While celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Busy Philipps have experts come in and magically ‘Marie Kondo' (a popular Japanese organising expert who has written four books on organising) their pantries (and closets), my favourite pantry goals come from a bunch of plant-based girls living around the world, from LA to Hawaii, who not only have seriously OCD-organised food shelves, but stock them with only the healthiest of ingredients.
When I was doing a 30-day anti-inflammatory detox recently, I loved seeing Los Angeles-based food blogger Amanda Le's pantry with superfoods like blue spirulina, pink pitaya powder and yellow nutritional yeast, Alison Wu's mini kitchen makeover with shelf upon shelf of Sun Potion adaptogenic jars lined up with everything from Ashwagandha to Reishi mushroom powder in Portland, and Australia's Taline Gabriel's perfectly stacked organic nuts, seeds and dry beans. Not only do their Instagram feeds inspire me to keep my kitchen neat, their delicious plant-based recipes focus on fitness, and the positive life-affirming quotes make scrolling fun, informative and aspirational, but also attainable.
It's safe to say that #PantryGoals have officially replaced #ClosetGoals and with good reason. After all, who doesn't want to be fit, healthy and organised? Here, I list out some of my own tips and tricks to organise a pantry, and let you in on the books to read and Instagram influencers to follow to get inspired.
My tips and tricks for a perfect pantry
Store everything in airtight glass jars and containers—the chemicals in common plastic containers leach into food and can wreak havoc on your health. A few progressive grocery stores now let you bring in your own glass jars, so you don't need plastic bags and you can always reuse old sauce jars. Choose jar sizes based on how often you use an ingredient, so that there's never too much air sitting inside, ensuring that they stay fresh. Dry pastas usually require very large containers (you'll take out at least one cup at a time), whereas small jars are great for superfoods (a tablespoon or two each day). Label everything! Organise your pantry according to the foods you routinely like to make, so it's easy to know where to go to get them. I store my vegan protein powders and superfoods like maca (great for regulating hormones) and cacao (a chocolate-y boost of energy) for power smoothies on the same shelf, above my blender. Ditto for my spices, such as the anti-inflammatory turmeric, cinnamon (I put both in my coffee every morning) and red chilli powder (since spice boosts metabolism) When you're trying to stay healthy, ‘out of sight, out of mind' is a good organisational mantra. Keep your junk food hidden, or better yet, create healthy versions of old indulgences. I like to make dairy and refined sugar-free chocolate pudding with cashews, cacao and maple syrup, or ‘cheesy' popcorn by popping organic kernels in coconut oil and topping them with extra virgin olive oil mixed with pink Himalayan salt and nutritional yeast (which is full of B vitamins) for that golden cheesy flavour.
Books that will make you clean up those shelves
Marie Kondo's bestselling 2012 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, sparked an international tidying revolution that touched everything from linen closets to tool sheds and pantries. If you weren't born a neat freak, this book is a great place to start. Vegan cookbooks Oh She Glows and Blender Girl have helpful lists for pantry staples too, so that you can whip up tasty plant-based dishes without having to worry about whether you have the right ingredients.