March means more sunlight, longer days and warmer weather are just around the corner! It’s also a great time to get more organized and “spring clean” your kitchen.
Below we share a list of pantry staples that we think are key to stocking a healthy kitchen as well as three steps for tackling a clean kitchen.
If you’ve been wanting to clean and organize your kitchen but aren’t quite sure where to start (or if you’re looking for something to do at home this week!), follow these three easy steps.
Step 1: Clean & Toss
Pull everything out of your refrigerator and pantry to see exactly what you have. From here, deep clean all surfaces and toss anything that’s past its prime or combine duplicates and take note of what needs to be used up soon.
Step 2: Get Organized
When it comes time to put everything away, think about how you can streamline your storage to make the most-used items easy to see and grab.
Can you store bulk grains and beans in mason jars to free up space and make it easier to see what you have?
How about labeling your spices or using a spice rack?
Should you rearrange appliances and tools? Are certain cabinets better suited for different tools?
These things may seem small but can make cooking faster and easier and your kitchen clutter free.
Step 3: Take Inventory & Stock up on Staples
Once everything is back in place and easy to see, it’s time to take inventory. Keeping a well-stocked pantry makes it easy to throw together last minute meals, snacks, or even baked goods.
Here are some of our favorite cooking and baking staples to help you restock the essentials:
- Whole Grains (like brown rice, farro and quinoa)
A staple in any plant-focused diet, whole grains can be used in a myriad of ways, are simple to prepare and provide a filling source of fiber and nutrients in your diet.
- Whole Grain & Gluten-Free Flours
Stock high-fiber flours for all of your baking needs.
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
Beyond a bowl of oatmeal, oats can also be transformed into homemade granola, muesli, and even added to muffins or cookies.
- Baking Essentials
Think vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, etc…
- Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds add healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants to any meal. Add them to smoothie bowls, oatmeal, energy bites, muffins, salads, and more. We of course encourage you to keep a bag of Manitoba Milling Co Smooth, Whole-Milled Flaxseed on hand. It’s extremely versatile, nutritious and stays fresh at room temperature for up to two years! If you’re a “flax beginner” here are 7 ways to use it.
- Nut & Seed Butters
Another great great shelf-stable source of heart-healthy fats and protein that can be added to everything from energy bites to a savory peanut sauce.
- Canned Beans
For dinner in a pinch, try these black bean burgers made with mostly shelf-stable ingredients.
- Frozen Fruits & Vegetables
When you run out of the fresh stuff, it’s a lifesaver to have these stocked and ready to go. Blend fruit into smoothies (like this seasonal favorite Shamrock Shake Smoothie) or add vegetables to soups and stews. They’re just as nutritious – if not more so – than their fresh counterparts.
- Oils, Vinegars, Spices, and Condiments
Besides using for general cooking, use oils and vinegars to make your own salad dressings too! It’s easier than you think and gives you full control of the ingredients.
No matter your eating preference, many protein sources can keep for weeks, if not months, if stored properly. Tofu stores well in the fridge while meat and seafood keep well in the freezer.
What would you add to this list?
Spring cleaning can easily get overwhelming, so consider dividing these steps into multiple days. It might be just the refresh your kitchen needs!
Stock up on flax through our online store.