9 Essential Ingredients You Should Always Keep In Your Pantry
Imagine you’re planning to cook something special for your loved one, and instead of doing so, you leave the kitchen with utter annoyance.
Why? Because you don’t have the required ingredients for cooking.
Having the right ingredients available in your pantry is quite essential. You know you can always have a backup plan if you have everything you need to make a perfect dish.
While the inventory can change frequently, some basic ingredients should always be in your kitchen cupboards. Knowing them will help you stock up everything appropriately.
Ingredients You Should Have in Your Pantry
Starting from salt to grains to baking goods, there are some kitchen staples, which you should always keep stocked.
The following list will help you to understand what are the ingredients you must always have in your pantry.
There are some essential items that you must have in your kitchen, no matter what you’re cooking.
Salt, ground pepper, cooking oils, sugar, and all-purpose flour are some of the kitchen staples. You may not understand their importance, but the truth is, you can’t even start your cooking without them.
Canned & Bottled Goods
From tomatoes to canned fish and pickles, a good collection of canned items can help you make your favorite dish in a jiffy.
There are various canned and bottled foods available in the market that you can use to make a delicious dish.
Some of the popular canned goods are beef broth, chicken broth, baked beans, tomato puree, canned tuna, and many more.
However, before you buy canned foods and store them, do check their expiry date and make sure they have fewer additives.
Herbs & Spices
If you cook regularly, you know how important it is to have a great spice and herb collection to take your dish to the next level.
For example, you may want to create some of the famous butter recipes, which you can later use to cook steak, ribs, roasted chicken, etc.
Using the right spices and herbs will help you create the perfect flavored butter and make any dish the tastiest one.
Cinnamon, cardamom, chili powder, dried basil, rosemary, parsley, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder are some of the frequently used herbs and spices.
Although these items vary from house to house, you must have at least some of them at your pantry.
Remember, most of these items will lose their flavor quickly if you don’t store them properly. Keep them in an airtight jar and away from heat.
If you love to bake regularly, it’s a good idea to store everything you’d need to whip up a cake or some cookies.
Some of the everyday baking essentials are baking powder, baking soda, vanilla or other extracts, dry yeast, vanilla beans, cocoa powder, dark and milk chocolate, gelatin, etc.
Having these ingredients at hand will let you bake your favorite cookies and cakes anytime you want. However, store them in airtight containers, and don’t forget to discard before they expire.
Rice, Grains, & Beans
Whether you eat them as your main dish or side dish, rice and grains are the versatile items for most kitchens. That’s why you should always keep them in stock.
Since they are dried items, they are very easy to store. Oats, Quick-cooking polenta, Arborio, brown and basmati rice, lentils, Black-eyed and split peas, and black, pinto, and cannellini beans can be stored in the pantry for one year.
However, remember that cornmeals can’t be stored in the pantry as they can attract pests. Store them in the freezer for up to one year.
Dry Fruits & Nuts
Different types of nuts and sweet dry fruits are incredibly healthy snacks and can be used in various dishes. They are rich in protein and can be a great source of energy.
What kind of nuts and dried fruits can you store in your pantry? Pecan and walnut halves, pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, currants, dried apricots, dates, and figs can be stored for up to six months.
However, if you want to store them for longer, it’s better to keep them in the refrigerator. Also, put them in airtight jars, away from light and heat to avoid stickiness.
Different Types of Oils
While cooking oils are one of the most essential items, having a variety of them can help make your pantry a perfect one. No matter why you’re using these oils for – to cook or to marinate, it’s good to have some options.
Always keep at hand these versatile cooking oils, including extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, as well as toasted sesame oil.
Always store the vegetable oils in their original bottles in a cool, dark place. However, nut oils can be kept in the freezer for up to three months.
You may wonder how you can store vegetables. Well, not all vegetables remain fresh for a long time. Store only the hard vegetables such as onion, potato, garlic, and dried mushrooms.
Do not keep any of these items in the refrigerator. Keep them in a cool, dry place for up to one month. Potatoes remain good for a maximum of two weeks.
Always use separate bins or baskets to keep these vegetables. And do not mix potatoes with onions since they tend to spoil each other.
Sweetener & Vinegar
Whether you’re making pickles or preparing a sweet and sour dish, having different types of vinegar and sugar will make your job a lot easier.
Some kinds of vinegar are useful for pickles, while others work great for salad dressing. It’s good to have at least some of them at home, such as aged balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, Sherry vinegar, etc.
Always keep these types of sweeteners in your pantry, including white and brown sugar, molasses, honey, artificial sweetener, maple syrup, corn syrup, etc.
Both vinegar and sweeteners can be stored in a dry, cool place for up to one year. However, solid sugars tend to become lumpy, so keep them in an airtight jar. Also, always keep these items in their original containers.
No matter if you cook regularly or not, keeping some necessary ingredients in the pantry is a must for every household.
Whether it’s the bare minimum staples or some baking essentials, having these items in hand can be your savior if there’s any dinner plan at home.
However, always store everything correctly to avoid spoiling any item. Do check their expiry date regularly and discard them when needed.