The Great Food Revolution of 2012: Simple pantry swaps we have made

by Melody on July 26, 2012

Welcome to the Great Food Revolution of 2012.  You can read more about where our food journey started and resources we have used along the way to make our decisions.  I have also started a Pinterest board called Clean Eating Resources with links and resources that have helped on our journey.

We’ve talked all about our switch to organic, grass-fed milk and cage-free eggs from pastured chickens, but the bulk of the changes we made came with our decision to eliminate all hydrogenated oils.  Once we really started reading the labels on our food and learning about the different types of oils and all the hidden sugars, we had to start a complete overhaul of our pantry.

There were some things that we just decided weren’t worth keeping in the house and we donated those right away.  These were things that we didn’t eat on a daily basis and could honestly do without, like cream of mushroom/chicken soup.  There were a lot of other things that we used on a daily basis however.  It would have been a huge budget buster and not very efficient to get rid of everything in the pantry, so we chose one or two things at a time.

For example, we use salad dressing and coffee creamer everyday.  These were things that I would have to replace with a homemade version and I didn’t want to totally overwhelm myself right off the bat, so I chose to eat through what we had before learning to make my own.  Your decisions may be different than mine, but I just want you to know that we didn’t do it all at once.

Here are some of the items we did replace and what we replaced them with:

  • Coffee creamer – Homemade (recipe to come)
  • White rice -Brown rice or quinoa
  • Quaker Oats -Steel cut oats or organic rolled oats
  • Canned vegetables -Frozen organic veggies from Costco
  • All-purpose flour -Whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • Canola/vegetable oil – Coconut oil or olive oil
  • Granola bars -Homemade protein bars
  • Peanut butter -Organic no-salt added peanut butter
  • Snacks or tortilla chips -Raw unroasted almonds
  • Jarred pasta sauce – Homemade spaghetti sauce or crockpot marinara sauce
  • Salad dressingHomemade
  • Popsicles – Homemade all-fruit bars w/ seasonal fruit

Don’t miss out on all of our Homemade Pantry Staples recipes.

As you can tell from the pictures above, our pantry looks quite different.  The picture on the left was taken about a year ago and the picture on the right was taken this week.  We have almost completely eliminated all cereals and regard those as a very last-minute breakfast or a special treat.  We don’t keep fruit snacks, boxed crackers or tortilla chips in the house, mainly because we don’t like the ingredients but also because we have no will power.  For condiments like mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup, I am currently looking into making them myself.  For now though, I just look for the products with the absolute least amount of ingredients.

I do have to admit, our pantry looked a lot more full when I was a busy coupon shopper, but we have learned to appreciate the limited choices we have.  We make better food decisions because we have learned what is best for our bodies, but also because we just don’t have the junky stuff in the house.  We still have a long way to go, but these are the changes that have made the most sense for us to start off.

If you’re curious where we buy some of our products, we do get steel cut oats, quinoa, rice and organic whole wheat flour at Costco.  You can also buy some of these items in bulk if you wanted to pick up a smaller amount to try first.  We also use Amazon and Vitacost quite a bit.

I’m excited to share our journey with you!  In the next series of posts, Emilie, Jessie and I will be sharing our favorite recipes so you can make your own homemade pantry staples.

In case you missed it:

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa R July 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I have to say I am ambivilant when it comes to some food choices. Organic- a lot of times it just means the chemicals wash off faster. I will never make my own coffee creamer. So eating better can seem really intimidating. But I am lucky enough to be friends with Melody & see how her Food Revolution has changed her family’s life. I have also eaten at Melody’s house many times & she is a fantastic cook. So although I am not as passionate or dedicated as she is, there are still ideas here that i can use. I have switched to long grain brown rice We are seasoning food with veggies & herbs in place of canned sauces. It’s not a revolution, but it’s a start. Thank you, Melody, for being an inspiration & providing your thoughts & comments without judgement!!! Your posts make me feel like I an do this myself.


Melody July 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

You should check out The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon. I’ve made the ketchup and mustard out of it and they were awesome! I’m going to be trying the mayo next. The Garlic Sauerkraut was so easy and delicious, even my kids liked it.


Kim August 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

Hey, I was just looking over this post again and happened to read the comments… Wardeh writes over at GNOWFGLINS and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her sourdough crepe recipe, plus it’s super easy and I can freeze them. Let me know if you ever want to try a starter, I always have plenty 🙂


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