When I tell people we do not buy or eat hardly anything processed, I see the wheels turning in their heads. How is that possible? I then explain that noodles, certain cereals I allow my kids to eat (they are kids after all), and tortillas are what we now consider processed foods in my home. Our processed foods have about 5 ingredients in them max. The best part is that I not only can pronounce those ingredients, but I actually know what they are! They are instantly calling BULLSHIT. Since I believe that pics speak louder then words….Here is my pantry, fridge, freezer, my fruit and veggie buckets on my island, my herbs and spices, and my root crop drawer. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this is 2 days into a 7 day menu for us.
This is my food pantry. I am extremely lucky to have an incredible kitchen with LOTS of floor to ceiling cabinets for storage. However, I have almost no counter space as a result. Like every kitchen, I have so many things that I would differently redo in it if I could rip it all out and start all over again.
This is the left side of the pantry. It is home to my kitchen toys and my secret obsession. The top two shelves house my secret obsession (candles). The next series of shelves house my toys that make my life so much easier. I did not start off with all these fun toys. I have purchased them along the way. Most times starting off with the cheapest version I can find. I want to make sure it is worth the money and will actually get used. Each year I allow myself to replace one toy with an upgraded expensive version. One that I know will last a very long time. This past year was my mixer. (Not shown in my pantry.) I have actually been through about 4 mixers over the past 3 years. I do a lot of research to see which upgrade will best fit my needs and stand up to the abuse it will have to take to keep up with me.
Here is our food side of the pantry. Nothing was removed to take this pic and returned later. Seriously, that’s it. The top shelf is my baking shelf. The next shelf is my noodles on one side, rice on the other, with diaper bag food in the middle. Not eating out means always having snacks in the diaper bag.
This is what my kids eat for snacks. Apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, bananas, carrots, cucumber. You get the gist.
This is the odd man out bin. It holds what ever fruit or veggies we need it too. Right now, it is home to one of this week’s dinner…
Center portion of my fridge. Again nothing was removed and added later (except a gallon of milk)
As you can see, the right door is for our drinks.
Left side is for condiments (space on the top side is for ketchup I will be making this week), coffee creamer (aka 1/2 and 1/2 that I will turn into flavored creamers), light cream for a recipe, my 3 yr olds obsessions (pickles and cottage cheese) and one of my kids favorite breakfasts….plain Greek yogurt. We turn it into “flavored” yogurt or “fruit on the bottom” yogurt.
I put hamburger, beef cubes, and chicken (cut into various sizes for nuggets, medallions, tenders before freezing) in freezer safe mason jars. They are already in the serving size I will need for recipes. Any tomato starters or cream of what ever soup I need for the week also goes in here.
The entire left side of the pic is fresh fruit I put into mason jars and froze for smoothies. Great tip… If you have fruit about to go to waste, freeze it. If I made smoothies and had extra, they also go in mason jars. The right side is my veggie and misc side. This week I am making quiche hence the pie crust. I usually make my own crust but wanted one night of cheating for us.
I recently moved my root crops from several areas around my kitchen (cabinet, counter top, and island) to one location. Go me!
Now on to my seasonings and spices.
As you can tell I do not mess around when it comes to my spices and seasonings. They are an amazing way to add flavor to any dish. Simple dishes come alive. And when you have to make everything from scratch….They are some of your best friends. Due to medical reasons, I am not allowed to use fresh herbs in my cooking. So when I can not dehydrate my own, I usually prefer Penzeys Spices. Their prices and quality are incredible.
If you want to check them out, here is their link….
I have been fortunate to find a couple local, small businesses that offer some spice mixes that I also love to use.
Disclaimer….I do not work for Penzeys Spices. I am not affiliated with them in anyway. I was in no way compensated by them for my post. I am just in love with their spices and seasonings.
There you have it….my actual pantry and fridge. We do have 2 chest freezers as well. One holds my homemade stocks, extra fruits and pumpkin purees for baking. The other holds my meats, fish, poultry, bones, and carcasses. I will sometimes buy in bulk when the orchards, farmer’s markets, butcher or turkey/poultry farm have incredible deals and we have the extra money. In case you can not tell I am a wee bit OCD about my cabinets, fridges, and freezers being in order and separated. Saves me time and money in the long run. Drives me CRAZY when they are not in order.
So, now that you have seen the proof, I hope you will not call BULLSHIT when I say we eat fresh, minimally processed, real whole foods.