How to get that Dream Pantry?
Here we will help you prepare to be able to cook easily even when you haven’t had a shop for a while. In this pandemic I have learned to rely on my pantry more than ever as there were always risks associated going out and getting food or shopping for food. So, I came up with a system that will help me minimise going out as well as save my shopping time on the weekends. I used to spend half of my Saturday going to the shops, supermarkets and speciality stores to get the week’s cooking supplies. Traffic in Sydney makes everything worse as a 3 km round trip can take up to 1 hour or more, oh you know how stressful to find a parking on streets or shopping centres on weekends! Now with my new pantry management system I only do fresh produces top up every 2 weeks and trips to shops have reduced to half the time as I don’t need to shop on weekends anymore. Ok, I guess I have made my point why this would help you to be on top of your game to stay healthy and spend more time on yourself and things you want to do.
Organise, Label and Discipline
Now most people have a pantry where you store everything including day to day items and some inventory for later. I find it easy when things are much more organised and divided so that I don’t feel overwhelmed when I open the pantry door.
I have 2 designated baskets where I keep my everyday opened snacks and excess items -make sure to seal things properly before putting into a basket so that it keeps the freshness of your food. One easy thing we all make the mistake of doing is that we fill up too much into those baskets. Remember you eat with your eyes first, visual is very important and that will encourage every household member to regularly consume before the expired date. Keep the snack basket tidy and not overcrowded. In our family, we have one rule that is we need to finish 1 item before we buy a new chips or snack pack from supermarket, doesn’t matter if the items are on sale or not. If you couldn’t eat or keep up with your already opened snacks, highly likely they will be thrown away and it is such a waste and wasting is a big no no for us. This exercise may be a bit hard to practise in the beginning but once you have a hang of it you will be amazed how much of your lifestyle has changed.
What do we do with excess food items?
This could be from a big spice package to half of cereals left over because they can’t be fit into your display containers. We love to have so many options when it comes to breakfast and it is really good but how many times do you have to eat them all before their best before date. I tend to be disciplined with my breakfast options at home. 1-2 fruits, 2 cereals, Weetbix, oats, smoothies mix, 1-2 fresh baked goods, and soy milk is all we have in the pantry. It’s still plenty to choose from but trust me we all like to keep more than this range at home.
I want to talk a little about cooking ingredients here. Everyone wants to impress with their cooking skills and it is how most people express their care to their loved ones. I am hundred percent that person and I would always love to eat at a good home cooked meal over any take outs or restaurants. However, after that one dinner night, there are many leftover ingredients which we don’t know when we are going to use again before that expiry date. Here is the general rule of thumb that always work with me, stick to your origin. What do you normally eat on weekly basis? If you are pasta kind of guys, yes buying those extra oregano packages are alright because you are going to use it quite often. I always tend to buy the smallest quantity of ingredients. One rule is I would try to avoid deep frying at home because you can’t really reuse the oil after there is much more cleaning involved. From walls to drawers, you got to make sure no oil smells are left so my solution is 1) it isn’t good for health so don’t do it at home 2) life can be difficult and challenging sometimes and if I want to get some deep fried, I will try to oven bake or use the air frier and if none of them works to real fry, get takeaway occasionally. That way, you keep your kitchen clean, pantry tidy, save time to manage excess inventory you don’t use often and probably going to get thrown out once past expiry date. Another tip is to have some versatile pantry items that can used for more than one purpose. For example, I keep some dressing and sauces I like and will certainly use often for different dishes. By that way, you are not getting out of ideas to make your favourite dishes and keep the inventory fresh at the same time. One sauce that I absolutely like to keep is the Tea Sauce from Mimi’s Laphet. It can be use as dressing for most dinner nights and work lunches so it goes fast in our household. I also like to switch my old unhealthy tomato sauce and mayonnaise to this new and healthy tea sauce for my Friday night Chips and Pies. It is plant based, made from super food – fermented tea and it is absolutely delicious. With this, I love that I have flexibility and control that I can recreate any of my favourite dish and no particular recipe to follow. Another pantry stable I always have is Sunkissed Crunch – meal topper from Mimi’s Laphet as well. It is a nut mix that is super tasty and the protein boost that we all need. These crunchy nuggets are nothing like existing nut mix you can get from supermarkets. The origin of both tea sauce and Sunkissed crunch are from Burma and our lucky Australians get to have a premium taste of it. You can go to our website www.mimislaphet.com.au to learn more about it. With these tricks and tips, you can transform your pantry to a better and more efficient workforce that caters your family needs and helps you develop more healthy eating habits.
Photo sourced from: https://www.freepik.com/photos/woman‘>Woman photo created by lookstudio – www.freepik.com