A “Peek” in My Pantry & Fridge too!
It’s kinda funny how many people ask to look inside my pantry and fridge when they come over. But I totally get it! When I first began this journey of trying to eliminate processed/packaged foods, my cupboards were as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s and my family was a little upset to say the least.
That’s because I decided to toss out virtually everything non-real-food friendly the day I finished reading the book Nourishing Traditions. I was fully committed to moving forward with the real food game plan, but my family was not quite sure where this journey was going to take us. All they knew was that their favorite snack “foods” were missing.
So although I’m giving you a sneak peek into my grain-free whole food pantry (see the list below of the whole food basics I recommend, particularly if you’re GF and plan to make some of the recipes posted on this blog), it is by no means a call-to-action for you to throw everything away and stock up on a bunch of ingredients that you may not be quite sure what to do with yet.
Instead, it’s important to start slowly – pick one or two things you want to change about how you & your family eat and once you have those down, keep the momentum going and make more changes. I’m still doing that myself – making slow, but steady, changes to improve my family’s nutrition and health. And the great thing is, once I slowed down a bit, my family started coming on board more quickly and enthusiastically.
So … what is inside my pantry?
The following are the key items that I keep stocked and use frequently. It is not an exhaustive list of everything in my pantry (or the many great other real-food items out there). These are simply my personal favorite staples and are the most common ingredients you’ll find in the recipes posted on this blog (as well as other real food sites):
• Nutritious Grain-Free Baking Options, such as blanched almond flour and coconut flour.
• Organic beans/legumes, if you’re following the SCD or GAPS lifestyle, these programs allow limited amounts of beans and legumes, such as white beans and lentils.
• Dried fruits, such as raisins, cherries, figs, cranberries, etc.
• A variety of soaked/dehydrated organic nuts (note: walnuts keep better in the freezer)
• Natural sweeteners, such as raw honey, pure organic maple syrup, maple sugar and coconut sugar. And of course, there’s chocolate – unsweetened fair trade cacao powder and fair trade chocolate chips. (I believe in enjoying some good GF chocolate on occasion.)
• Healthy oils, such as unrefined extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.
• Other: Organic herbal and green teas, Celtic sea salt or Real Sea Salt, GF baking soda, aluminum-free baking powder, various pure organic extracts (vanilla, almond, lemon), etc.
• Limited canned/bottled/packaged items, such as pure coconut milk, pumpkin puree, marinara sauce, assorted vinegars, organic almond butter and cashew butter, canned tuna and salmon, etc.
• Not kept directly in my pantry, but also important are a wide selection of organic herbs and spices
A peek inside my refrigerator too …
In the refrigerated section of my fridge, I like to keep on hand:
• Various organic/pasture-fed meats, poultry and eggs
• Wild-caught fish (not farm-raised), such as salmon, black cod and dover sole
• Organic cultured whole milk products from pasture-fed cows, such as homemade yogurt, cultured butter and raw milk lactose-free cheeses.
• Plain unsweetened almond milk (If you don’t make you’re own, look for an “unsweetened” brand using non-GMO, GF ingredients and no fillers.)
• A variety of organic fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs
• Lacto-fermented pickles, salsa, sauerkraut, etc.
• Kombucha (a delicious probiotic beverage that’s easy to make at home)
• An assortment of homemade salad dressings and condiments
In my freezer you’ll find:
• A variety of organic raw nuts (waiting to be soaked and dehydrated)
• Various organic/pasture-fed meats, poultry and wild-caught fish
• Various organic fruits cut into chunks (for making smoothies)
• Various organic veggies (for quick additions to soups, stews and other meals)
• Homemade organic chicken stock and soups
• Homemade GF baked goods, such as GF breads, muffins, pancakes and cookies
Hope you’ve enjoyed a “peek” into my pantry (and fridge too)! Just remember to take it slow and set goals!
