Last week, I released my first eBook ‘How to Stock a Wholefoods Kitchens’, so I thought it would be fun to share with you a little sneek peek into my own kitchen. We live in an old house which was built in the 1890s , with a kitchen and bathroom tacked on in the 1950s. The house has not been touched much since then, so the kitchen is a little limited, you could say! There is no real bench space, just a sink, table, small oven, fridge, cupboard and shelves. And noticeably, no dishwasher.
Though the kitchen itself is small and rather unfunctional, we’ve managed to make the most of the space through being a little crafty. As we like to eat fresh wholefoods, we don’t normally stock a lot of produce in our cupboards. We have a shelf filled with jars of seeds (usually sesame, linseed, chia, sunflower and pumpkin), nuts (which varies, though I don’t keep that many on hand as I find that they dissapear very quickly when within easy reach!), pulses (red, yellow and brown lentils, mung beans; black and kidney beans and chickpeas), and wholegrains (buckwheat, quinoa, millet, oat groats/rolled oats, brown rice, and occasionally teff or amaranth). I usually grind flour fresh when I need it using my Vitamix which sits on the bench/table between our electric kettle and mortar and pestle – three things I use frequently and need at arms reach. We love tea and keep a big stash on the shelf above the kettle for easy access, right next to where our kombucha hangs out and ferments. We buy most of our tea blend locally or make our own – my current favorite is sliced lemongrass and fresh ginger with a little green tea leaves.
We have a stash of spices and seasonings on a rack above the stove – there’s always cumin and cinnamon, plus salt and pepper, ground coriander, cloves, fennel seeds, turmeric, cardamon pods, star anise, dried thyme, sumac… and sometimes a homemade spice mix like garam masala or za’atar. Next to this, and under our jar collection, sits a shelf that contains a pull out basket of shelf-stable condiments and oils – olive, coconut and sesame oil; apple cider, red wine, balsamic and rice wine vinegar; tamari – next to another basket which houses a random collection of ingredients, currently goji berries, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, mesquite powder, dried prunes, buckwheat pasta and brown rice noodles.
On the top shelf, things get a little more interesting – there’s usually a few bottles of local wine as well as a bottle of Pimm’s that’s been begging to be mixed with some lemonade, sliced cucumber and a few wedges of blood orange for some time now. There’s also some jars of tahini – hulled and unhulled – raw local honey bought from the farmers market and a jar that holds the very last of the latest batch of Savoury Seed Granola which we always keep on hand.
Above this is the fruit bowls which are currently home to bananas, apples, mandarins, chillis, avocados, onions, garlic and ginger. There would normally be a few lemons and/or limes here as well, though we seem to be out of those currently – mental note to remember these for my next trip to the shop!
In the fridge – there’s currently a batch of Simple Cauliflower Soup, some cooked quinoa most likely to be turned into this salad. You can also usually find carrots, zucchini, and broccoli in the fridge, plus other seasonal veggies depending on how far away it is from market day. Currently, these delicious mushrooms I picked up at the farmers market on the weekend take centre stage on the middle shelf.
There’s usually a carton of free range eggs, some spreads and sauces (currently fermented mustard, fish sauce, a tub of hummus and some tamarind paste from the last time I made this salad), olives, capers, the ends of the last batch of homemade kimchi, Parmesan cheese, non-homogenised milk, fresh macadamia nut milk and B’s stash of beer. In the fridge door usually lives some organic butter and a jar of probiotic capsules.
In the freezer there is a random assortment of frozen dog food (we buy it in bulk and freeze half for later), B’s favortite pies from the corner store, frozen bananas and berries and some left over chocolate truffle treats. There’s also some frozen kaffir leaves ready to be thrown into a curry, soup or laksa, along with a few small frozen portions of curry paste from the last time I made up a big batch. There’s also a few sad looking containers filled with leftover nut milk pulp, just begging to be made into some delicious creation – once I find something that lends itself to the somewhat bland and slightly unforgiving texture of it that is.
Last but not least, in that white cabinet with the gorgeous stain-glassed windows which used to belong to B’s grandmother (the whole house used to be her’s!) you will find whatever won’t fit on the shelves or needs to be kept out of site – ie my stash of dark chocolate (usually this one). That’s also where we keep canned legumes ready for a quick throw-together mid-week meals and sometimes half a bag of nut’s which I’ve been too lazy to place in a jar with all the other seeds + nuts. There’s a bag of sugar I use in my kombucha, a pack of toasted nori sheets and a few cans of coconut cream/milk. There’s definitely a jar of Vegemite in there – though surprisingly no jar of Promite which I actually prefer. And at the moment there is also the bum of a loaf of delicious organic sourdough which we enjoyed with a cooked brunch on the weekend.
So – there you have my kitchen and a typical example of how I stock it. I’d love to hear what essentials you always keen on hand in your own kitchen in the comments below.