Do you have a habit of piling things in your pantry, and then forgetting about them?
While most food products have a best before date on them, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will expire after that date, and a surprising number of kitchen staples have a longer shelf life than you might think. When stored properly, the following everyday items will last for years, if not decades.
1- White Rice
White rice is an excellent food to stockpile since it is inexpensive, filling, and will feed many people for a long time. When kept in air-tight containers at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, white rice retains its nutritional content and flavor for up to 30 years. Brown rice, on the other hand, does not last nearly as long due to the natural oils contained in the bran layer.
Honey may crystallize with time; however, it will not expire or become useless. Its resistance to spoilage is due to the fact that it contains only about 17% water, which is insufficient to support most bacteria and fungi. Honey actually dehydrates microorganisms, therefore, it acts as a preservative in and of itself. If your honey crystallizes, simply run the sealed jar under hot water for a few minutes to soften it up.
If stored in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture, white and brown sugar can be used indefinitely. When kept properly, sugar becomes practically inhospitable to bacteria and other organisms that you probably don’t want to ingest.
The use of salt is one of the world’s oldest methods of food preservation, Because of it’s potent dehydrating properties, salt prevents germs from accumulating. And, it can last for a long time when kept properly. However, if the salt is fortified or contains other substances, such as iodine, it will have a shorter shelf life, But it will still be good for several years.
5- Dried Beans
Dried beans should be a staple in everyone’s pantry, regardless of dietary preferences. Despite their flatulence-inducing properties, beans are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, making them a perfect item to stock up on. Just be sure to keep them somewhere cool and dry, out of direct sunlight.
6- Bouillon Cubes
Given their high salt content, bouillon cubes are another food item with a long shelf life. So it’s a good idea to keep these around! If you need to make a simple broth or add some more flavor to soups and sauces, you’ll always be prepared.
7- 100% Pure Maple Syrup
You can keep sealed maple syrup in your pantry indefinitely; just note that once you open it, it has to be stored properly. It’s best to put it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge, It will last for years.
While that package of buttery popcorn will go rancid over time, the loose kernels, when stored properly, can pretty much last forever. Keeping them in an airtight container in a cold, dry area will ensure that you have popcorn whenever you want.
Most vinegar has an indefinite shelf life. The acidic nature of vinegar actually makes it self-preserving, It also makes it a fantastic preservative for a wide variety of foods. White vinegar, when properly kept, will retain its appearance over time. However, other forms of vinegar such as wine vinegars or apple cider vinegar, may alter in color and appearance. These changes are only aesthetic, though. The vinegar will still be totally safe to use.
10- Pure Vanilla Extract
If you use imitation vanilla extract just to save a few bucks, you might want to reconsider. Pure vanilla extract not only tastes better, but it contains more alcohol, which extends its shelf life. As long as it’s sealed securely to prevent germs from entering the bottle, you can enjoy as much vanilla as you want. Well, at least until you run out.
11- Non-Fat Powdered Milk
You might want to have a package of non-fat powdered milk in your pantry in case of an emergency, It’s easy to reconstitute with water. It will also keep for 2 to 10 years after its expiration date, especially if stored in an airtight container. To increase the storage life even further, keep the powdered milk in a cool place below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you put it in the freezer, it will last pretty much forever.
12- Virgin Coconut oil
There are lots of different types of cooking oil; each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to shelf-life, coconut oil is your best bet since it lasts longer than most cooking oils. For example, olive oil will go rancid 2 to 3 years after its best-before date, and vegetable oil is only good for about a year. Virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil, however, never really expires. Just make sure to choose the unrefined kind.
13- Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a fermented product, It also has a high salt content, which is an excellent preservative. Due to the fermentation process and its high sodium content that prevents microorganisms from growing, soy sauce is unlikely to spoil if it’s sealed. Just make sure to keep it in a dark place, and it will last indefinitely.
Do you avoid recipes that include ingredients you don’t use regularly?
Many people do, but if that ingredient is cornstarch, you might as well just buy it. As long as it’s kept in a dry, cool place, away from moisture, you won’t need to buy another container of cornstarch for a long time.
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