It has taken a while to figure out what system works best for me in the kitchen to set myself up for efficient and enjoyable cooking. Here are some of the things I use to ensure I know what I have and where it is so that I can meal prep like a queen every week!
Mason jars of all sizes: You can sometimes get a deal on these with Amazon, but I have found them to be the cheapest and most readily available at Target (plus then you don’t risk them breaking en route!).
Labels + permanent marker: Keep track of those mason jars. Even though they’re transparent, it can be really helpful to keep a label on things (especially for those members of your household who may not be as familiar with your pantry as you are!).
Bins or baskets: These help to categorize things like vinegars, oils, sweeteners, dressings. They also work well for keeping snack items identifiable and within easy reach.
Grains: quinoa (tricolor, white, red), rice (brown, basmati, sushi, wild), pasta (whole wheat for Kevin, GF for me – we love th
Dried beans & legumes: black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, navy beans, this list goes on and on! Since peanuts are technically a legume, then I suppose peanut butter goes here, too.
Nuts & seeds: pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, raw almonds for our Almond Cow, raw cashews for all our plant-based cheezy recipes, almond + cashew + cranberry trail mix, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, hemp hearts.
Dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, prunes, crystallized ginger,
Vinegars: rice, white wine, red wine, apple cider,
Oils: olive oil, grape seed, safflower, coconut, toasted sesame
Snacks: trail mix, tortilla chips, Quinn peanut butter pretzels (when they are in stock at Thrive!), popcorn to be made in the air popper, jars of salsa, Juice Plus+ Complete mix, Juice Plus+ snack bars.
Baking supplies: baking soda, baking powder, fine grain & coarse sea salt, all the gluten-free baking glours (King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, coconut flour, almond flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, and starch), psyllium husk, powdered coconut milk, xantham gum, rapid and active yeast
Frozen fruit: bananas, berries, cherries, peaches, mangos, pineapple
Frozen veggies: lima beans, corn, spinach (great for smoothies so it doesn’t go bad in the fridge!), mixed veggie medley, mushrooms
Individual servings of soup: we use these silicone molds to save single servings of soup then transfer them to a gallon bag for storage. These make great quick meals without having to defrost an entire batch of soup.
Veggie burgers: We love Dr. Praeger’s brand in a pinch but also enjoy making our own with this recipe.
Ice pops: These dominate the fridge during warmer months – and they are so versatile! Throw some fruit, almond milk and Complete into the blender then pour it into popsicle molds for a perfect healthy summertime treat.
Complete protein balls: We try to keep a batch of these at all times. They are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack, and also make a great healthy dessert option!
Lime & lemon juice frozen into ice cube trays, then transferred into gallon bags. These are perfect to pop into a sparkling water or thaw to use in a recipe without having to worry about limes or lemons going bad.