In the Pantry - Baking Items, Spices, Herbs, Extracts, Sweeteners, Bread and Breakfast Cereals
Thank you, Anne, for the idea of devoting some time to write about what I stock in my pantry. I hope it is helpful for those of you who visit Franziska's Pantry because it has certainly been helpful for me to think about. It is resulting in greater attention to my pantry for the purpose of frugality and some reorganizing also.
Here is what is on the list for the pantry this week:
Salt (I use Trader Joe's Coarse Sea Salt from France - ugly grey color - for foods which have a liquid base that simmer for awhile on the stove such as soups or stews. Since it is coarse, it needs time to dissolve and doesn't work for sprinkling on from a shaker. The finer salt that I use in cooking and in a shaker for table use is Redmond Real Salt which I get from my food co-op in a 25 lb. box. It is shared between 4 or 5 people. It is also available at Whole Foods in one-pound bags. I also use pink Celtic salt which I find at Costo for a good price.
Sea salt that is white has had all the minerals removed and is no different than regular toxic table salt.); baking powder (the kind with no aluminium, which I get at Whole Foods); baking soda (Arm and Hammer is fine - I buy it in bulk at Costco); yeast (I like SAFF, which I find at Smart and Final in a one-pound package. Keep it in the freezer and it will last three years);
Spices in bottles (these are not fresh, such as ginger) - I have started buying organic as I run out; listed in order of frequency: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, cardamom seed, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, allspice berries, whole cinnamon, whole cloves, ground mace.
Herbs (not fresh) - Again, as I run out, I am replacing with organic; these are also listed in order of frequency: basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, rosemary, black peppercorns, Italian seasoning, thyme, sage, celery seed, poppy seed, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, curry powder, ground coriander, coriander seed, turmeric, dill seed, onion powder, white pepper, fennel seed, tarragon, whole mustard seed, fennel seed, gumbo file, cream of tartar, green peppercorns.
Note about some of my spices and herbs: I use certain herbs and spices extensively in my cooking, so I order them in organic one-pound bags from my food buying co-op (so much cheaper that way). I store them in antique quart canning jars with the old metal and glass lids (these are part of my kitchen decor). What is left in the bag after I fill the jars is tightly closed and stored in the freezer. The following are the herbs and spices that I buy in bulk: basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, oregano, rosemary, black peppercorns, coarse ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaves and cinnamon. I also buy the large shakers of onion and garlic powder (not onion or garlic salt) and find these at Costco.
Extracts - I only use real extracts, never imitation since they are chemical in nature: vanilla, lemon, orange, maple, chocolate, pineapple and coconut.
Sweeteners: Rapadura or Sucanat cane sugar (these are completely unprocessed whole cane sugars - the only ones that I know of. I get them at Whole Foods and at Costco), pure organic maple syrup (Whole Foods and Costco), stevia sweetener (an herbal sweetener that contains absolutely no sugar, which I buy at Trader Joe's), raw, unfiltered honey (I get it at Trader Joe's as spun uncooked, unfiltered honey), pure palm sugar (this is a very healthy option that I am learning how to use; it is available in many stores now, including Costco) and organic unsulfured molasses (Wholesome brand which I get at Whole Foods Market).
Note about sweeteners: I have used and promoted agave nectar in the recent past. Unfortunately, there is now information from the Weston A. Price Foundation that challenges all the previous information regarding agave nectar. It is fructose sugar which causes many profound health problems over time. It is also, as it turns out, very highly processed and does not at all resemble the original product taken from the agave plant. So I have steered clear of it. Instead, I am now only using pure organic maple syrup, honey, Rapadura, sucanat, stevia and am learning how to use palm sugar.
Bread: I either make my own (hasn't happened recently) or I buy Alvarado Street or Trader Joe's brand sprouted wheat, rye, barley or sourdough. Alvarado Street is available at Whole Foods and Raley's (more expensive than Whole Foods) and of course the Trader Joe's brand. I like to use Alvarado Street pizza rounds for pizza, and Alvarado Street hot dog and hamburger buns. Sprouted bread is, by far, the healthiest bread going. For more info about sprouted bread, go here and look for the subtitle A Real Food Lesson in the post.
Breakfasts Cereals: Most cold breakfast cereals are highly processed and one of the most compromised faux foods in the modern grocery store. Test animals die when fed breakfast cereal exclusively. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, when your body needs dense nutrition after a night of fasting. (Sorry for the lecture - I can't seem to help myself.) We rarely eat cold cereal or even hot cereal for that matter. But when we do eat the cold variety it is a cereal that is sprouted. I stock only one boxed cereal and that is Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal. It tastes very much like Grape Nuts Flakes without all the processing. It can be found at Whole Foods Market.
That's all for this time. Now I've got to go get things organized in my pantry. These posts are very motivational for me!