Matcha 101

Matcha 101

Calming the mind and relaxing the body… In Japan, they have known the benefits of green tea for centuries and are thought of as one of the healthiest populations on earth. Dubbed the ‘healthiest drink on the planet’ green tea is packed with antioxidants and has even been shown to assist in healthy weight loss. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that occur naturally in certain foods, they prevent aging and chronic diseases and are a buzz word in the health industry. Green tea boasts a huge amount of these antioxidants. Matcha is simply the powdered form of green tea leaves, therefore having the same benefits but in a much more concentrated form. One cup of matcha has 10x the antioxidants than one cup of green tea, making it a much easier way of getting the benefits without sipping tea all day. There are more than just antioxidants in matcha, with all the below benefits:

  • Boosts metabolism

  • Helps to burn calories

  • Naturally detoxifies the body

  • Contains chlorophyll, which helps to heal skin

  • Enhances and stabilizes mood

  • Provides the body with  vitamin C, selenium, zinc and magnesium

  • Helps the body to fight disease

  • Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol

At The Pantry, we stock _____ Matcha powder. You can use this to make the below healthy yet delicious latte. 

How to make the best Matcha latte:

  • 1 ____ matcha green tea powder

  • 2 tsp honey

  • 3 tbsp warm water

  • 250ml cold milk or 300ml hot milk


  1. Spoon the matcha green tea mix and the honey into a mug or glass.

  2. Add in warm water and mix until it is a smooth dark green paste, making sure no lumps form.

  3. Warm the milk in a small saucepan and pour into the mug until nearly full. Use fresh cold milk for an iced latte.

  4. Use a whisk to mix the paste and milk together until smooth and light green in colour.

  5. You can add a few sprinkles of matcha green tea powder on top for decoration. Or add ice for an extra cold iced latte. Enjoy!

10 ways to use baking soda from The Pantry.

Baking soda  is most commonly known as an ingredient in baking. It acts as a rising agent to bake bread by reacting to acidic ingredients and causing carbon dioxide bubbles. But baking soda has hundreds of other uses, including in cooking, cleaning and medicine. Here are just 10 ways you can use baking soda from The Pantry. 

  1. Baking soda can help treat heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly. Baking soda is a safe antacid.

  2. The recipe for baking soda mouthwash is simple. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of warm water, and then swish as usual.

  3. Baking soda can eliminate the smell of sweat by making the odors less acidic. Try patting baking soda onto your armpits and you may notice the difference 

  4. A baking soda bath is often recommended to soothe itchy skin. These baths are especially effective at soothing itches from bug bites and bee stings. Or make a simple paste of water and baking soda and apply as a salve onto affected skin.

  5. Baking soda can help freshen a smelly fridge by neutralizing bad odors. It interacts with the odor particles to eliminate them, rather than just masking their smell. Fill a cup with baking soda and place it in the back of your fridge to neutralize bad odors.Place an open box in the back of your refrigerator to help neutralize odors. Just be sure to change the box every couple of months.

  6. When dissolved in water, an alkali such as baking soda can interact with acids from stains and help remove them. Add half a cup of baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent. It also helps soften the water, which means you may need less detergent than usual

  7. This is great for tile floors: Use 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water to help mop and clean floors.

  8. Clean Crayons from Walls: Apply baking soda to a slightly wet cloth and rub lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

  9. Fortunately, baking soda can help eliminate garbage odors. These odors are often acidic, so baking soda can interact with odor molecules and neutralize them

  10. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in the vase.

How much do I need?

1kg of baking soda will last almost a full year and replace a range of cleaning products. Remember to BYO container when you come in, but if you forget, we also stock a range donated by other customers. 


We often get asked if our baking soda is aluminium free and the answer is yes, because actually all sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is aluminium free. Some baking powders contains aluminium, which is where the confusion arises. 

Three flours free from gluten stocked at The Pantry.

The increasingly popular fight to live gluten-free is very real. Whether you are slightly intolerant, Coeliac or just looking for a healthier option, we have your needs covered at The Pantry with these four delicious wheat-free flour alternatives.

1. Coconut Flour

Popular due to being low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fibre, coconut flour is a favourite in healthy pantry’s. Produced from dried coconut flesh it is soft to work. In conjunction with being high in fibre and protein, coconut flour is very high in manganese (a nutrient supporting bone health with anti-inflammatory properties and a powerful antioxidant.) and contains selenium, potassium, iron and vitamin B6. Although the health benefits are amazing, it can be a little challenging to work with in the kitchen. Coconut flour is quite absorbent and therefore can dry out your baking. To counteract this, you can use a couple of extra eggs (for every 1/4 cup coconut flour, use one egg), mashed fruit, oil, vinegar or milk. The most popular way of cooking with coconut flour is combining it with almond meal to substitute for wheat flour.

