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Let Us Stock Your Thanksgiving Pantry

By Allison Burch, October 28, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Burch
Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to the five lucky winners: Ellen from Hillsborough, NC; Erica from Santa Fe, NM; Erin from Clearwater, FL; Sarah from Tulsa, OK and Stephanie from San Jose, CA. Happy Thanksgiving! Can you believe it’s almost November? Now is the perfect time to take stock of your pantry and make sure you have the basics on hand for your big Thanksgiving meal, all of that holiday entertaining and baking, and for everyday cooking in between. Here are some of our favorite tips to get your pantry in ship shape order and ready for the holiday season. Plus, five readers will win an assortment of organic and natural pantry favorites perfect for preparing your Thanksgiving feast. Read on to find out how you could be one of the lucky five. Start with a Clean Slate Before bringing home your holiday groceries de-clutter your pantry and restore order. Here’s how:
  • Take stock of what you have by taking everything out of your pantry and spreading it out on the kitchen counter. Separate the stuff you use every day from less frequently used items. Consider donating unopened extras to a food pantry. Anything past its expiration date should be tossed out. Remember the adage, “when it doubt, throw it out.”
  • Wipe down dusty shelves, cans and jars with warm water and a bit of dish soap. For sticky messes, sprinkle the spot with baking soda and top with a warm, wet paper towel. Let sit for a minute then scrape off with a spatula. Dry shelves thoroughly before restocking.
  • Place stuff you use every day (cereal, nut butters, snacks) within easy reach.
  • It’s best to put lightweight items on higher shelves and heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Group items together, such as baking supplies, canned beans and veggies, sauces and soups.
  • Place flours, dried beans and nuts in clear containers so you can see when you’re running low.
  • Corral small items (like oatmeal packets) into baskets so they don’t get lost.
Feeling inspired? Extend these ideas to your freezer and fridge. Checking It Twice Review your traditional recipes and check your (newly cleaned out) pantry carefully to help create your holiday shopping list. The more items you pick up on your first visit to the grocery store means fewer added trips later on. Happy Holiday Baking Are you a holiday baker? A kitchen filled with the aroma of freshly baked goodies is one of the most treasured memories of the holiday season. Check out our Holiday Baking Guide for some of our favorite tips and a checklist of baking essentials to keep on hand throughout the season. Herbs, Spice and Everything Nice Herbs and spices are supremely important during the holidays. Here are some tips to ensure there’s life in your holiday spice:
  • Dried herbs and spices lose their potency and freshness within six months to a year from the date they are first opened, so spices you used last year may need to be replaced.
  • If a container of dried herbs or spices doesn’t have its characteristic aroma or they appear faded, it’s time to replace.
  • Dried herbs are generally very flavor-concentrated, but quickly lose their intensity in storage. Keep containers tightly capped and store them in a cool, dark and dry spot. Avoid placing them above the stove, near a sink, dishwasher or sunny window.
  • Buy herbs and spices in small quantities from our bulk department to ensure a fresh supply and save money — you don’t have to buy an entire bottle of a special spice you only use once a year.
  • Find out more about specific spices in our Holiday Spice Guide.
Let Us Stock Your Thanksgiving Pantry As part of your pantry clean-up, you might want to consider restocking it with “cleaner” food – food that’s say, free of artificial preservatives, flavors, colors and sweeteners and organic, when possible. Luckily, the stuff we sell at Whole Foods Market doesn’t have any of that stuff and our exclusive 365 Everyday Value line of products has a huge selection of organic options at affordable prices. Need an extra incentive to get your pantry prepped for the holidays? We’ll help five lucky readers stock their pantries with an assortment of organic and natural Thanksgiving and holiday staples. Many of these are only available in our stores. To enter, just leave a comment below by November 4 and tell us what pantry staple you absolutely cannot do without at Thanksgiving and why. We’ll pick five winners at random to receive all of these great products:
  • 365 Everyday Value® Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Vegan Cane Sugar and Plain Bread Crumbs
  • 365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Grade A Organic Maple Syrup, Organic 100% Lemon Juice, Organic Balsamic Vinegar and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Wild Rice Mix
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Dried Cranberries and Organic Dried Turkish Apricots
  • 365 Everyday Value® Slivered Almonds and Chopped Pecans
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Whole Berry and Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauces
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Vegan Stuffing
  • 365 Everyday Value® Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Frontier Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg and Organic Ginger
  • Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
  • Lundberg Christmas Rice
  • Pacific Natural Foods Organic Turkey Gravy, Organic Pumpkin Puree and Organic Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • Simply Organic Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix
  • Spectrum Organic Shortening
  • Sunspire Fair Trade Organic 65% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • Whole Foods Market™ Crostini
  • Whole Foods Market™ Milk Chocolate and Pear & Almond Dark Chocolate Bars
So tell us, what pantry staple helps you create your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?




Lori Green says ...
I can't survive the holidays without a plentiful stock of chicken broth. Our holiday meal always calls for an array of sauces and gravies but is extremely beneficial with all those leftovers. Open faced turkey sandwiches, soups, casseroles, chili's, pot pies. All these wonderful pull-together meals rely on chicken, or vegetable stock, to blend the flavors into a delicious comfort food that warms soul.