Joyfully Serving Him, Kelly
Michelle Mills says
Thanks for the peek inside your pantry! I struggle with keeping my fridge from being a graveyard where I have trouble finding what I need. I’m about to implement your meal-planning strategy which I imagine will help immensely with that, but I’d love any specific tips you might about how to organize the refrigerator too…
LOL, Michelle! “Graveyard” is exactly how my frig could be described before I started meal planning. I was so upset by how much food got wasted. I had good intentions when I purchased it, but would forget it was there or never got around to using it (or all of it anyway). That’s why I am so passionate about meal planning because it really does help reduce waste, as well as helps to save time and stress.
As far as organizing the frig, I like to keep mine organized by food types. I have the veggies in one drawer, fruits in another, cheeses and sliced meats in another, etc. This helps me to quickly and easily locate things. And not to be a broken record, here, but you’ll find it much easier to keep your frig organized as you start meal planning, because you won’t be tempted to buy more food than you need.
One final tip, when it comes to any change, be sure to start slowly, so you don’t become overwhelmed. If you’re not currently planning any meals, start by planning 2-3 a week. Then as you become comfortable with it and see the benefits, it will be much easier to add more from there. Slow steady progress is what leads to lasting change. I wish you the best in your new meal planning adventure! Keep me posted on how it’s going for you! Blessings, Kelly
Hi Kelly, I love the peek in your pantry. I am just trying to eat organic and real foods (no processed) and it is way harder than I thought. I didn’t realize how often we reached for a box, can or jar! Now I am learning about BPA and all the other toxins that are in our foods and other household items. I am trying to babystep my way to better, healthier (high bp, high cholesterol, hypoglycemic, obese, thyroid, etc) life. I am struggling a lot with meal planning and pray that I can conquer this once and for all.
Also, where do you get all your Eden organics and Red Mills etc, do you order from Azure – I see their name on a few things as well. I am also just learning about this and they do come to our town once a month. We do not have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods or anything like that where we live. Also, besides eating organic, are there any other specific ways you eat (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, etc)?
Thanks, Charia! So glad you’re finding my site helpful to you! You are doing it exactly right by taking it slow – slow, steady change is what leads to healthy changes that last a lifetime. So keep up the great job! Yes, I am in an Azure co-op and am able to get a lot of what I need through Azure. They are such a great company, so if you’re able to join a local group, I highly recommend it because you don’t pay shipping or tax if you’re in a co-op group. As far as meal planning goes, again start slow. Plan a couple of meals a week and once you’re on track, slowly add on from there. As you get more proficient, it will become easier for you! I promise!
And finally, you asked about how we eat. I eat gluten-free (however to be more specific, most of what I eat is grain-free) although I do eat cooked rice on occasion. It’s important to note though that not everyone needs to be gluten-free and if you do decide to go Gf, one of the worst things you can do is eat any of the packaged/boxed GF foods because they are full of empty-calorie ingredients like white rice flour, tapioca flour/starch and potato starch. As well as corn – and if corn if not organic, then you’re consuming GMOS.
The rest of my family is not GF but they do eat a lot of grain-free baked goods, since they like them and it’s easier for me that way, instead of having to bale/make two different things. We’re definitely soy-free. It’s no bueno whether it’s organic or not! And we don’t drink raw milk although I am a firm believer in it – if you drink milk, it’s definitely the way to go. We just aren’t milk drinking people. But I do use raw milk in recipes on occasion. We mostly eat a lot of cultured dairy like cultured whole buttermilk and kefir (I make these myself and use them a lot in recipes) and we love whole milk yogurt and cultured sour cream and raw milk cheese. I don’t make raw cheese, I get my raw cheese through Azure.
I hope this helps! And again, keep on taking those small steps forward – you’re doing great! Blessings, Kelly
I’ve just discovered your website and other real foods sites. I’m very interested in “real food” (my family already avoids as much processed junk as possible) but a little daunted by traditional food preparation. I’m also confused by ALL the conflicting information about what is actually good for you (i.e. Nourishing Traditions says meat/dairy/eggs are great vs. Forks Over Knives says they cause cancer/heart disease). I sincerely want to follow the path that is best for my family, but I’m in the process of figuring out what that is! Sigh, one step at a time. Anyway, I saw that you don’t go the “raw” milk route. I was very interested in raw milk, but ultimately couldn’t take the risk of giving it to my son as their are no local providers of raw milk I would trust. We have a local dairy that uses low-temp vat pasteurization, which they claim preserves many of the nutrients. Have you heard this type of pasteurization discussed in Nourishing Traditions/Weston Price circles as an acceptable alternative? Thanks!