2. Rice Flour

Rice flour comes in both brown rice and white rice, with the brown rice flour being higher in fibre but white rice flour having a longer shelf life. It contains iron, potassium and phosphorus, but is a little higher in carbohydrates than other alternatives. Like coconut flour, rice flour can have a drying effect on your baking, so is best used in conjunction with the ingredients above. Using a bread machine will help a lot to avoid your bread being dry. For best results in baking, use recipes specific for rice flour rather than substituting it for wheat flour in a non-GF recipe.

3. Quinoa Flour

Bold and nutty, quinoa flour is often used for savoury baking. Quinoa is a complete plant protein and has gained a lot of attention in the health world because of this, with many people using it daily instead of rice or other grains. Some people find it a little bitter and others find in fine, so just try out a small batch of baking first to ensure it suits your taste. To get rid of the slightly sour taste, you can toast the flour and freeze it. To do so simply spread the flour evenly over a baking tray lined with paper and heat in a preheated (100 degree celcius) oven for 2 hours. Cool off, bag up for use and store in the freezer until you need it for your baking. 

Try some of these flours out in the fantastic gluten free recipe below! (most of the ingredients can be found at The Pantry!) 

Healthy Blueberry Banana Loaf:



  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a loaf pan with baking paper and set to the side.

  2. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, mashed banana, oil, syrup and vinegar and beat until smooth.

  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together. Once combined, fold in the blueberries.

  4. Transfer batter to the prepared loaf tin, sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if using). Bake on the center rack for 45 - 50 minutes until the top has turned golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

  5. Cool in the pan for approx. 1 hour then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Have you tried our nut butter?

Have you tried our nut butter?

Grinding your own nut butter at The Pantry is about the freshest most unadulterated spread as you can get. You’ll not only have the peace of mind knowing the product you’re purchasing is free of added oil, sugar, and salt, but you’ll save money, and the machine is immensely satisfying. 

Since this peanut butter is as fresh as it comes, keep it refrigerated or you'll run the risk of it going rancid. Stored properly, it can be enjoyed for up to one month after purchasing.

Peanut butter is good for more than just sammies and on celery. We use them as emulsifiers for sauces and dressings, blend them to smoothies, and use them on tramps as a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat snack. 


If you haven’t tried completely natural peanut butter before, please note that it has a slightly different taste and texture. It’s much stickier and thicker than what you might be used to. 

Recipe for peanut butter cookies.

110g butter, softened
120g The Pantry hand-crushed peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1¼ cups flour

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Combine the butter and peanut butter using an electric mixer.

  3. Blend all other ingredients keeping about half of the flour aside

  4. Mix until combined, then blend in the remaining flour

  5. Cover dough and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes

  6. Pinch off bits of dough and roll into 4cm balls

  7. Place on an ungreased baking sheet

  8. Use a fork to flatten each ball

  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies just barely start to brown.

  10. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Reduce your waste at The Pantry

Most household rubbish and recycling is associated with our groceries; the packaging our food came in or even food scraps themselves. A lot of rubbish also comes from our bathroom and cleaning products. 

You can do you part to help the planet by simply buying certain items that are less wasteful than others, buying food unpackaged, and bringing your own reusable bags, containers and jars so that you have something to put the unpackaged food into!

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to reduce your waste. Here are some products we stock at The Pantry that are great alternatives to their plastic counterparts. 

  • Ethique range of soaps and cleaning products including bars for shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and shaving cream.

  • Beeswax wrappers instead of plastic cling film. We have a variety of sizes and patterns.

  • Bulk ingredients for baking like flours (we have over XX kinds of flour), sugars and spices.

  • Cleaning products like dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent – just BYO container. 

Here's how to shop for bulk foods at The Pantry:

  1. Gather clean, empty jars and produce bags from home that fit with the items on your shopping list. Remember lids for glass jars, and sealable containers for spices. You can carry all of your empty containers to the grocery in a reusable shopping bag. The Pantry also have Boomerang Bags you can use. 

  2. Head up to the counter at The Pantry so the staff can write down the amount each container weights when empty. This is so once you fill them with food, the staff can subtract the weight of the container so you’re only paying for the food you buy. When you come back with the same containers you won’t have to do this again. 

  3. Fill your containers with food and remember what's in your containers.

  4. Bring your purchases to the front, and check out.

  5. Congratulations, you've just shopped waste-free.

Blue Breakfast Fundraiser

Published in the Southland Express

2 September 2019

Blue Breakfast Fundraiser – The Pantry is raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Pantry is very happy to announce that it will be holding a ‘Blue Do’ to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.  Janette Malcolm, Chair of The Pantry said, “it’s a very hearty breakfast event, on Sunday 22 September at The Pantry Café. There will be 3 courses including a full cooked breakfast and barista coffee as well as music entertainment, a speaker and a raffle – all for $30 a ticket.” 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in New Zealand which means that around 3000 men are diagnosed with it every year here and 1 in 8 men will develop it  in their lifetime.    Malcolm said that, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, about the same number of men die from prostate cancer each year  as women who die from breast cancer.   “We did a pink ribbon fundraiser breakfast last year and raised $850 so we thought it would be a good idea to do something for the guys this year”,  she said.   

