restock your pantry!

nice pantry huh!? I found this on a google search for pantry! dream on....

What a great idea for 2012!! Take a real close look at your pantry, do you like what you see in there? if NOT take this time to toss it out and start with fresh new alternatives to processed foods that don't work for you and your family anymore (with your 'Be Healthy' 2012 resolution right!? ha!). Take a good look at things you use a lot and check to see if there is a healthier alternative. In most cases you will find that there is something better you could be using.

love this idea... if my house was the size of a barn! but looks nice, dream on....

I will give you ONE guess where I got this idea... and her name starts with M, you KNOW it was in her January calendar... she was talking about spices but I started to think.. YEA this is a good time for people who are using heavily processed oils, flours (well ALL flour is processed but maybe you can make heathier choices here, maybe even organic!)

this is my 'pantry' it consists of six stuffed shelves and bit of counter space (urgh!) - I can't believe I'm showing you this unadulterated

Here are some ideas:
- replace your Wesson oil with Sesame oil or Olive oil - try different oils and see what works for you and your NEW lighter cooking :)

- Kuzu (or kudzu) as a thickening agent instead of corn starch - it's made from the kuzu root and you dissolve in cool water and then you can add to sauces to thicken them (they will start cloudy but when they are fully dissolved they turn clear in your food or sauce).

- Agar Agar is used instead of jello or pectin - mix with fruit juices and make delicious kanten or your own jello!

- switch your white rice to brown rice! just remember you need just a bit more cooking time (45 mins.) but the added flavor and vitamins, minerals and magnesium are a boost for your whole family! (these are polished off in white rice, which takes off the bran and the germ)

- exchange your white pasta for whole wheat or soba noodles!

- switch your Morton salt for SEA salt - this is an easy change and it will make an impact on all of your meals and your entire families health. There are many mineral benefits that sea salt adds to your diet.

- Instead of using cream in your cooking, use greek yogurt, it thickens sauces amazingly and if you have any leftover give to your kids as a snack with honey... they will LOVE it!

- Green Tea - if you don't like to drink it try marinating your chicken or fish in it instead of soy or other salty/sweet options!

- Buy your organic grains at the healthfood store in bulk, it is much cheaper and if you are worried about bugs or moths just throw in a bay leaf and they will stay away! (really! it works!)

There are many more healthy options to make your kitchen a happier and healthier place... just keep listening for ideas...

And if you haven't picked up an issue of Martha Stewart Living lately, check it out again! Pilar Guzmán is doing an amazing job of modernizing this magazine and making it really luscious and fun to read, try it again!