Here’s How to Properly Stock Your Pantry with Non-Perishable Foods

With the coronavirus pandemic not really over and weather conditions getting worsened by climate change, it’s good to always have a stock of food at home.

Since we can’t predict how long a calamity or crisis will last, it’s best to keep the following non-perishable foods in your pantry, according to Reader’s Digest. With these so-called shelf-stable foods, you won’t have to worry about spoilage and short expiry dates.

Photo: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska
  • Raw honey. As a healthy natural sweetener, honey is packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. What’s more, honey has long been used in traditional medicine to heal wounds and burns, treat cough and indigestion, and fight against depression, anxiety, and memory disorders. Just store honey in a dark place at room temperature, and it can last up to 12 months.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Rich in live probiotics and antioxidants, this vinegar from fermented apple juice is categorized as a superfood. It promotes gut health, prevents cell damage due to oxidative stress, helps with weight loss, and regulates blood pressure. Store this vinegar in an airtight container in a cool, dark corner away from sunlight.
  • Cornstarch. A practical thickening agent for soups, sauces, pie fillings, and other dishes that you can keep almost forever. This ingredient is best kept in a sealed container and in a cool, dark place as well.
  • Photo: Pexels/Valeria Boltneva
  • Salt. This ever-essential seasoning can last indefinitely as long as it doesn’t get wet. This mineral is also great as a natural preservative for cured meats and other foods, and so stocking salt will benefit your home enormously.
  • Dried legumes. These nutritious foods also last a very long time, if they’re dried. Belonging to the legume family are garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and black-eyed peas. Preserve them in airtight containers to add to stew and other dishes as you desire.
  • Sugar. Like salt, sugar lasts forever. It may get clumpy over time, but the taste remains sweet. Sugar is also a great preservative, since it resists microbes. Just make sure that you store sugar away from heat and moisture.
  • Hard liquor. If you want this alcoholic beverage to last, store it in a cool place unopened. Exposure to air will make it lose its flavor and potency.
  • Pure vanilla extract. This baking ingredient has a high alcohol content, too. That’s why you can also store this for a very long time. As for imitation vanilla extract, the shelf life is only 6 to 12 months.
  • Uncooked white rice. One of the food staples you should store in your pantry. These grains, if uncooked, have no expiry dates. You should put uncooked rice in glass jars, plastic containers, or resealable bags and store in a cool, dry place.
  • Photo:Pexels/Vijay Putra
  • Pure maple syrup. This is so much healthier than an imitation maple syrup, which is produced with artificial ingredients. An unopened pure maple syrup does not expire; but once opened, you need to refrigerate it and consume within a year.
  • Soy sauce. No expiry date for this Asian seasoning/condiment, as well. Moreover, you don’t have to refrigerate a bottle of soy sauce once opened.
  • Frozen ground meat or poultry. You can keep meats and poultry in the freezer for a few months. They may not taste as delicious as fresh meats, but the trick is to cook these deep-frozen foods with sauces and spices to make them rich and more flavorful.
  • Canned ham. Choose the shelf-stable canned hams over canned hams that require refrigeration. This kind of canned ham can last up to a couple of years. If you take it out of the can, you can still freeze this kind of canned ham for a month or two.
  • Photo: Pexels/Pixabay
  • Canned tuna. Five years, that’s how long these canned fish can last. But, if you make canned tuna at home, its shelf life is only about a year.
  • Molasses. Another delicious baking ingredient that’s practical to have in your pantry. Unopened bottles of molasses can last up to a year, stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place. Once opened, you can still make use of it for 6 months without refrigeration at all. But heat and humidity can spoil molasses quickly.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables. Buy canned foods without any dents, rust, or swelling to make sure of their good condition. Then, keep them in a clean, cool, and dry place. Foods with high acidity like tomatoes can last up to 18 months, while those with low acidity can be kept from 2 to 5 years. Canned veggies and fruits are versatile; you can mix them with other ingredients to create delectable dishes.
  • Photo: Pexels/Quang Nguyen Vinh
  • Dried pasta. Another highly versatile ingredient that you shouldn’t lack in your pantry. Pasta can be stored up to two years without sacrificing quality. But make sure that insects have not infiltrated their packages and the dried pasta has no moldy smell.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. If you love baking, this is one non-perishable ingredient that you should not miss keeping in your pantry. This cocoa powder can be stored up to 6 years without losing its rich flavor. Just keep it in an airtight container in a dry and cool place.
  • Peanut butter. Store this shelf-stable food in your pantry, so you can always have delicious sandwiches. It can last from 6 to 9 months if unopened and 2 to 3 months if opened.
  • Canned coconut milk. You’ll be surprised to learn that this milk from a coconut has a shelf life of 5 years if stored in a cool and dark pantry at room temperature. But expect the liquid to separate into thin and thick layers, which you can easily recombine by stirring. Canned coconut milk is loved by vegans.
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