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Let Us Stock Your Thanksgiving Pantry

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?

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11104 comments

Comments

Courtney says …

I can't live without canned organic pumpkin, unsalted organic butter for baking, beautiful organic yams, and fresh green beans. Oh, and an organic free-range turkey. I love Thanksgiving.

Marci says …

BRAGG'S AMINO ACID...makes everything taste 'great'

S. Frank says …

Gotta have Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin, Organic Butternut Squash, and Organic Sweet Potato Puree. The possibilities are endless! Just whipped up some Butternut Squash Lasagna, which makes a great addition to the Thanksgiving feast.

Pamela L. Carter says …

A vital must have is honey and cinnamon. Not only are they necessary for holiday cooking but in combination they can be used for bad breath, toothaches, fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, skin infections, pimples, bladder infection, indigestion, upset stomach, longevity, colds and longevity. Happy holidays!

Felicia says …

Brown sugar is a must. My family uses brown sugar for sweet potatoes and cookies.

Ela Buck says …

Can't do without Pecans ! Pecanpie, chopped with Green Beans, Sweet potatoes with roasted pecans ...yum !

Diane says …

My Thanksgiving must-have would probably be butter. I know it's a small thing, but the potatoes and turkey wouldn't be the same without it.

Janelle Carey says …

This sounds silly but I stock my panty with extra whole foods cleaning supplies! In particular paper towels, phosphate free dishwasher detergent, pan scrubbers, and dinner napkins.With company, cooking, and festivities I would always forget the essentials...now I always have a few ecologically friendly items tucked away and ready for use.

Kimberly says …

My family picks a different spice palate each year. Last year we did a middle eastern take on the traditional meal and used a lot of saffron, greek yogurt, etc. to assist in our recipes. Who knows what it will be this year!

Susan Vogt says …

My favorite pantry stable that helps me create a memorable Thanksgiving meal would be that can of organic pumpkin--which makes the best pumpkin pie in town!

Sara says …

spices, this is my first year cooking

Catherine A Kennedy says …

My favorite staple is organic whole berry cranberry sauce--not jut at the holidays, but year round.

Michelle Gradis says …

Cinnamon - it goes in almost everything from sweets to savories to drinks. Happy Holidays everyone!

Courtney Herman says …

Definitely canned pumpkin. Thanksgiving would not be the same without pumpkin pie!

Valerie says …

Dried sage. It isn't Thanksgiving until it's crushed and rubbed and the aroma is released.

Kathy Connors says …

Bell's Seasoning - I have to have it for seasoning the turkey as well as the much requested stuffing.

Rita says …

Cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. It just isn't the same without it.

Wilma Campbell says …

Tofurky, lots of vegetables and good bread make a nice meal.

Jeanne says …

A bowl of nuts in the shell for cracking with the silver nut cracker! Oh what holiday memories I have as a kid cracking open the pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. What a great sound it always made. It kept we little hungry kids occupied while dinner was prepared and it's HEALTHY! Thanks WHOLE FOODS for giving us many healthy choices like Gluten-free, dairy-free, free range organic meats and yummy pumpkin pie!

Susie Geist says …

Oh definitly the coffee, without this majical bean the rest of the stuff would never see the outside of the cupboards.

James says …

Fresh cranberry (or cranberry sauce) and whole grain organic bread, go great with turkey.

Peter D says …

Balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil and sea salt. Cheers -

Sarah says …

Organic cranberry sauce! My favorite! No turkey for me on T-day, but cranberries are essential!

Jeanne M says …

Cinnamon...it's the spice of autumn. I use it in almost everything, from sweet to savory, this time of year, and can't picture Thanksgiving without it!

Sherry says …

Stuffing is an absolute pantry staple, along with chicken broth, and fresh herbs.

Rhonda Young says …

Canned pumpkin. I love to make pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones and of course, pumpkin pie.

cheri says …

being from Maine, organic Maine potatoes, yum

Barbara Burns says …

Pumpkin, nuts, cranberries, focaccia stuffing mix, and baking supplies--flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Doretha says …

I could not do without sage. Sage is the epitome of Thanksgiving. Sage dressing, sage gravy and you have to stuff the turkey with sage, and magically it all comes out tasting not overly sage!

Charles Colliton says …

We love turkey, stuffing and all the holiday fixings.

Janet Roberts says …

Gluten free flour to make my desserts...especially Ginger Cookies with raw Ginger and anise...

laura a smith says …

love thanksgiving and must have fresh sage for my stuffing

Kerry says …

Fresh dried sage from my garden...it is so important for homemade stuffing. Yum!

Kelly says …

sea salt and pepper: they go in just about everything.

Heather Hughes says …

Jellied Cranberry Sauce!!!!! It's my one indulgence for the holidays. No Thanksgiving meal is complete without it!

Denise Covarrubias says …

I cannot do without firm, organic TOFU! I use it to make heavenly VEGAN pumpkin pies and chocolate cream pies!

steve wilbur says …

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour baking mix Italian seasoning

Laurie says …

We can't do without Organic Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce at the holidays. It adds that perfect cranberry tartness to complement meats and vegetarian dishes for an authentic Thanksgiving feast. Gotta have Cranberry sauce!

Lisa says …

I always need Sage, Cranberries, Pumpkin and Walnuts for my Thanksgiving dinner but the most important ingredient of all is Family!

amber wark says …

How about those big fat marshmallows that we eat only once a year on our sweet potatoes ? (okay, maybe twice when we have smores in the summer :) ).

Dianne says …

Chicken broth -- it's essential for so many dishes, including gravy, stuffing, vegetables, rice and more. It's definitely a pantry staple.

Taliah says …

SAGE!!! Outside of being with friends and family, cooking and eating dressing is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. For the best dressing sage is a must!!

Barb says …

pumpkins to bake and make into pumpkin pies! Fresh, rather than canned makes a remarkable pie! Barb

Deb Nudelman says …

Sweet potatoes, lots of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and mini marshmallows! Only make the famous classic dish at thanksgiving but it would not be the same without it. Everyone does rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top. Yummy!!!

V Green says …

The holidays have been particularly difficult for me and my family this past year as I discovered that I need a gluten-free, soy-free and corn-free diet (blue corn is ok for some reason). Luckily, with Whole Foods, we have been able to find so many delicious foods I can eat with my family! We love the fresh cranberry jelly you make-- I can't live without your 365 brand olive oil for all my cooking--year round. I do miss the pies, gravy and rolls,but we are experimenting with the different flours available so we can all enjoy our holiday feasting!

Ruthie says …

Organically grown herbs and spices, especially rosemary and nutmeg. Poultry & rosemary, hot cocoa with grated nutmeg = heavenly aromas filling the kitchen in fall and winter!

ClaireL says …

Garlic added to the water when boiling the potatoes and Sour cream added when they are mashed...delicious and creamy!

Jan says …

garlic

Judy says …

An organic TURKEY of course!! :) Couldn't do without the wonderful aroma of a fresly baked pumpkin pie either.

Susan says …

In no particular order: cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil, flour, onions, garlic, chicken/vegetable stock, dry beans/lentils, canned tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, quinoa, and (of course) dark chocolate!

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