Spring Cleaning Mega Blog

This week I've been giving tips, guides and recipes to get your spring pantry detox well and truly underway. Some of you may have missed what was shared, so I've put them all in one easy to consume spot for you to review :)

You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat – so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!

I love this saying! How many items are currently hiding in your pantry that you bought:

- in a rush because you were hungry (fast);
- because it was on sale or a total bargain (cheap);
- as ‘convenience’ food to save you time (easy);
- with ingredients containing numbers and additives (fake)?

We have all been there! If your pantry hasn’t experienced a detox and de-clutter in the last year then just start with one shelf at a time.

Out with the old and in with the fresh

Out with the old, in with the fresh!

Fresher tastes better, it’s as simple as that. Many flavour compounds are volatile and degrade over time. How many spice jars in your pantry are currently out of date? In pantries that we detox, we often find jars that are a whole year out of date; the oldest one yet was 6 years past!

It’s no wonder we begin to lean on packaged sauces, condiments and stock powders to create flavour. Smelling and digging into a super fresh lot of my favourite herb (coriander), freshly ground almond butter, or organic Turkish apricots send me happily batty! If this is an unknown experience to you, dive in and discover what you have been missing out on. The flavour blending skills can come after with play or a bit of training.

Better out than in!

Better out than in.

Colloquially, this is used in reference to flatulence or belching. Strangely enough, most of the foods I find regularly in pantries are very low in naturally-occurring fibre. Without enough soluble and insoluble fibre in our diets, we can get constipated, and no person can remain as healthy as a button if chronically constipated (2-3 bowel movements per day is ideal).

Those processed foods are better out of the pantry and house; replace them with fibre-rich wholefoods such as linseeds, chia seeds, wholegrains and legumes etc. Your insides will thank you.

Monkey see Monkey do

Monkey see, monkey do.

Your children are watching and learning from you whether you know it or not.

Are they currently learning a definition of “normal” eating that you desire them to have for life? Will it keep them healthy and happy into their old age or is what you stock in your pantry currently decided upon by other factors like them begging you for certain items, sugar addiction, or past habits?

Even if their current behaviours are trying enough that you give in, they can be improved in surprisingly short periods of time. What would you wish your children to have in their normal diet when they become adults and how can you start exposing them to those foods now so they become the new definition of “normal”.

Waste not want not

Waste not, want not.

Is there more waste in an average Australian pantry of largely processed foods or a wholefoods pantry of bulk goods?

Think about the packaging, the marketing that went with that packaging, and how many stale packages of forgotten-about ‘foods’ get thrown out because they got buried in disorganization. More importantly still, if we were to measure dollar-spent-per-nutrient-value, do you think we would be wasting more dollars on all the processed foods or on all the nutritious bulk goods such as oats, sultanas, quinoa, tahini, and nut mixes etc?

The lower the nutritive value of a food, the more food our body tells us to eat because it is still technically starved of the building blocks it requires.

These may be the top 5 reasons to improve the state of your pantry but there are many more. It is one of those experiences where you won’t be able to fully understand the many layers of positive side effects until you actually do it in your own pantry, whether on your own or with the help of the pros. I will also be sharing my inside secrets for a better pantry on a webinar in late September. Register here - www.tinyurl.com/pantrysecrets - Happy detoxing!

nut butter

Healthier Choices

How many times have you got caught thinking you were making the healthier choice, only to find that it wasn’t quite what you expected?

Lets take the average nut butter for example. One that comes to mind is called “Cashew Spread” (not shown for protection reasons) and comes in a very simple, earthy-toned tub. Further inspection reveals that the first ingredient is vegetable oil, then maltodextrin (a partially hydrolysed starch from either wheat or corn, said to contain MSG), cashews, milk solids, sugar, 2 emulsifiers, salt and other tree nuts. Guess what percentage of cashews this Cashew spread contains? Only 25%.

In order to detox your pantry, we need to know what options we have for substitutions. Some of the best substitutions are skills! But until we gain new skills, we must either develop the automatic habit of reading labels meticulously before purchasing – OR choose to stock our pantries with foods that don’t require an ingredient label because they are comprised of the single ingredient you are buying (ie. Whole raw cashews to make your own butter at home, or freshly pressed butter from nuts, and only nuts, in your local The Source Bulk Foods store).

