July 28, 2009


Storing the Little Ingredients

Since I do most of my gluten-free baking from scratch (gluten free is the only kind of baking I do), I like to have my baking ingredients organized and easy to find. A number of months ago I decided I needed to do something different with all the “little” ingredients. You know, things like baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.

I’m lucky enough to have an Ikea in the area and one day while browsing there I decided to try using magnetic containers stored on a metal strip. The problem was that the containers weren’t meant for that purpose. They had twist on lids which didn’t twist on or off very well, and the containers were shallow, making it difficult to get your measuring spoon filled up. However, I bought the things so I kept using them.

Then recently, I saw some new magnetic containers at BJ’s (I’ve also seen them at Bed Bath & Beyond). I bought a set of four with my fingers crossed. They worked so well I bought another set. Eight containers fit just perfectly on my metal strip from Ikea. Now my little ingredients look like this:

spice rack allspice rack few These deep containers have a lid that simply sits on top, but is tight enough to stay on when they are sideways. There is a small oval opening at the top of the container. The lid has a matching oval opening and also a four hole opening. That way if you just want to pour or sprinkle (the holes are rather big) some salt or sugar you can do that. Because I have the containers stored sideways, I always make sure to keep the opening at the top and put the lid on so that the opening is closed. I was concerned about the ingredients keeping well with this type of lid. I’ve only used them for a few weeks, but so far in this humid Maryland climate I’ve not had any problems.

spice rack one

I also used a label maker I received for Christmas to put labels on the side of each container. I placed them so they are centered over the area where the hole is. That way, when I put the container back on the strip, I simply make sure the label is facing up and I know the hole if facing up also. The eight ingredients I chose to use are:

The reason I included sugar is that when making breads, I only use a little to activate the yeast. Also, I do not use a sugar jar so it could be used for sprinkling into coffee or tea.

Obviously, I have to store packages of these ingredients elsewhere, but they can be tucked away in an inconvenient place and brought out for refilling. Do you have a method you use for easy access to little ingredients?

For more helpful ideas visit We Are THAT Family.


What a great idea. I'm in an organizing frenzy this week and all those gluten-free baking supplies are always flying out of the cupboard at the most inconvenient times. I've been using small canning jars, but I seem to run out of them when I try a new recipe and haul home more flours and the chemistry experiment supplies needed for gluten-free baking.
I have at least 50 glass spice jars that I fill and label. It's a hoot...I buy them in the bulk section so I only buy what I need. Plus, it's a lot cheaper.

I have tons of SnapWare to store the bigger things but it's expensive. I needed yet more containers and saw that Elana uses glass mason jars so I bought some for a fraction of what it would have cost to buy SnapWare. So far I like them - I wish the opening was bigger but they work well. And they're so much prettier than plastic. :)

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