It's time to do some spring cleaning and celebrate the arrival of another season. You know how it's recommended to do the seasonal sort of your closet. The same goes for your pantry and refrigerator. First place to start is to go through the spices. There may be spices in there that you have for over a year. If you acquired some in late fall / early winter for those holiday bakes these are still good. However, if you have had that rub spice blend you made last summer for your grilling it's time to compost it. According to Chef Symon, it's only good for 3 months. If the spices are still usable and only have a little bit left in each bottle, then create your own rub to use for Spring eats.
Another way to lighten up the pantry, is to clear out any foods that have enriched flour or refined sugars. Substitute pasta with a selection of gluten free or vegetable based pastas. Try it out for Spring. You may lose some weight and find that you won't miss the enriched flour pasta. Lastly, remember those gift baskets you got over the holidays with crackers and other sundry items. If you have not eaten them then it's time to create a donation bag with items you are cleaning out from your pantry.
Now the freezer should be sorted out more than once a year. Sometimes we get busy and don't worry about the freezer. Why would you, it's in the freezer. A good rule of thumb is to check it every 2 months. This is why it's important to label your food and date it. Fresh poultry can stay in the freezer up to a year. If it was not packed well and there's freezer burn it's time to throw it out. Leftovers are good up to 2-6 months and soups or stews for 2 months.
Given that it's spring time, there are now a selection of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs available at the farmer's market. You can add fresher ingredients to your meals. The mise en place can happen after you come back from the farmer's market. Wash and your vegetables, fruit, or herbs. You may also create snack bags of raw vegetables for easy placement in lunch box. I enjoy getting blueberries and freezing them. I use them in our scones whenever they are available fresh. I also add them to my smoothies.
This is also a great time to lighten up your meals by cleaning and reorganizing your refrigerator. For health and hygene, clean it regularly. It is recommended to do a good deep clean at least once a season. Organize your refrigerator to reflect the foods you want to prioritize in your meals. Since it's Spring make more room for vegetables and greens. Like the spices, also do the same for any condiments. Condiments are good up to 6 months. Again if you bought some for that summer cookout or picnic and haven't used it all up, it's time to throw it out. If there is some left that is within the 6 months, use it for some salad dressing or marinade.
Happy Spring and good eats. In the meantime, don't forget you can save on shipping for cookie orders. Use code: Cookies at checkout. We'll also add another special in time for Mother's Day