Perhaps it’s that buckwheat flour sitting in the back of your fridge, from your one-time foray into buckwheat pancakes. Or the five boxes of Cajun rice that you bought on sale, but turned out not to be so great. We all have food that is just sitting around, forgotten about, in our kitchens.
Spring is the perfect time to take stock of what’s in your kitchen, clear out what you don’t need, and stock up with what will best serve you. The Jewish holiday of Passover includes a tradition to clean out the kitchen from leavened food, so it is an automatic kitchen spring cleaning for those who observe. Then, after the holiday (this time of year exactly), there is the opportunity to purchase new food in a more intentional manner.
Of course, you needn’t observe Passover to benefit from this. Anyone can take advantage of the feeling of renewal that springtime brings, and enjoy its benefits. It just feels so good to hit the “refresh” button. You’ll be able to see what’s in your pantry and cabinets, and know that you have what you need. Once your kitchen is set up the way you like it, your day-to-day life becomes more manageable, more at ease, and more efficient. And perhaps too, a little healthier and more delicious.
Here is a checklist for how to go through your kitchen to clean it out:
If you have made a list of good, edible food that you don’t want to keep around, try to “eat from the pantry” or “eat from the freezer” for a week or two. Plan your meals using what is on your list. (Buckwheat pancakes all week for breakfast!) It’ll be great for your budget, and it will clear some space in your kitchen.
Once you have space, you can stock up more intentionally. Consider your household’s “go to” meals that you eat most often on a regular basis – meals that are healthy, delicious, and manageable - and keep the pantry (including spices) and freezer items for those meals handy. Stock up on wholesome snacks too. This way your grocery trips can be more efficient, mainly just to purchase the perishable items. You might be able to save money if you can buy these items in bulk. It’s wise to also have some just-in-case items around, for days where something comes up, and you don’t have time to cook.
Don’t feel that you need to tackle your kitchen spring cleaning in one day. You can focus on one area at a time, and work on it for a few minutes here and there until it’s done.
Chef Hilla Abel helps busy parents prepare healthy food easily and enjoyably. She's a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, and currently serves on the faculty of Bauman College, a holistic nutrition and culinary school.
If you wish to post this article on your site, you may, provided that you post the article in its entirety, and include a link to this page.