It’s officially Spring! Now it’s time to start looking forward to fresh air, spring breezes, beautiful flowers and…ugh…Spring Cleaning. Does anyone actually like to clean? I LOVE a clean house, but the whole cleaning thing is kind of a pain. Why can’t everything just stay nice and clean all the time? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Anyway, since Spring is the time of year that we start cleaning out all the cabinets and drawers, um, I thought I’d share with you some tips for cleaning out your pantry. Most of them are pretty painless.
Make a plan. Decide how you’ll organize your pantry BEFORE you get started so that you don’t get halfway through and change your mind. For example, if you have 4 shelves, you could designate them as follows: spices and seasonings, canned goods, baking needs, and dry goods. As you clean out your pantry, put the items back in the new places.
Work your way toward the middle. The top and bottom shelves in the pantry are usually the ones that need to be cleaned out the most, simply because they’re the most inconvenient to reach so they’re not used as much. By doing them first, you get the hardest part out of the way faster.
Check those dates! Once when I moved into a new apartment, I found a can of tomato sauce that had expired 3 years prior! It’s important to check the dates on everything and throw it out if it’s expired, or in some cases, about to. Things like evaporated milk that you bought 3 years ago and aren’t expired need to go. If you haven’t used it in all this time, you’re probably not going to. If you’re worried about wasting food, give it to the local food pantry before it goes bad.
Contain your clutter. Check discount stores, yard sales, and online stores for inexpensive containers to organize things in (bonus if they’re clear). All those little packets of dry onion soup mix easily get lost if not contained. Keeping them together gives you an opportunity to keep them inventoried and easy to find.
Use it or lose it. Set aside all the soon to expire items and make a plan to use them immediately. For example, I made these delicious buttermilk pecan muffins because I had some unused baking goods. (See the recipe below.) They turned out to be the perfect springtime reward for all of my hard work, and because I used Splenda, they were low calorie too! Fun Fact: By swapping one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, you can save more than 600 calories! How awesome, right?
If you like pecans and buttermilk then you’re going to LOVE these buttermilk pecan muffins. They’re SO good! They’re not super, super sweet but they have just the right amount of sweetness to where your kids will enjoy them.
BUTTERMILK PECAN MUFFINS
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup SPLENDA® Granulated No Calorie Sweetener
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ (1 whole stick) unsalted butter, cooled and melted
- 12 baking cups, or nonstick cooking spay for muffin tin
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- To make the buttermilk pecan muffins, preheat your oven to 375°.
- In heavy muffin tin, line 12 baking cups or generously coat your muffin tin with cooking spray, if don’t have baking cups available.
- In medium mixing bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt. Set aside.
- Now, gently whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, Splenda granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. With a large wooden spoon, gently fold in the flour mixture until very well combined. Gently stir in half a cup of pecans, set the rest aside for garnishing.
- Fill your baking cups about three-quarters full. Then use the remaining pecans and sprinkle them over the top of each muffins, making sure they’re all well-coated. Now bake your muffins until they reach a golden brown color or you can insert a wooden toothpick to check if they’re done.
- Let your muffins cool completely before serving.
Want a little recipe inspiration for your soon‐to‐expire pantry items? Join us at the SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Twitter party!