Hi, Melanie. Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. First, I know there is much conflicting info about what constitutes healthy food. I think as long as mankind lives, these (as well as many other) debates will continue. So ultimately, individuals have to draw their own conclusions and come to their own place of finding the right “diet” for their unique health concerns and lifestyle.
I’m not sure where you got the impression that I don’t go the raw milk route, please let me know so I can correct that, as I am a firm believer that if you are going to consume milk as a beverage (drink it) then it should be raw. I personally do not drink raw milk not because I do not believe it’s nutritionally superior to pasteurized, but because I have never been a milk drinker – I just don’t like it. However, I love raw dairy and cultured dairy products such as raw cheese, cultured sour cream, yogurt, cultured buttermilk, etc … so you’ll notice that many of my recipes call for these ingredients, as I use these frequently. I also use raw milk on occasion for certain other recipes.
But back to your question, I do follow the basic tenants of NT/WAPF. But I also have many friends with significant health issues that I’ve pointed to GAPS – which I have found to be an excellent diet for individuals with significant gut health issues. So you’ll find my site has recipes that provide options for both these real food diets and for those who are just seeking to avoid processed refined foods overall.
My philosophy of healthy eating comes first and foremost from my love for the Lord. I believe that He created us and the world in which we live and that He has provided for us the food that is best for our bodies. So my belief (and my experience in healing from a chronic illness due to God’s grace and His leading me to discover the benefits of a real food diet) is that we can achieve the best health that the Lord has determined for us if we stick to eating what He created, as close to how He created it as possible.
You’ll find a lot of discussion about real food in my section on Real Food on this site. But ultimately, I encourage individuals to seek first God and His righteousness and place all their concerns as to what to eat, how to budget for healthy eating, etc. prayerfully into His Sovereign Hands and ask for His direction.
Please check out this post (http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/8-tips-for-real-food-on-a-budget/) as this is how my husband and I approached all the changes we’ve made to our diet and it has been such a blessing to submit to the Lord’s guidance as we make decisions on how to use our bodies, time and resources for His glory.
Many blessings to you and your precious family, Kelly 🙂
I am so grateful for everything you put on your site and leading other women in such a graceful Titus 2 fashion towards loving and caring for our husbands and families. I am striving towards eliminating all processed foods as we gradually use up the items in our pantry and fridge. The ease of these items hasn’t made dinner time prep any easier as my lack of proper planning has still left me struggling to get food on the table on time for my brood of little munchies. Thank you for your encouragement to do my best for my family that in every thing, with the guidance of other godly women (such as yourself), my children may rise up and call me blessed.
I want to be diligent to raise them up well and properly care for my own food-based health problems so I can be an example of a disciplined life for their betterment and God’s glory. Thank you for the tools you are equipping me with towards that end!
Thank you so much, Tasha! I am so blessed by your words! What a joy to be able to be used by God to help others! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! Many blessings to you and your precious family, Kelly 🙂
Becky Webb says
I am a little jealous of your pantry. 🙂
Hi, Becky! Believe me that it doesn’t always look this neat and tidy. You are so sweet! 🙂
Where do you get most of your glass / storage jars? Are they repurposed/recycled?
Hi, Kim! Great question! Yes, I’m a huge fan of repurposing/recycling old jars. The ones in the picture are quart and pint size jars that originally held honey from my local beekeeper, as well as old canning jars, etc. 🙂
Jennifer Cote says
Gee, Kelly- I could’ve just posted a link to your page, and not even bothered writing a post myself! (Sounds like our cupboards/fridges are about the same. Only, uh… yours is way neater looking! (I need to paint the inside of my cupboard white- maybe that would help!
(My article’s here: http://gratefultable.com/grocery-shopping-pioneer-style-plan-purchase-be-prepared/
God bless <3
Thanks, Jennifer. How fun! I’ll have to pop over and check out your site! Thanks for the kind note! Blessings, Kelly 🙂