Tips for a Lean and Fit Pantry this Holiday

It's always important to watch what you're eating, especially during the holidays

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You may not realize it not, but organizing your pantry will save you some time and help prevent weight gain during the holidays.

My food philosophy—Don’t Worry, Eat Happystarts with shopping smart, cooking with passion, and celebrating food seasonally. The start of the holiday season can be quite busy. It’s best to use the opportunity to take inventory of what’s worth keeping and tossing in your pantry. If you see that boxed and canned foods go bad or need some organizing, it might be time for a pantry makeover. It’ll save you lots of time and effort in the future!

Top pantry makeover tips:

As a family, create a colorful seasonal produce chart to hang in the pantry or on the fridge. It’s a great reminder of what’s super delish at any given time of the year.

  • As a family, create a colorful seasonal produce chart to hang in the pantry or on the fridge. It’s a great reminder of what’s super delish at any given time of the year.
  •  Make sure your pantry has plenty of color. With the seasonal produce chart, you’ll know when it’s best to buy apples, Brussels sprouts, blueberries and peas.  *Recipe below for Fall Harvest Parsnip Puree
  •  Less boxes more bulk. Forget the instant oatmeal, breakfast bars, crackers and chips and go for things you can buy or make in bulk like nuts, popcorn kernels, homemade granola, turkey jerky, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and quinoa.
  • Keep reusable produce bags or stainless steel containers within your pantry for easy grab and go options for the kids. To make sure you’re not going overboard with the nuts and cranberries, keep some measuring spoons to rest assured you’re staying within a healthy calorie limit.
  • Keep bulk products in glass containers so that everyone can see what’s available to nosh on. Remember, we often eat with our eyes.
  • Reconsider the oils you use to cook. Swap out vegetable oil and shortening and consider healthier options like safflower, coconut, and extra virgin olive oil.
  •  Know what canned and boxed foods are ok. Canned beans, whole wheat pasta, tuna fish – are all perfect pantry staples for easy lunch and dinner options.
  • Thaw and eat in more ways than one. Frozen berries and edamame are true lifesavers! Grab a bunch of berries for a quick breakfast smoothie or thaw some edamame for a healthy afternoon snack.
  • Consider growing your own greens. While this delectable bowl might sit outside of your pantry near a bright sunny window, growing your own leafy greens is both delicious and fun. You’ll always have a veggie in the house, and it’s so much cheaper than the salad in a bag you buy at your neighborhood grocer. If you’ve got the green thumb, take it a step further; plant your own herbs like rosemary, chives, flat leaf parsley and cilantro. Besides being able to season your food, herbs also offer a variety of health benefits.

For more info, visit Meals on Heels by Mindy


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