Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Recipe for an organized pantry: continued

The pantry organization project continues. I've carefully grouped all the food into nutritional groups (read here for more on this). And now that I've got all my jars in a row, I've realized that I'm overloaded with wheat and gluten complex carbs. Oh no! I have an entire shelf devoted to whole wheat items. It gets worse. Two shelves are dedicated to gluten grains. Let me explain why I'm upset.

First, I don't want Mikey to eat too much whole wheat. Whole wheat is healthful but Americans overeat it. Wheat is hard to digest and a lot of people are allergic to it without even knowing. So, my goal is to mix other grains into the diet.

Second, I don't want to feed my boy only gluten grains; I should include some nongluten grains as well. Nongluten grains are easier to digest than gluten ones and they allow Mikey's tummy to rest. By organizing my pantry, I realized that I have roughly 3/4 gluten grains and only 1/4 nongluten grains. One half of my gluten grains are whole wheat.

Here's how I organized my nongluten and gluten grains:

Big label: Nongluten grains complex carbohydrates
Small labels: basmati rice (wht/brn), brown rice, quinoa, corn (polenta), millet

Big label: Gluten grains complex carbohydrates
Small labels: whole wheat, oats, spelt, kamut

My pantry organizational project led me to research these two ingredients:

I came across this ingredient on the label of a bin at Rainbow Grocery where I often purchase "semolina spaghetti." I haven't a clue what semolina actually is so I decided to do some research. What did I find? Semolina is little more than a nice Italian-sounding word for "enriched white flour." White flour!?!? When I do feed Mikey flour, it ought to be whole wheat. Goodness, it seems everyone is out to trick me. I have to make the effort to research everything I buy. Little by little, I'm learning exactly what I'm feeding my little boy.

While standing in front of my pantry shelves with my couscous in one hand, I couldn't figure out where to put it. I thought it was its own grain. I did some research and pow! I found out that couscous is made from semolina. So, after we finish off the box in the pantry, I'm not buying it again. I'll focus on rice and quinoa and the other nongluten grains since they seem to be the foods that we're failing to consume.


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