Spring is here and the change of season is the perfect time to organize our kitchens and clean up our diets.
The task of spring cleaning your kitchen can seem daunting – it’s more than just wiping everything down but if you keep these tips in your back pocket and commit to the task, you’ll breeze right through it.
- Declutter and minimize. Go through every cupboard and drawer and look at everything. If you haven’t used it in a year, donate it. If it’s expired, throw it away. If you have food items that are opened and only partially used and you don’t know how long it’s been there then get rid of it. By purging old food, utensils, and other unnecessary odds-and-ends, you make room for other things, such as wholesome, healthy food.
- Organize the pantry and cupboards. Check the labels on everything and toss anything stale or beyond the expiration date. Consider setting aside non-perishable food items to donate to the food bank. Organize your food into categories, such as pasta and rice, cookies and crackers, canned vegetables and soups. If you haven’t already, invest in air-tight containers and label them. This helps prolong the shelf life of your food and keep things organized and easy to identify.
- Tackle the fridge and freezer. This is a big one! The fridge/freezer is the one appliance that never gets a break. They serve the purpose of prolonging the life of our food, and tend to collect a variety of items, some of which we forget we even have! For the fridge, use a mild detergent and warm water. If your fridge allows, remove any shelves and drawers and take them to the sink for easier cleaning. The freezer is a bit more of a task and typically requires that it’s turned off before you give it a thorough cleaning. Fill a cooler with ice so you can keep your frozen foods cold during the cleaning process. Use a solution of equal parts warm water and vinegar and wipe down the inside of the freezer, as well as any drawers and shelves. You will need to dry the inside of the freezer before turning it back on and restocking. As with your pantry, be sure to check labels and toss any old, expired, or freezer-burnt items.
Now that the foundation is set and you’ve spring cleaned the kitchen, it’s time to rethink your diet. All the effort to declutter and rid your kitchen of old food and knickknacks has made room for fresh and bright spring produce and smarter eating options. Lightening up the fridge and pantry isn’t as hard as you think if you keep these key points in mind.
- Choose a variety of produce. Keep healthy options accessible. Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. Spring brings asparagus, broccoli, rhubarb, spinach and strawberries. Choose a variety of produce and incorporate a colourful combination into your diet each day. Be adventurous and try something new, such as Fennel. Eating a variety of healthy foods promotes a well-balanced diet and good health.
- Cook with Tre Stelle® Cheese. Cheese is full of calcium and minerals and is a wonderful source of protein. Ricotta, for example, can be used in place of mayonnaise in a variety of recipes, such as potato or pasta salad, and pairs well with most fruit, such as strawberries and grapefruit. Crumble Tre Stelle® Feta over roasted vegetables for a tangy twist or add Tre Stelle® Bocconcini to elevate your salad.
The biggest thing to remember is to keep up with all the changes you’ve made. Make a conscious effort to stock healthy options and keep those wholesome items at arm’s reach. And don’t forget to keep the fridge and pantry organized!