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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?




Lisa Harken says ...
The staples I cannot live without in my pantry over the holidays are my spices (from Allspice to White Pepper and everything in between!)and cranberry chutney. I can not think of Thanksgiving without either of these items.
10/30/2011 11:43:55 PM CDT
Heather says ...
Chopped pecans!! I use them in my sweet potato bake and tons of other holiday recipes. I eat them raw as a snack too.
10/30/2011 11:46:01 PM CDT
pat fenton says ...
White bread - good ol' Pullman loaf white bread, 'cuz the next-day turkey sandwiches just aren't right on anything else.
11/02/2011 10:27:09 PM CDT
Laura says ...
Olive oil!
11/02/2011 10:27:23 PM CDT
Teo says ...
What is needed is lots of bread of all kinds
11/02/2011 10:27:31 PM CDT
Miranda says ...
Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Apples are a must during the holidays in our pantry.
11/02/2011 10:27:34 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
Cannot live without poultry seasoning, fresh nutmeg, fresh oranges and cranberries, and cinnamon! May the holiday be fresh and simple and full of peace.
11/02/2011 10:27:38 PM CDT
Sandye says ...
Flour because from late October to the end of the year I'm always baking something! Homemade goodies make great heartfelt gifts!
11/02/2011 10:27:41 PM CDT
Debby Cross says ...
Pumpkin and cinnamon. Love to make pumpkin rolls, pies, cookies, gingerbread waffles, etc!
11/02/2011 10:27:44 PM CDT
Jane says ...
11/02/2011 10:27:46 PM 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
Marilyn says ...
I cannot live with out the 365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Grade A Organic Maple Syrup in my pantry year round! From being a great substitute for sugar in most any recipe, to making yogurt a decadent dessert. Because of the high quality, I use it for it's medicinal characteristics to help me with with what ails. It's a staple in my pantry.
11/02/2011 10:27:46 PM CDT
Mary says ...
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce.........make everything taste great
11/02/2011 10:27:48 PM CDT
Deborah Binder says ...
Pecans.....can't live without them....
11/02/2011 10:28:03 PM CDT
Christine says ...
Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts are a must have for Thanksgiving.
11/09/2011 7:18:20 AM CST
Julie says ...
Potatoes. Doesn't matter if you or your guests are omnivores, vegetarians, or vegans. Potatoes are there for you. Saute, whip, bake, or fry. Make a very high end french dish or just toss it in the over to bake. For all tastes and all skill levels - there is something there for everyone! (and the potato is such an accomadating food - it's very hard to mess it up)
11/07/2011 10:49:46 PM CST
Tamara Sanchez says ...
pure maple syrup is my must have- I use it for everything including basting my turkey- this makes it so moist I have a special recipe which I have become famous for in my church I also use it in the dressing and in the sweet potatoes. Also cinnamon and nutmeg and lots of butter.
11/07/2011 10:33:02 AM CST
Jenni says ...
Dried organic rosemary... it's so delicious in stuffing and on the Tofurky roast! Mmm...
11/09/2011 11:51:51 PM CST
Anabel says ...
Just one? Flour! I love fresh-baked bread!
11/01/2011 11:45:11 PM CDT
Elizabeth C. says ...
Gotta have rice vinegar to add flavoring and health benefits to my dishes -- Chef Ming Tsai uses it to make savory dishes like a dipping sauce for sesame tempura cod, a vinaigrette for my cashew chicken salad, kung pao sauce, or a wok-stirred bok choy—just a dash will kick it up. These vinegars are thought to help detoxify, energize and heal the body, support body health and promote healing as well as help aid digestion, fight fatigue, maintain good skin, and even control muscle pains.
11/01/2011 11:46:27 PM CDT
Jenny says ...
Of course rice! We cook and eat it almost every single day. You will never see it amiss in my pantry.
11/01/2011 5:51:24 AM CDT
Angie says ...
Stuffing! I just can't have turkey without it!
11/01/2011 1:07:07 PM CDT
Deb says ...
We absolutely can't live without pumpkin bread mix and all types of brown rice and wild rice during Thanksgiving season!
11/01/2011 1:07:16 PM CDT
Suzie says ...
Organic pumpkin purée - nothing beats pumpkin pie!
11/01/2011 1:07:31 PM CDT
Sarah says ...
Cinnamon and pumpkin. I bake a lot of pumpkin cranberry bread and can't do it without those two items in my pantry:)
11/02/2011 10:46:37 PM CDT