Ghee, Brightland Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Consider making your own dairy-free milk alternatives at home that you can store in large glass jars in the refrigerator. We love a simple hemp seed milk blended with dates and vanilla bean that doesn’t require any straining whatsoever. Also, CAP Coconut Butter + hot water makes an instant coconut milk base for morning lattes.
For those spices you bought that one time for that one recipe, consider broadly searching for new spice blends that can accompany several new recipes you make this year. For example, we love the Countertop Foods spice blends, including their breakfast and grill blends. If you are really into turmeric, we have several adaptogen blends containing turmeric + a host of adaptogens to support your lifestyle.
For any of those cane sugar filled peanut butter jars that may have been lurking around, we promise you it is so worth it to start making your own at home using a food processor, or recommend exploring the world of Laka Living Drips and Sun For Soul Matcha Detox + Sun Power butters. They are very versatile and contain herbal blends that fully nourish your body and help to satisfy those sweet/indulgent cravings. Think of it as a way to add a daily supplement to your big spoonful of butter, all in one.
ITEMS TO ADD + ELEVATE
Boketto Matcha! Simply for the grounding energy it provides, plus the added benefits of chlorophyll and antioxidants. Not only is it a wonderful, non-acidic caffeine alternative to drink, but it can also be explored in cooking and baking — think morning oats, pancakes, dressings, and other indulgences.
Honey! And other immune boosting staples for internal support, especially during these dryer, colder months. Activist Manuka Raw Honey, Beekeepers Naturals Superfood Honey + B-CHILL Hemp Honey, Countertop Foods Golden Honey, Anima Mundi herbal tinctures (like Curam and Soma), and Laura’s Botanicals Elderberry Syrup are a few we’d highly recommend.
Countertop Kitcheri Bowl! For those days where digestion could use a little reset, this makes it super simple to prep. Because of its warm and nourishing properties, kitcheri has become a favorite in our pantry to soothe the body internally without feeling deprived of nutrients and satiation.
We also highly recommend the Moon Juice Cookbook and CAP Beauty’s High Vibrational Beauty for recipe inspiration from season to season, including ways to be highly resourceful with your ingredients.
Photography: Liz Smithers of Laka Living