And happily Malcolm says, a team of volunteers has stepped up to help with the organisation, cooking and serving.  “We are also thankful that, in addition to the food and drink being provided by The Pantry,  our egg supplier, Absolute Free Range Eggs has donated all the free range eggs,   New World a voucher for food and The Warehouse, first prize for the raffle” she said.  

The Pantry is a social enterprise store, owned by the South Alive Trust, and Malcolm said that encourages us to always be looking for ways to promote generosity and wellbeing in the community.  “So we’re keen to support the guys on this, and pretty excited to attend the event ourselves”, she said.  


Fundraiser by The Pantry for NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation 

3 course breakfast with barista coffee,  entertainment, speaker and raffle

Tickets $30 from The Pantry, 133 Grace Street or:  tel 03 214 5200 fb message @thepantry9812

Sunday 22 September, 9am – 10am 

All proceeds to NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation

Boomerang Shopping Bag

22 July 2019

The Pantry makes it’s 3,000th  boomerang shopping bag

Since before it opened in May 2017,  a team of volunteers has been making re-useable shopping bags for the Pantry.  Recently they made bag number 3,000. They’re called Boomerang bags, with the concept being that if customers forget their own bags,  they borrow one to take their shopping home and then bring it back when they’re next in the shop. The programme has meant that The Pantry has never used a single use plastic bag.  

The bags are made from recycled material, usually new lengths of fabric that have been donated to second hand shops and are sewn together by volunteers.

Each bag is an individual creation, and customers often spend some time choosing the one that has the most appeal for them – which could be why the ‘boomerang’ part hasn’t worked entirely according to plan, said Stephen Pont,  Manager of the Pantry. “ Many customers fall in love with the bags and want to keep using them.”       

The Pantry runs a number of other initiatives to encourage less waste – including providing a recycling point for surplus glass or plastic containers for customers to use to purchase bulk foods and cleaning liquids, providing a 50c discount for people who bring their own coffee cups, using all its cafe food waste in the community garden compost and getting rid of single use packaging for things like butter in the café.

Pont said that, “It’s great that we’ve hit  the milestone of 3000 bags during plastic free July and that there are so many bags are out there being reused and contributing to reducing plastic use.”

More information:  Contact Stephen Pont,  Manager, The Pantry, 021 2456722

Community Cooking/Nutrition/Meal Planning Workshops 

Published in Southland Express
30 May, 2019

Community  Cooking /Nutrition/Meal Planning Workshops 

After hearing from many in the community that they lacked knowledge and skills in these areas, we have joined with other like minded groups who are knowledgeable in these fields to develop a range of workshops at no cost of just a koha. 

The groups that have joined us to develop the workshops are

  • Love Local 

  • Healthy Families ( 

  • Invercargill City Council Waste Minimisation 

  • Walk this Way  

    The  types of topics that will  be covered are

    • Nutrition and Cooking – basic nutrition, basic cooking, cooking on a budget incl. for examples, meatless Mondays

    • Waste minimisation/environmental sustainability – how to compost, ways to reduce waste (food, packaging etc)

    • Self Sufficiency – how to do things for yourself e.g. how to plant a vegetable garden from seed,  making your own cleaning products 

The Pantry Workshops

The Pantry has been running workshops since November 2017, with over 1150 people attending.  The workshops tend to be on more specialist topics such as fermented foods, making bread and cheeses,  Chinese Dumplings , raw cakes and slices, various ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Sri Lankan and upcoming Colombian and Brazilian, and  slime workshops for kids in the holidays.

From June we’re making some changes to the workshops to improve the experience for people.  The new experience will be:

  • limited to 40 tickets per event,  but of those 5 tickets will be available for free or koha, on a ‘first come, first served’ basis

  • participants will be able to sit at tables instead of theatre style seating, thus better enabling them to meet other people and allow for participatory activities 

  • We’re installing an overhead mirror above the kitchen to improve visibility


The Pantry is a charitable company established, and owned, by the South Invercargill Urban Rejuvenation Charitable Trust,  known as South Alive.  

It began trading in May 2017 and is what’s known as a social enterprise.   All its profits go to fund community projects for South Alive and The Pantry.  It also aims to do good by the way it does business, and what it does – hence the workshops and many other activities that we do.  

The South Alive Trust was established in 2012, and is owned and run by the community.  It has achieved major change in how South Invercargill looks and feels, including the construction of the community park; planting over 70 fruit trees in various local parks;  upgrading the South City shopping area; installing a major sculpture on corner of Elles Rd and Dalrymple Street, Tale of Southland as a result of a national sculpture design competition;  buying, renovating and extending the Pod building which houses the Pantry and the new community centre; establishing an art gallery particularly for community artists; various activities in housing and beautification;  running regular small and large scale community events.