With the temperatures getting cooler, our food choices also change. How will you stock your pantry this winter?
Comfort Food Paradise
In the heat of summer, we want foods that are light, crisp, and cool. But the fall and winter make us crave comfort foods to warm us up. This means more soups, stews, casseroles, breads and such things. So how do we get out pantry ready to handle the change in meal choices?
Now is the time to switch from salads to stews. Vegetables change with different seasons as well as the types of meats people like to eat. All of us can remember coming home on a cold, rainy, or snowy day to a nice hot and filling meal.
Preparing Your Pantry
Most of the items you have are probably common staples that any pantry needs. Because you might be making more sauces or desserts, be sure to stock up on those. There is nothing wrong with having two bags of flour if you will be using them. Dry staples will last a while when kept in a dry, cool and dark place.
Make a list of what you will need. What types of meals do you typically make at this time of year? Account for those ingredients in your shopping list for your pantry.
Home-canned vegetables, fruits, jams, and relishes are excellent. If you enjoyed a garden this summer, those foods can be canned or frozen for use all winter long.
Stocks for soups and stews are good to have on hand in the pantry. Vegetable, beef and chicken stock or broth add flavor to dishes without adding salt. It’s easier than straining and making your own broth. Stores now offer organic or low sodium varieties if that suits your needs better.
Beef up your condiment list. Ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and oils can be used to create dressings and sauces.
Make room for grains. Quinoa, couscous, oats, oatmeal and barley are great sources of fiber and also create a filling dish. You can eat well and feel full without packing on the pounds this winter.
Lastly, don’t forget some common filling staples. A winter pantry wouldn’t be complete without potatoes, garlic, and onions. Store them at the lowest level in your pantry. Keep them hanging in the bags they were purchased in if you want. They provide a wealth of meal ideas.
Cute graphic by Trina Walker