Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pantry: Clean out and beef up -- Amazon Style

I REALLY need to clean out my pantry (because it is a disaster zone and because it has a lot of foods in there that I am needing to get rid of that are FAR from "clean"). I won't toss everything out (I will allow the Hubs to keep his Oreos, and you KNOW I am not tossing our leftover Girl Scout cookies) but I am going to get rid of crackers and other things that I know I don't want anymore.

I am blessed with an amazing pantry. It was one of the reasons we bought our house. It is huge. It is bigger than our walk-in closet haha! But due to my love of cooking and hoarding of kitchen gadgets, it is getting a bit out of control. So, my goal this week is to organize, clean out, and get my pantry more "clean eating friendly".

So, the first step for me...buying more clean foods to cook with. You can't have a clean eating diet if you don't prepare yourself and set yourself up for success (which is one of the main things I learned during Whole30).

So here are a few items I have purchased (thank you Amazon) that are coming this week to fill my pantry with healthy options to cook with. My sweet friend Jess is slowly trying to change her pantry stock as well and I love her motto: "Baby steps!" It is so true. It costs a lot of money to replace what you normally use. SO I say, use what you have, and replace as you go if you need to. I am not going to throw away all of my white flour because that is just so wasteful to me and hurts my heart a bit, but I did mix it with my whole wheat flour and plan on using it up until it is out. Simple things like that can help to up your nutrition while you wait until you can purchase new things to replace your more unhealthy items.

Here are a few things I have started to fill my pantry with...

These items I already had on hand and usually always have stocked up:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown lentils
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Arrowroot Powder (Great for thickening soups, gluten-free)
  • Almond Butter (not my favorite on its own or with fruit, but is great to throw into smoothies)
  • Natural Peanut Butter (usually refrigerate this)
  • Ak Mak Sesame Crackers (I really like these with hummus or even a bit of cream cheese)
  • Onions (red and yellow)
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
    • Sweet (orange and white)
    • Red potatoes
    • Russets
      • The hubs and I are both born and raised in Idaho. We have a deep love of potatoes and always will (especially Russets). Some people choose to not include these in their diet but they are a great and cheap source for carbs. We choose to keep them in our diet. To each their own. If you are overweight or have issues with Nightshades, you may want to avoid potatoes all together. 
  • Canned tomato products:
    • paste, sauce, diced, stewed are always in my pantry and ready to go (check ingredients!)
  • Canned tuna (I like Kirkland Albacore, check ingredients!)
  • Canned green chilies (great to add to soups or meats, especially slow cooker meats, check your ingredients!)
  • Canned blueberries
    • These were a purchase from my husband's cousin. She runs an amazing group buy and is an expert when it comes to food storage (us Mormon's are really big into food storage). These blueberries are amazing and are packed in only water. Great for baking or throwing in smoothies. I love them.
  • Honey
  • Cox's Creamed Honey
    • LOVE raw creamed honey. It makes it easy to spread on sandwiches for the kids and tastes so light and delicious. Cox is a great brand. I am still on the hunt for some local raw regular honey (to combat allergies and use in recipes).
  • Cooking Oils
    • Coconut, Avocado, Olive (light and extra virgin), ghee
  • Canned Beans
    • I want to get away from these and use dried as much as I can. I can control what goes into them and you just never really know with the canned kinds. Plus dried beans last longer (food storage-wise) and they are cheaper. But it is always good to have some canned on hand.
  • Kirkland Marinara Sauce
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (check ingredients)
  • Natural Chicken Broth (I would go for organic here but opted for natural from Costco, it fit the budget and sometimes you just can't afford to get everything organic, so I usually go for the next best thing)
  • Natural or Organic Beef broth (I have a mix of both, just check ingredients and do what is best for you)
  • And last but not least, spices and herbs GALORE. 
    • Check out your spices and read the ingredients (especially for the spice mixes). There are a lot of hidden items in there that do NOT need to be there. Some big offenders are sugar and soy. Get rid of them. Replace with better spice options.
These items I got to beef up my pantry from Amazon:

  • Almond Flour (better stored in the freezer to keep fresh)
    • I found THIS article extremely interesting. It talks about the pros and cons of almond flour and I agree with her, switch up your flours to expose yourself to different nutrients.
  • Coconut Flour (better stored in the freezer to keep fresh)
    • Health benefits of coconut flour HERE
  • White Whole Wheat flour (for those of you who aren't a gluten-free house, and that would be us)
    • This has the same nutritional value as regular whole wheat flour, it is made from white wheat berries instead of red wheat berries and has a more mild taste than the regular whole wheat flour. HERE is a great link that talks more about it.
  • Coconut Sugar
    • Can be subbed 1:1 with white sugar. This can be argued that, "Hey, it is still sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar." And I completely agree. BUT the issue I have with white sugar is it is HIGHLY processed. In order to avoid that, I would rather have a more natural sugar. So we are going with coconut sugar. It also has a lower glycemic index than regular white sugar. Also it is the most sustainable sweetener in the world, really, was even given an award for it. The trees use limited water and fuel. Plus it is not chemically altered and has no added ingredients. Read more about it HERE.
    • All that being said, I believe it should still be used in moderation. 
  • Whole Wheat Pastas (get gluten-free pastas if you are gluten sensitive, there are tons of options to choose from, most made with corn flour or rice flour)
    • I picked up some Penne, Fusilli, as well as Spaghetti because we probably use those 3 the most. I plan on picking up more at the grocery store as I find them (sometimes they are hard to find at the stores I usually shop at, which is a bummer).
  • Organic Rolled Oats
  • Dried Beans
    • Red Lentils (I LOVE lentils and want to branch out to different kinds, will probably pick up some green lentils as well)
    • Pinto Beans (Specifically for homemade refried beans, so good and so much better than the canned stuff)
    • Black Beans
  • Canned Garbanzo beans for hummus and soups

Hopefully you found something on here that is helpful! I am by no means an expert but I am trying hard to change the way we eat as a family and the way I cook (and doing a lot of reading/research/experimenting along the way). So, whether you want to switch to 100% clean eating or just want to find healthier options for your family, that choice is up to you. I plan on posting more about what I get from other grocery stores (Costco, local stores, etc). in another post. 


  1. The raw honey we use comes from in Highland, UT (which is "across the street" from you, no?) I actually get it from a small farm in South Jordan ('cause that's closer to me)-- I am not sure if you can find it in any local stores.

    1. YES! I will totally look into that Alyssa! Thank you so much. I have been looking and searching but didn't think to look in Highland. You are a lifesaver.


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