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A few days ago I was going through some of my old phone pictures and found one from back in 2011. It was a snap of one of my kitchen cabinet’s contents. At the time, I grabbed it so that I had a “before and after” shot for whenever I finally got around to actually organizing it. We all have a spot in the kitchen that ends up an unimaginable mess and this one was mine. My so-called “baking cupboard” was full of piles of opened packages literally stacked on top of one another at random. Part of the problem is that the cupboard is too high up for me to reach easily: I had apparently resorted to flinging things up into it rather than going to get the step stool! But what actually embarrasses me about this picture isn’t the mess: it’s the contents!
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There are three types of wheat flour and three types of sugar in there, but what really stands out? The two boxes of Splenda! As though one wasn’t enough. I posted this picture to Facebook with a comment about how it was no wonder I used to feel terrible all the time. The comments I got back were pretty funny: “Splenda party!’ was probably my favorite. But then we got talking about the changes that we had all made, to our health, to our diets and to our own kitchen cupboards.
The funny thing is that it was really the Splenda’s fault that I found real food and started to make my very own Paleo pantry, bit by bit. Mr Meatified was determined to go on the Atkins diet to lose weight. I was downright horrified because 1) I thought all the saturated fat was going to kill him and 2) I thought taking out an entire “food group” was going to finish him off if the saturated fat didn’t. Isn’t that hilarious given how I eat now? But while I was researching low carb, I found Paleo – which is how I got to where I am today. Thanks, Splenda!
Someone suggested that I take a picture of what we dubbed the “Carb Cupboard” to see how my Paleo pantry compares to my old baking cupboard. So I did. And instead of posting it straight to Facebook, I thought I’d take you through what is actually in my Paleo pantry these days. Because who doesn’t love to peek into other people’s kitchens? So here’s what my baking / snacking cupboard looks like right now!
The main problem with my old cupboard (aside from its contents!) was that it was ridiculously lacking in any semblance of organization. I couldn’t reach or find anything! Since I have to reach up into the cupboard and it only has the one shelf, I needed to come up with a solution which would allow me to be able to grab what I needed straightaway, from overhead, without having to go and get out a ladder every time I opened the darn cupboard.
So here’s what I did: I bought some wire kitchen shelves (similar to these) to give me some extra organizational oomph and some little baskets (similar to these) to help me group items up so that I didn’t have to pull out a bunch of items individually to reach something at the back. I used four of those baskets to split up some categories: chocolate, fruit, nuts and seeds. Now I had some structure! I knew I wanted to store everything in different sized wide mouthed Mason jars. They are made out of glass, cheap and reusable – woop!
Next I organized the remainder of my Paleo pantry items. Starting from the bottom and working our way up, here is what each shelf holds:
- The bottom shelf holds coconut products, starches and flours as well as a few jars of my leftover homemade jams and some salt.
- The second shelf is for miscellaneous items – and apparently two cans of errant tuna.
- The third shelf has my nuts and seeds, plus some baking cases.
- The final top shelf has chocolate and dried fruit baskets, plus some leftover paper napkins.
So here is a comparison of my “carb cupboard” vs my Paleo pantry.
What does the comparison show you – other than the fact that the light in my kitchen is terrible at night? Look how far that little part of my kitchen has changed! I finally got organized and I finally filled it with actual food! Funny how both pictures show one thing in there that doesn’t really belong. In 2011, it was the random bag of fresh cranberries. This week, it seems someone unpacked a few cans of tuna in a rather strange place! And there’s only one thing in that original cupboard I still eat – the fresh cranberries!
Now if you want to really snoop at my Paleo pantry, let me help you! I took pictures of the contents of each shelf one at a time so that you could really see what was in the baskets and on the shelves. Let’s start again from the bottom and work our way up!
First, the bottom shelf
I’ve split this shelf into a few separate images. Here we have the first group: starches!
Since these are all white, I have to label them! From left to right, I’ve got arrowroot powder, potato starch and tapioca flour. I have to confess that I bought the potato starch to experiment with but have never actually used it because I’m trying out Autoimmune Paleo right now!
Next we have other flours and coconut products:
And finally, everything else!
The second shelf
The third shelf
The first basket has all of my seeds in it.
The second basket is where I keep my nuts.
The fourth, top shelf
There are two baskets up here: chocolate and dried fruit.
Sadly, there’s not a lot in my chocolate basket at the moment!
Aaaaaand lastly: all my dried fruit is in the final basket!
So there you have it – everything in my now Paleo Pantry, Baking Cupboard edition!