Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pantry: Focus On Ingredients

When setting up a pantry it can be so tempting to shop the sales with coupons and fill your shelves with packaged convenience foods.  Shopping with coupons can be a real money saver, but focus on buying staple ingredients to build the bones of your pantry.

Olive Oil
An ingredient can be used to make a variety of dishes, not just one.  Olive oil can be used in baking, to saute foods and to make condiments (salad dressing, mayonnaise).  Vinegar is used to add flavor to dishes,  in condiments and to preserve food.

Sugar is eaten too often in our country, but it is valuable for preserving food and as a baking ingredient.  Add other sweeteners that your family enjoys such as honey, molasses, and maple syrup.

Bulk Flour
Grain products are essential in a well stocked pantry.  Flour is used in baking, pasta, noodles, and tortillas.  If you have a grain mill you may want to store unground grains to make your supplies even more versatile.

Bulk Rice
My family eats rice on a regular basis.  Other grains may be your family's favorites.

Versatility, nutrition and your family's preferences should be your focus when choosing the basics for your pantry.  I haven't mention the dried and canned fruits and vegetables you may want to store.  Or the dried dairy products most families can use.  You know your family the better than anyone.  Develop a pantry well stored with the ingredients that will allow you to prepare meals you all will enjoy and thrive on.

God bless,

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