Are you looking to stock your kitchen pantry but can't decide on a final checklist? Below are some absolute must-haves for any pantry and tips to help keep everything organized.
Here are 10 essentials every pantry needs:
- A good stock of spices is vital
- Don’t forget the EVOO
- A variety of vinegar keeps variety in the kitchen
- Grab some baking essentials
- Sweeteners and morning pick-me-ups are key
- Rice and grains give you options
- Don’t forget the snacks
- Prepare for rainy days with canned goods
- Categories are key
- Now it’s time to get organized
Have you been meaning to get your pantry in order but have no idea where to start? Here’s a little guidance and more than a few ideas!
A Good Stock of Spices Is Vital
One of the easiest ways to switch up a stale cooking routine is with a variety of spices. Along with salt and pepper, invest in a bottle of allspice, some basil, cinnamon, and cloves. Garlic powder is remarkably versatile, and you can use it in a number of cuisines and dishes. Cumin is a great spice to have, too. A dash of that will make any egg dish or Indian curry more interesting.
Don’t Forget The EVOO
Extra virgin olive oil is one of those kitchen staples where once you start using it, you’ll wonder how it took you so long to hop on the bandwagon. Whether you’re roasting, baking, or frying, EVOO is one of the best ways to impart extra flavor while staying healthy. As Healthline notes, experts agree that extra virgin olive oil can "reduce inflammation," help protect against and prevent heart disease and strokes, and it "may help fight Alzheimer’s disease."
A Variety of Vinegar Keeps Variety in The Kitchen
Many people tend to overlook vinegar, but they shouldn’t. There aren’t many other kitchen essentials you could use to pull off a salad dressing and a pan sauce, after all. You can use white wine vinegar to make your own homemade pickles. White distilled vinegar can even be used as a highly effective cleaning agent!
Grab Some Baking Essentials
Even if you’re not a baker, staples like flour and baking soda are always handy in a pantry. Add some baking powder, and you’ve got several multi-purpose pantry favorites that’ll work well in any kitchen.
Sweeteners and Morning Pick-Me-Ups Are Key
Granulated sugar is vital, but you should also stock a similar, often-overlooked item: brown sugar. Aside from baking needs, brown sugar is excellent for candied yams and savory dishes like brown sugar meatloaf. Try dabbling in making your own brown sugar BBQ sauce!
Rice and Grains Give You Options
Rice, pasta, and grains are perfect for those long days when you’re tired and want to make something simple. As with everything else listed, this category's versatility elevates it to “necessity” status.
Don’t Forget the Snacks
You deserve to treat yourself, even if you’re watching what you eat. For that reason, no pantry is complete without a snacks section. The folks at WebMD, note that snacking is actually a healthy habit. In fact, those who consume more than 3 meals or snacks daily are more disciplined with maintaining a healthy weight and appetite.
Prepare for Rainy Days With Canned Goods
Beyond the usual suspects like soups, green beans, and tuna, plenty of other canned goods also deserve a place in your pantry. Canned chiles will (quite literally) spice up any dish that you use them in, and canned tomatoes are perfect for anything from homemade chili to a quick and easy pizza sauce.
Categories Are Key
With all of these new additions to your pantry, it might get a little tricky to find everything you’re looking for. First, break your space down into clear and distinct categories. Having a designated spice section, baking section, and snacks section will help make everything easy to find, but feel free to categorize in whatever way makes the most sense to you. With your categories set, you might need a few extra items to get everything properly in its place. Which means:
Now It’s Time to Get Organized
One of the easiest ways to organize your pantry is to invest in storage containers and a label maker. Can corrals and Lazy Susans are never a bad idea either. Don’t forget to maximize wall space and even your door space too. Behind-the-door organizers are quite convenient for storing extra plastic bags, kitchen utensils, spare snacks, or just about anything else you can think of.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to stock and organize your pantry, but the truth is, it can also be a lot of fun! Give yourself license to get creative, and don’t be afraid to let that energy follow you into the kitchen. After all, why not try out some new culinary experiments to celebrate your new pantry space?