A well-stocked pantry is essential in any household. But with the rising cost of commodities, throwing out stuff that went bad because of improper storage can be heartbreaking. More importantly, the risk of feeding your family with something that’s not fresh can be disturbing, especially if you have small kids.
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This post will give you tips on having a well-organized pantry and a rundown on properly storing each pantry staple to make the most out of your ingredients, minimize waste, and always have something fresh and flavorful to serve your family.
This way, even if you want to stock up on your favorites and have groceries delivered from Paddock to Pantry or your favorite stores, you know you’re doing your best to prolong them. So, read on.
Flour can quickly go stale when exposed to heat or humidity. The best way to store it is by transferring it to airtight containers and placing them away from direct sunlight. Make sure to label the container with the expiration date.
Remember that different flours have various storage needs. Whole wheat flour has a higher oil content and must be placed inside the refrigerator or freezer to prevent it from going rancid.
It’s essential to avoid the sugar from clumping because measuring ingredients for baking and cooking would be challenging if this happens. Store sugar in dry, airtight containers and place them in a cool, dry place.
Never put sugar near spices with pungent aromas like oregano and cloves because it can absorb the smell of the spices, which will ruin your baked goods or dishes.
Also, brown sugar has a higher moisture content than granulated sugar. If you don’t use it often, it’s best to store it in the freezer and only thaw the amount you’ll need each time. Never place it in the refrigerator, as it can create more lumps that will be difficult to separate.
Exposure to moisture can spoil grains like rice and quinoa quickly because of bacteria and molds. Like flour and sugar, store it in a clean, airtight container and avoid direct sunlight.
If you can, there’s also a grain dispenser available for purchase. It will store your grains properly and only dispense the amount you’ll need, so you don’t have to open the container and expose the grains to bacteria.
Proper storage is vital to maintaining a spice’s potency and freshness. Many kitchens have a pantry or spice cabinet, the perfect location to store the ingredients that make your dishes special, aromatic, and flavorful.
If you buy spices in bulk, it’s best to transfer them to smaller, airtight containers to minimize exposure to heat and moisture. Remember that ground spices have a shorter shelf life than whole ones. Typically ground spices have a shelf life of six months, while the whole is two years. The actual label can sometimes fade, so having your own label to keep track of its freshness is much better.
5. Canned Goods
Exposure to heat and sunlight can compromise the contents of your purchased canned goods. It’s also critical to store them away from sources of moisture, like the sink. When buying new canned goods, store them using the first-in-first-out (FIFO) method. This way, you can be sure that you’ll only consume canned goods that are not expired.
In addition, before opening any canned goods, inspect the can physically and check for leaks or dents. Expired and canned goods exposed to air and bacteria can be a health hazard. It’s better to discard it than take a chance.
Ideally, it’s best to consume them once opened, but if you want to use the rest at another time, transfer the contents to a non-metallic container and refrigerate. It should be consumed within two to three days to maintain quality and safety.
Most oils, except for coconut oil, can be stored the same way in a cool, dark place. Coconut oil can solidify when stored at low temperatures. So, it’s best to keep it at room temperature, and it will liquefy once heated.
7. Nuts And Seeds
Most nuts and seeds, except almonds and walnuts, can be stored in airtight containers in cool, dark places. Almonds and walnuts have a high oil content, so keeping them in the freezer is best to prevent them from going rancid.
If you only have storage space at room temperature, you can store the nuts raw. It will be good for up to six months. But if you roast the nuts, they will be good for one month in the same condition.
8. Boxes Of Pasta
Pasta should be stored away from moisture to prevent it from developing mold. Also, it should be away from heat to prevent the pasta from getting dry and brittle. The best storage for pasta is just like how you would store your grains, flour, and spices away in a dark, cool place.
To prevent your cereal from becoming stale, transfer the contents into an airtight container and place them in a cool, dark location once opened.
Tips For A Well-Organized Pantry
Every homemaker wants an organized pantry. This makes cooking less stressful and more efficient. Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Buy airtight containers – It keeps out bugs and other pests and maintains the freshness and quality of ingredients by preventing oxidation.
- Label your containers – This will ensure you can identify similar ingredients. For example, all-purpose flour and cake flour look alike. It’s best to label them to avoid confusing yourself. The same goes for baking powder and baking soda. Although experts in the kitchen can quickly tell them apart, if you’re not an expert, properly label your containers instead of having an entire batch of bread go to waste because you used the wrong flour.
- Keep your pantry cool and dry – If your pantry is prone to humidity, consider using a dehumidifier or place moisture-absorbing packets in your containers.
- Rotate your stock – As previously mentioned, follow the FIFO method when organizing newly bought or delivered grocery items.
These tips can ensure that your pantry stays organized and your ingredients will have a longer shelf life.
Properly storing your pantry staples will make meal planning and preparation effortless. Follow the tips mentioned in this post, and you’ll be more inspired to make delicious meals in the kitchen for your family.
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