This will be a 2 part series: this post is my kitchen cabinets, the next will be my freezers and refrigerator.
As a nutrition coach I answer questions all day long about what people should avoid, what they should be buying, ways to eat better, what do I eat, where do I shop, etc. But how do they know I really follow my own advice at home? They see me in an office, and what I bring with me for snacks, but they have no idea if I REALLY eat well at home. I decided to do a tour of my kitchen cabinets so you can see that I do take my own advice and strive to eat the way I advise my clients to eat.
I have a rather small kitchen, as my house was built in the 1970’s. We do not have a pantry at the moment, but we are working on that. I have somehow made everything fit in our small kitchen. A friend once made the comment to me: “You really do have a working kitchen, don’t you?” I honestly do. Our kitchen is not for show at all. There is constantly something going on in it- whether something is baking, juicing, slow cooking, the dishwasher is going, etc. Currently I have bread rising, black beans in the slow cooker, and the dishwasher running. The only time my kitchen is quiet is at night once everyone is asleep. We make 3 meals a day, 7 days a week in our small, working kitchen.
Since I do not have a pantry, I have cabinets designated for certain items. About every 2 months or so I rearrange, normally while my husband is gone for the day. He will come home and have no idea where anything is- it’s become a joke between us.
First up is my dry goods cabinet. As you can see, I seem to have a small problem with mason jars.:-) I love my mason jars for storage- I can write on the lids, they keep out the humidity in the summer months ( and in the South that is important), and they look pretty. Plus we now get most of our dried goods from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, and storing them in bags just is not a good idea.
On the top shelf: My spare jars, and a bag of shredded coconut- because there was nowhere else to put it. Middle shelf: Dinosaur shaped pasta ( a fun find at Whole Foods this weekend so we got some as a treat), wild rice mix, quinoa, black-eyed-peas, kidney beans, black beans, jasmine rice, brown rice, sunflower seeds- raw and roasted, popcorn kernels. I also have Millet but I keep that in the fridge. Bottom shelf: Late July chips, Panda Puffs, and a homemade nut mix with almonds, peanuts, and dried cherries. Oh and a bag of mixed dried super berries.
This is my breakfast/coffee/catch all cabinet. Contents change weekly, depending on what I need the space for. Top shelf: Individual packs of kids Superfood powder for traveling, my Shakeology, my one vice- Kettle brand potato chips. Behind those are 365 animal cracker packs for game weekends. Middle shelf: Silk chocolate almond milk- for game weekends, our coffee beans, teas- my husband’s Earl Grey and my To Life tea. Behind those is a tin of Rooibos tea. Bottom shelf: Dried apple chips for the girls for game weekends, a box of EnvirKids gluten free snack bars, jar of cacao nibs, jar of cacao powder, bag of goji berries, large jar of oats, raw almonds, dried apricots, and our granola.
This is my other dry goods/canned goods cabinet. Top shelf: Yes, that is in fact a large bag of sugar. I use it for baking sometimes. (My middle daughter has a medical condition and she needs the extra calories, so I do bake with regular sugar from time to time. ) Garden of Eden taco kit ( it is actually very good).While I prefer to cook as much from scratch as possible, this is our “Tuesday night, mom’s working late” meal sometimes. I also keep my surplus of rice, and my pasta on the top shelf- including elbow macaroni and spaghetti pasta. As you can see we are not a gluten free family- there is no need for us to be. However, we do strive to incorporate other grains into our meals other than just wheat and have cut way back on our gluten consumption. Middle shelf: Big bottle of Braggs ACV- I love my Braggs! I have a bottle in my fridge, and this one in reserves so I don’t run out. Canned goods- we only buy canned goods in the winter, and only organics. Right now I have a few leftover cans of beans and diced tomatoes. As soon as tomato season arrives I will freeze my own diced tomatoes. I also have Trader Joes Superfood preserves, organic maple syrup (unopened), Muir Glenn salsa, amaranth, cocktail sauce, tarter sauce, sweet chili sauce, panko bread crumbs, and a bag of Arborio rice. Bottom shelf: Tea. Lots of tea! My Numi tea kit, ginger tea, Antioxidant green tea, Echinacea tea, chamomile, Rooibos, Numi Rooibos, Numi Jasmine Green, organic local honey.
My spice cabinet is my favorite cabinet. As you can see I have a pretty good collection, including: Cumin, Saigon cinnamon, chili powder, curry powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cloves, sage, turmeric, coriander, white pepper, all spice, bay leaves, lemongrass, ginger, sesame seeds, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cream of tartar, lemon pepper, smoke rub (homemade), taco seasoning (homemade), cayenne pepper, dried garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, Italian blend, rosemary, and braai seasoning. On the top shelf I keep table salt, sea salt, and Kosher salt. On the top shelf: Flours-whole wheat and unbleached.
My baking cabinet: Top shelf- My huge flour container. We buy Bob’s Red Mill flour in bulk and keep it in a large container for easy access. I also keep my brown sugar, powdered sugar, and containers for homemade lip balms up there. Middle shelf- Oils: sunflower, organic, non-gmo canola. I keep my coconut oil and olive oil in a basket next to my stove. I have cocoa butter, Shea Nut and Grapeseed oil for making lip balms. Other items: cocoa powder, egg replacer, and apparently an extra jar of curry powder. Bottom shelf: my essential oils- Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Grapefruit, Peppermint, and Ylang Ylang. Baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, yeast packs.
And my new favorite addition to my kitchen: my herb shelf. My husband made it for me this past Sunday while I was out running errands. We still need to stain it, but I couldn’t wait to put it up and try it out. Once the weather clears up we will stain it. Right now I keep my cilantro and parsley up there. I also am re-growing 2 celery roots at the moment in the white bowl. I am sure this shelf will be totally filled up with herbs in no time.
So there you go- that is what is currently in my kitchen cabinets. I do try hard to live by example and practice what I preach. We are transitioning to making 95% of our food from scratch, but that does not happen overnight. We do eat 99% of our meals at home, and I shop weekly for perishables. I am also transitioning to online grocery shopping, and once I master that I will post how and where we order our food from.
Until next time,
Happy, Healthy Cooking.