DID YOU KNOW that a spoonful of nut butter either straight, or on a big piece of celery, will carry you through that 3pm energy lull better than any other form of stimulant such as coffee or sugar?! It is easy to keep a container of it in your bag, desk, or office just for those occasions too!

Old Pantry

How is your Pantry?

Not too many decades past, before the fridge, the pantry or “larder” was an entire room where meat was stored dry or in lard (hence the name), as well as dairy, preserves, wine, and vegetables. Today’s pantries range from virtually non-existent to an average size approx. 1/10th of a traditional larder.

The returning trend of most recent times resembles a traditional larder, being a “Butler’s Pantry” or a Walk-in pantry.

The key thing to remember about whichever space you have is that it is what’s inside that really counts. You can make it beautiful AND functional with well-sealing glass jars, a pinch of structure (such as baskets or larger containers), and a dash of order (such as labels or designated places for things).

As far as history goes, let’s make sure we are writing the history well now that we wish our children to live later.

Tahini Lentils

Ingredients:
🔶 2 C Dried Lentils, soaked overnight **
🔷 1 Lg. Onion, brown, yellow or red
🔶 2 Tbsp Ghee **
🔷 2 tsp Cumin **
🔶 2 tsp Celtic salt **
🔷¼ C Fresh coriander stems, chopped
🔶 6 Tomatoes or 1 tin diced tomatoes
🔷 ½ Capsicum, sliced thinly
🔶 2 Cloves Garlic
🔷 ½ C Tahini, unhulled is stronger in flavour
than hulled **
🔶 ⅓ C Coconut cream, thickest part
🔷 2 Tbsp Olive Oil **

To serve it as a main, garnish with:
🔶 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
🔷 4 Eggs, boiled and sliced
🔶 2-3 C Green beans, blanched
🔷 Fresh coriander
🔶 Salt & Pepper **

** Grab these from your local The Source Bulk Foods!

Instructions:
1. Cook the lentils in plenty of water by bringing to a
boil and then lowering the heat to simmer for approximately
30 minutes. Once fully cooked, drain and set
aside.
2. In a large pan, sauté the chopped onion in ghee.
Once softened, add the cumin, salt, coriander stems
and tomatoes. Continue to cook on med heat for 3
min.
3. Add in the capsicum, crushed garlic, tahini, coconut
cream, olive oil and all the lentils. Heat through with
the lid on. Mash down the lentils enough to thicken
up the mixture. This may simmer or be served immediately.
4. If serving as a main, you may blanch the green
beans over the pot of water that is boiling the eggs.
The beans only require approximately 5 minutes in
steam. Hard boiled eggs take exactly 10minutes if
put into already-boiling water.
5. Drizzle the lemon over, sprinkle on the fresh coriander
and give a generous cracking of S&P. Serve the
hard boiled egg halves and green beans on top.
6. Goes well with a fresh green salad and flat bread.

Note & Tips:
−− Get creative with other forms of lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, or various dahls.
−− You can add all sorts of different vegetables to the mix to round it out as a stand alone meal.

Make your own muesli

Throw Out Your Cereal

Throw out the cereals in boxes and plastic bags, when you buy these you are not just buying the cereal, you are paying for the marketing (I have a rule, if food needs an advertisement then it's probably not food - looking at you Kellogg's and Sanitarium), the waste that goes to landfill (cardboard AND plastic, really cereal companies?) and sometimes a whole lot of fillers that are low in nutrition, full of refined sugar + man made vitamins and minerals!

Buy your breakfast cereals in bulk, or make your own from beautiful organic ingredients from The Source Bulk Foods, store them in your beautiful glass jars, save waste and eat fresh and healthy cereal! Easy!

Pantry Flip

You don't know what you don't know!

Sounds simple and silly, yet many of us don't know what lurks in our pantry. What lies in your pantry? Is there something there that could make you sick or impact your well-being? Is your pantry more like the left one than the right one?
Take some time this weekend and read some ingredients that lurk in your pantry. Something you can't pronounce or something that has E200 in it? Become a detective and find out what you SHOULD know!