It’s officially the first day of spring and you know what that means. It’s time for a little spring cleaning. I hope you’ll join me and Krista, Hope in the Waiting, for a 5 day series to help us all declutter, deep clean and be green. We’ll be covering a variety of rooms and topics throughout the week. Krista is handling the decluttering tips and I’ve got the green cleaning tips. Keep an eye out for a few fun giveaways along the way! Let’s get started!
Spring Cleaning – it’s a time to detox after the harsh, closed up heaviness of the winter. For some, it means decluttering, purging, scrubbing and disinfecting. For others, it’s finally tucking away all the heavy jeans and sweaters and replacing them with the light tees, tanks and dresses that scream summer is coming! For all of us, it’s a time to get rid of the old and welcome in the new and that new is generally lighter and cleaner.
So today, we’re gonna transfer this same line of thinking to our pantries – the place where our meals come together or fall apart. Unfortunately, they’re also the place where three-quarters of the sodium and most of the trans-fats and added sugars we consumer come from. The good news is it only takes a few simple changes to clean out the foods that are triggering allergies, feeding inflammation and failing to nourish us and replace them with similar foods that are natural, healthy and satisfying.
Below are 5 simple tips to get you started. Don’t forget to stop by Krista’s blog for her Simple Steps to an Organized Pantry. I’ve seen the photos. It’s awesome!
Ditch the white flour. White flour is void of fiber, helpful nutrients and antioxidants. Look for grain products that say 100% whole and have 2-3 grams of fiber. Try adding buckwheat, whole wheat, brown rice or almond flour in place of the traditional white stuff. These varieties make great pancakes, breads, and thickening agents while adding rich new flavors and nutrition to our diets.
Dump the white sugar. See a pattern? Real food isn’t white. Stock your pantry with turbinado, stevia (liquid and powder), sucanat, honey and pure maple syrup and you’ll be prepared to add a little sweetness to just about any recipe. But don’t overdo it. Too much sugar isn’t healthy, even in its healthiest form.
Get to know your oils. Toss any packaged foods that include shortening or partially hydrogenated oil of any type. Replace unhealthy cooking oils like vegetable oil with coconut oil and olive oil. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, opt for the expeller-pressed version, which has the scent and taste of coconut naturally removed.
Read labels. Beware of lengthy labels with hard to pronounce ingredients. If you don’t recognize an ingredient don’t buy it. If it says high-fructose corn syrup – put it down and walk away! Take a closer look at anything ending in -ose – it’s a processed form of sugar.
Get back to basics. Keep your pantry well-stocked with healthy staples like organic, low-sodium chicken, vegetable and beef broth, BPA free cans of tomato sauce and vegetables, brown rice, pasta and super-foods like beans, nuts and dried fruits. These foods are great for snacks and can easily be mixed with organic meats and veggies for a fast, healthy meal.
Have you transformed your pantry? What are your tips?