10/28/2011 4:27:04 PM CDT
Melissa says ...
I can't do without gluten-free rolled oats to create the topping for my grandmother's famous Cranberry Apple Cobbler!
10/28/2011 4:48:08 PM CDT
Taryn says ...
I usually don't do the Thanksgiving cooking......but if there's one thing that I can't do without is fresh pecans for a delicious pecan pie!
10/28/2011 5:52:52 PM CDT
Paul says ...
Pacific Natural Foods condensed cream of mushroom soup!
10/28/2011 6:10:51 PM CDT
Sarah says ...
I don't need it but my sister does! I'm flying out to cook her Thanksgiving dinner for her and her friends since their cooking skills are a bit questionable!
10/28/2011 6:35:51 PM CDT
Dona says ...
My favorite holiday food has always been the stuffing--and, although possible with spices like sage and some good vegetable broth, it is not like my grandma's without just the right amount of free range chicken broth.
10/28/2011 6:43:43 PM CDT
Julie says ...
I absolutely cannot do without my truffle salt for my scalloped potato gratin dish (much cheaper than whole truffles).
10/28/2011 6:55:36 PM CDT
Alison says ...
The pantry staple I cannot do without at Thanksgiving is flour.
10/28/2011 7:00:15 PM CDT
Kristen says ...
Amazing giveaway!! I CANNOT go without quality maple syrup.
10/28/2011 7:59:15 PM CDT
Melanie says ...
The Number one thing I cannot do without, for any holiday actually, would be flour. It's a huge tradition in our family for the women to make oodles of baked goods! Cookies, cakes, pies, anything sweet and delicious!
10/28/2011 9:07:10 PM CDT
Isaac says ...
We can't do without rice...be it basmati, sushi, or wild!
10/28/2011 9:53:56 PM CDT
Chelsee says ...
I have to have pumpkin puree. Pumpkin chocolate chip bread and pumpkin pie are must haves this time of year.
10/28/2011 11:21:32 PM CDT
Meredyth says ...
Cinnamon is a must... it's such a fantastic smell and packs so much flavor. Especially to sweet potatoes, which are a STAPLE at Thanksgiving for me (and the rest of the season).
10/28/2011 11:35:51 PM CDT
Amanda says ...
Cinnamon! Because honestly, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the dessert. I'm not a big turkey fan, and I don't like sweet potatoes either. But pumpkin pie, I could live on.
10/29/2011 12:33:55 AM CDT
Sarah says ...
Maple syrup is my number one Thanksgiving time staple. It serves as a great sweetener in baking, in sweet side dishes, on top of special breakfasts, and even as a sweetener in some tomato-based dishes.
10/29/2011 5:06:23 AM CDT
Cathy Fisher says ...
CRANBERRIES, whether fresh (freeze well), dried, or canned. I am from Cape Cod, the home of the cranberry & the Pilgrims Nothing is more important for Thanksgiving dinner. Its local here, its tradition, and its historical and delicious. Its great in cookies, bread, and of course no turkey dinner is complete with out a side of cranberry sauce.
10/29/2011 7:56:44 AM CDT
Jessica A says ...
Vegetarian Gravy is my number one for my tofurkey and field roasts, love sharing with my family and having them try it :)
10/29/2011 8:42:36 AM CDT
Carrie says ...
Organic coconut milk for making the most fabulous pumpkin pie!
10/29/2011 9:41:05 AM CDT
Cynthia Lacey says ...
•Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth - indispensible for making my family's favorite apple and onion "stuffin' muffins". Second choice is •Pacific Natural Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree for making pumpkin pie.
10/29/2011 9:43:08 AM CDT
Kerry says ...
Definitely can't be without flour or butter at Thanksgiving. Both for baking and cooking! :) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Can't wait!
10/29/2011 11:09:00 AM CDT
Rachel says ...
The one item I can't live without on Thanksgiving is cranberries! Put some in the stuffing and it is pure delight!
10/29/2011 11:38:50 AM CDT
Susie Bee on Maui says ...
Sage. I can't imagine dressing/stuffing without it.
10/29/2011 12:13:16 PM CDT
Corrine says ...
Thank goodness for soy milks in aseptic packaging. My pumpkin pie, creamed onions, etc., are wonderful with the milk and creamer - and I can stock up in advance.
10/29/2011 12:16:38 PM CDT
Jim Richman says ...
Hi, We have a wonderful, large family with 4 adult children, all married, and 5 little grandchildren. With a wide variety of healthy eating and lifestyles among the families, our Thanksgiving feast ranges from healthy and well-cared for turkey to field roast, standard to vegan desserts... you get the idea! Where we "come together as one" is on chocolate, making Sunspire Fair Trade Organic 65% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips are the pantry staple that will help us create our favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. Thank you! Jim Richman
10/29/2011 1:30:48 PM CDT
Amy says ...
During Thanksgiving time I always need canned pumpkin puree to make all the delicious pumpkin desserts I see online.
10/29/2011 2:31:21 PM CDT