Bulk Pantry Staples

Bulk Pantry Staples

Keeping a bulk pantry was something that I did not know I needed until I had it right in front of me! I really cannot take credit for this creation at all, our many mason jars filled with dry ingredients that I use daily for baking, cooking, and bread making. It all has to go to Jill, my mom, who loves to organize absolutely everything in our home. It is why we function so well. She has a knack for figuring out where every little thing inside of our home must go! The bulk pantry began after we moved to Iowa and discovered the wonderfulness that is Stringtown Grocery Store, a small Amish bulk grocery right in the middle of the country. They have an endless supply of bulk ingredients from whole grains like spelt and rye berries to gigantic tubs of coconut oil to every spice you could think of! We began over stocking on small plastic containers and knew that we had to come up with a better system fast. Thus we started filling up mason jars, labeling them, and learning what we went through the most with ease. 

I must say, the glass jars filled with ingredients has been a really great decision! After two years of living with a mason jar bulk pantry I still love it. It's something that I use everyday, as the jars are easy to pull down and put away. I know exactly what I have left of everything, and the way they are organized alphabetically and by category make throwing a meal together late at night an easy task. We use different sized mason jars throughout, mostly jam jars, pint sized, and 24 oz. We do have a few quart jars for larger items like whole grains and chocolate chips. The large jars with glass tops are actually from Walmart! 

The question I get asked the most is about where our label maker is from. It is the DYMO Organizer Xpress from Amazon.

Herbs + Spices

This one I feel is a bit self explanatory and things that most home pantries have. I do use lavender and chamomile quite often in my day to day cooking, especially lavender as it pairs quite well with other sweet herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage to flavor meats, soups, and fish. We really enjoy that blend on pizza as well! There are of course pairings for many herbs and spices when it comes to different cultural ways of cooking such as Italian pairings, Mexican pairings, and Asian pairings that are definitely needed!

  • Lemon Balm
  • Peppermint/Spearmint
  • Cilantro
  • Turmeric
  • White Pepper
  • Salt + Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Paprika
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cumin
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Baking Essentials

We bake quite often in our home, and I use most of these ingredients for things other than cakes and cookies. Cocoa powder is generally used in chili around here, just like we use maple syrup or agave to sweeten fruit smoothies naturally. A few things you may notice that are different are the various sweeteners that we use. I am still on the long journey of learning more about sugar and why certain sugars are worse than others; all I know is that sugar is recognized by the body no matter what forms it comes in. We use different types of sugars for different recipes, and I would recommend that you try a few different ones yourself to see what you like! 

  • Cream of Tartar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Organic Cane Sugar
  • Honey
  • Agave Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baker's Chocolate
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Yeast

Grains and Pastas

Now that we make our own homemade flour, we keep many jars of whole grains about the kitchen. Purchasing bulk whole grains makes for a cheaper and easier way to keep fresh flour as well as making other grain dishes like cracked cereal or a multi grain bread. I really enjoy being able to mill them myself right in the kitchen! You may like to keep semolina flour if you want to make your own pasta. If you eat rice often, I really love the taste of Jasmine rice, even though it is white! The flavor is so much better. 

  • Grits
  • Cornmeal
  • Cracked Corn
  • Oats
  • Spaghetti
  • Fettucini
  • Penne
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Wheat Berries (hard red, soft white, and hard white)
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Quinoa
  • Rye Berries + Flour
  • Spelt Berries + Flour
  • Semolina Flour
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Farro

Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds

Yum! Adding some plant protein into your diet is the best! We love using legumes, nuts, and seeds to make a plant based protein packed meal. I have been making a point to keep more seeds stocked in our pantry like pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They make a great ingredient to pack into your bread recipes or a tasty stir fry!

  • Flaxseed
  • Kidney Beans
  • Chia Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Split Green Peas
  • Black Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Garbanzo Beans

Oils and More

Just a few extra liquid like items that come in handy! We use a lot of oil here at the farmhouse along with some liquid sweeteners like coconut milk (so much better in smoothies than cow's milk!) and molasses. If you like to make Thai dishes, rice vinegar and sesame seed oil are your friends! I actually love sesame seed oil for just about anything - it smells so good while it's cooking! 

  • Coconut Milk
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Sweet Condensed Milk
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

There you have it! A pantry stocked full of whole food goodness. There is nothing quite as wonderful as being able to work in a "from scratch" kitchen. I love knowing exactly what goes into all of our meals, and I know that many of you feel the same. Having a bulk pantry has changed so much of what we eat and how quickly it gets on the table. If you would like a full tour of our bulk pantry and some tips on organizing one, read my post here. You can see more specifically what jars and such we use in that post.

xoxo Kayla

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