We get it: You’re busy. But one task that can actually help fast-track your daily routine (beyond color-coding your leggings drawer)? Organizing your pantry.
Streamlining your space makes meal prep easy and healthy snacking simple—and it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. And For Lindsay Freedman, the attorney-turned-blogger behind The Toasted Pine Nut, the beauty of her meticulously organized ingredient HQ is proof.
Her secret organizing hack? Wire baskets and glass jars, which are just as photogenic as they are functional. “I love that you can see straight through to the item in the glass jars,” she says. “They fit nicely in the pantry together and you don’t have to Tetris different boxes on top of each other.” Plus, she adds that her two sons and husband (“He’s a known pantry rummager,” she jokes) can easily find snacks without ruining her organization.
And there’s one item they always come back for: Justin’s® nut butters, which pack mega flavor thanks to the high-quality ingredients. “Whether I’m making a PB&J for my kids, adding a couple tablespoons to a smoothie, or scooping it straight for a nightcap, I feel like I’m reaching for peanut or almond butter constantly,” Freedman says. Keeping a stash of Justin’s Classic Almond Butter squeeze packs front-and-center makes it that much easier for snacking on-the-go.
Keep reading to learn about the other must-haves Freedman always stocks—and get some major pantry inspiration, too.
What’s your food philosophy?
I believe that just because you have dietary restrictions, whether they’re self imposed or due to an illness, doesn’t mean you need to give up your favorite flavors and indulgences. I try to eat deliciously well-rounded, flavorful meals. And, I always save room for dessert.
How does that affect what you put in your pantry?
We try to keep unprocessed, wholesome ingredients in our pantry instead of processed snack foods.
Let’s talk about the items we see here. What’s in the small jar on the top shelf?
Ah, that’s maca powder! I’ve heard that adaptogens are amazing for balancing hormones and helping your body respond to daily stressors. So, I try to incorporate them into my routine where I can. I love to throw a teaspoon of maca powder into my smoothie, or even in a no-bake bliss ball for a tasty afternoon pick-me-up.
Speaking of pick-me-ups, those Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups look so good.
Having a nice stash of Justin’s cups in my pantry makes me way too happy. They’re amazing for a little treat—one of my favorite things to do is sub in chopped up Justin’s cups instead of chocolate chips for my dessert recipes. Because they’re organic and gluten-free, they just elevate the recipe that much more. And then more dark chocolate because, well, chocolate. It just needs to be in there.
What are some of your other pantry essentials?
Almond flour is a must. It’s such a common ingredient in my baked goods that I’m never without it. Hands down, my favorite thing to make with almond flour are my chewy chocolate chip cookies. I also love to make banana bread, brownies, and no-bake peanut butter cookies. The list goes on!
And it looks like you keep a nice variety of seeds on hand.
Yes, I love me a good seed sprinkle. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are a staple in my pantry. I love how those little guys are such nutritional powerhouses! They make for the perfect sprinkle on a salad, smoothie, or toast.
Is that pink sea salt on the middle shelf?
Not going to lie, the pretty color is what originally drew me to pink Himalayan sea salt. But in post-purchase research, I found that because table salt is so processed, it’s stripped of its natural minerals and any potential health benefits. As if I needed the convincing, now I’m a pink sea salt gal.
Why do you keep fruit in the pantry?
I have a lemon tree in my front yard, so I usually have a surplus of lemons. I have a special spot in my pantry to grab a lemon to slice it up for water whenever the mood strikes. My kids tend to open the pantry whenever they want a snack, so I try to keep a couple apples and bananas in plain sight so they can easily grab one.
What are some other essential snacking items for you and your family?
Raw nuts, for sure. My husband and I always keep giant jars of nuts in our pantry. Whether we’re grabbing a quick handful for a snack, or adding them to one of my recipes, nuts are a pantry essential. My two boys love dried fruit, so I try to keep some in my pantry, whether it’s raisins, dried cranberries, dried mango. I love having a stocked pantry with easy and healthy treats that they can grab and snack on.
Photos: Lindsay Freedman