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Clearing Out Your Pantry: 12 Staples to Toss

Clearing out your pantry: toss these staples after a year! 

We all have been there: we stock up on things for autumn and winter and forget about them. While certain cupboard essentials may appear innocent, storing them for extended periods can negatively impact both your health and the quality of your meals.

Knowing when to part ways with those staples is crucial. In addition to making food taste better, using fresh ingredients guarantees that your dishes will turn out perfectly. Next time, when you’re clearing out your pantry, check out these staples and throw them away if you kept them there for more than a year.

clearing out your pantry
Photo by RHJPhtotos from Shutterstock

12. Baking powder & baking soda

When you start clearing out your pantry, start by looking for all the baking soda and baking powder recipients. Why should you throw them away after a year? These two main staples from our pantries are essentials for both cleaning the house and removing stains from clothes, as well as for baking and cooking.

They may become useless after a year, offering poor results. To preserve the flavor of your baked goods, it’s critical to swap out these leavening chemicals regularly. Inconsistent textures and flavors might result from using out-of-date items.

11. Flour

Yes, this is one of the items that’s absolutely mandatory to throw away after a year of keeping it on your pantry shelves. Besides developing a nasty smell, it will no longer be useful for your baked goods.

Fresh flour contributes to the proper flavor and texture of your baked goods. Both the taste and look of your dishes can be greatly impacted by stale flour. After all, nobody likes a sour aftertaste in their croissants.

10. Baking mixes

Although most of them have a ton of preservatives to keep them “fresh,” it’s still recommended to throw your boxes of baking mixes away a year after you bought them and open them. Because they become stale and lose their effectiveness, you can end up with some terrible waffles that would ruin your breakfast.

9. Dried and freeze-dried fruit

Another item you should say goodbye to after a year is dried and freeze-dried fruit packages. These kinds of items have a relatively short lifespan because of the trace quantity of residual moisture in them. So, if you’re concerned about wasting money, but you still want to have a couple in your pantry, consider purchasing smaller packages instead of large ones. Once opened, consume the fruits within 2 or 3 days.

8. Packaged snacks

You know those packaged snacks like Pringles that you planned on eating, but you kept postponing the moment because you started a diet? Yeah, I feel you! However, snacks in a package, such as chips and crackers, might go bad after a year or so. If you still want to indulge yourself with some crackers or some chips once in a while, make sure you do that while they’re freshly bought.

Did clearing out your pantry turn you into a more organized person? Then you will need this set of 3 glass canisters with lids (34 oz). You can easily preserve items like pasta, coffee beans, sugar, or spices of your choice without spoiling them. The set is available for $21.99 on Amazon. 

7. Spices

If spices are kept in your cupboard for more than a year, they may lose their original taste and effectiveness. Using fresh condiments is essential to giving your food the perfect flavor. Dinners prepared using out-of-date condiments may taste blander. To maintain your cooking at an excellent level, it is vital to check the dates and replace them as necessary.

6. Cereal

If you enjoy eating cereal with milk for breakfast, then you should make sure you keep them fresh. If cereal is kept in your pantry for more than a year, it might lose its flavor and crunch. Replace your cereal every six months to maintain freshness and nutrients.

clearing out your pantry
Photo by darksoul72 from Shutterstock

5. Nuts & seeds

Have you ever tasted a rancid nut? Yikes! That happens when they are not kept in optimal conditions, or they’re already expired. Many people including myself buy a lot of nuts and seeds packages to keep in the pantry. This isn’t bad unless you have them forgotten for over a year. Stale nuts are less nutritious and might ruin the taste of your dishes.

To ensure you receive all the healthy fats, vitamins, fibers, and proteins from the nuts, it is essential to keep them fresh. Same as the dried fruits, buy smaller packages if you can’t eat them within 2 or 3 days after opening the bag.

4. Vegetable oil

Similar to nuts and seeds, vegetable oil of any sort can go rancid if it is kept in your pantry for more than a year. Old oil is not good for cooking since it might give your food a bad taste or smell. To make sure you’re utilizing tasty, fresh ingredients, it’s best to restock your oil regularly.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa has become so popular lately, especially in recipes made for people who want to lose weight and have a healthy diet. Because of that, and not only that, a lot of us, including myself, stock up on larger quantities of quinoa. This isn’t a bad thing unless you’re planning on keeping it on your pantry shelves for more than a year.

As with other items on the list, quinoa loses its flavor if it’s kept in plastic containers or ones with no lid.

2. Peanut butter

Nut butter in general, but particularly peanut butter, loses its flavor and texture if it’s left on the shelf for an extended period after it is opened. If a large jar is too big for you to consume, consider getting a smaller one and eating it within a month or two after opening it. Store it in the refrigerator.

1. Yeast

Although yeast is essential for raising dough and other baked goods, its effectiveness fades with time. Your yeast will probably be less effective if it is older than a year, which will cause your dough to rise improperly. To guarantee excellent baking, it’s important to replace your yeast every 4 or 5 months. The secret to making bread with the proper texture is to use fresh yeast.

How can you make your pantry items last longer?

Even if we want to, some pantry items won’t last more than a year, no matter how we store them. However, there are some small things you can do to keep them fresh even after you open them.

Items like cereal, pasta, or dried beans, for example, can be transferred to airtight containers after opening. By doing this, you will diminish oxidation and keep them as fresh as they can be. Nuts and seeds can be refrigerated after opening, while canned foods like beans, broths, or even mixed vegetables should be refrigerated after you buy them.

Vegetable oils must be stored in your pantry in dark bottles, away from heat sources. Even if dinnertime is months away, you can ensure that the food in your pantry is delicious, safe, and ready for consumption when you are by using these methods!

Are you looking for more easy tips that will help you declutter your home? We got you! Check out this article, Declutter Your Home: Follow Our 14-Day Challenge for a Clean Space

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