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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

Leah says …

A well stocked pantry is a beautiful thing. I love having everything minus the fresh ingredients on hand and ready to go!

Amy R says …

Cinnamon and vanilla. I make my Mom's amazing apple pie.

Sara says …

The Thanksgiving staple I cannot live without is soy sauce. Asian style turkey is my favorite!

Katie says …

I must have vanilla extract, I use it for so many different recipes!

Michelle says …

Cloves! They're the "secret ingredient" in my stuffing recipe (not so secret if you've ever looked at the Joy of Cooking's recipe).

David says …

Pumpkin pie spice. Without it, its just pumpkin. Also jazzes up my world famous sweet potato pie.

Kailey says …

During the entire fall season (but especially Thanksgiving!) I cannot do without pumpkin puree! It's the time of year for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin oatmeal, and of course pumpkin pie. :) I can always find something to put some pumpkin in, nothing tastes more like fall.

Cilia Joseph says …

I would love to win. We could definitely use some healthy food in this house!

Natalie Baerwaldt says …

Stocked pantry for my new house would be fantastic!! We love WFM and healthy, delicious food is such an important part of our lives. Cooking with the kids is our favorite past-time.

lateish says …

Yes pls, with three growing boys and the crazy work schedule i have ..I do not have the time. pls come and do this for me. I want to show my sons that healthy eating can lead to a long happy healthy life.

Crystal says …

Sea salt is a must! It adds great simple taste, without covering the natural flavor of the food.

Shari says …

I can't do without many staples, but one that is critical is flour. My family is gluten free so flour actually translates to flours--almond, rice, sorghum, etc., but from baking to sauces, flour is integral.

Tim says …

I can't do without organic spices!

Cindy Z says …

I always have potatoes on hand. They're such a simple veggie on their own but can be whipped or baked in so many ways and turn into a most impressive dish.

Heather says …

I like to head to our local spice shop to replace all of my essential holiday herbs and spices!

Nancy says …

Thank you for the great tips! The one staple I cannot live without in my pantry over the holidays is my spice collection. I keep a wide variety of fresh and dried herbs and spices, so that I can make any type of food at any time. Seasonings make all the difference!

emily dingmann says …

Around Thanksgiving, I can't live without apple cider vinegar for my delicious brussels sprouts salad!

Rachael Sperling says …

Can't be without NUTMEG at Thanksgiving! Use it in my homemade cranberry sauce (so much better than the canned stuff) and in my sweet potato casserole (much lower sugar than sweet potato pie!). Love my nutmeg.

Katie says …

I can't live without Cumin! It adds flavor to everything!

kim parrott says …

Three things in my holiday pantry that we cannot do without are good quality vanilla, granulated garlic and whole berry/smooth cranberry sauce - yep, we are addicted to cranberry sauce and there would be a riot if we didn't have it in stock!

josh says …

Turkey. It's thanksgiving, can't go without turkey for thanksgiving!

Jerri Reich says …

I love holiday baking. I already have baked up 4 batches of pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting! What else should I bake or cook now? Butternut squash soup?

Jean Wentz says …

We have to have cinnamon for Thanksgiving. We keep a crockpot of spiced cider going during the days while the family is together and of course it goes into sweet potatoes and pies and maybe other desserts or on cinnamon toast for breakfast. Cinnamon and spices make me think of holidays and Fall and time with family.

j sull says …

Cranberries! Nothing is more thanksgiving than cranberries for me.

nancy Duvall says …

My favorite pantry staple is coconut oil. This year I will figure out how to use it in my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Also, cinnamon and pumpkin. Can't wait to clean out the pantry and get started on my holiday menus.

Lynn says …

Must have fresh spices and herbs for cooking and baking!

Vickie Corkhill says …

I love stocking up on 365 brands !! They are a must in our pantry!!

shannon johnson says …

I absolutely have to have Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. I use it almost daily. :)

Thereasa Gargano says …

Must have cinnamon, honey and all foods with no salt added including unsealed butter. I live to bake this time of the year. Good luck to everyone!

Cassi Peters says …

I can't do without sage! I use SO much of it on my turkey and in my dressing. Yummy!

Meri says …

Can't be without stuff to make pumpkin pie!!Yum!

Ben says …

I simply cannot do without freshly ground cardamom, it livens up the house with the most intoxicating holiday-warming aroma.

Becky K. says …

Canned pumpkin, it's useful and tasty in so many things (pies, rolls, bread, soup). I always stock up on it this time of year.

Deb says …

Maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg

Mindi says …

My must-have pantry staple is flour. Can't make bread, pie crust or gravy without it!

Mickie says …

The pantry staple we can not do with out is Flour.We use it for almost everything!

Julia says …

365 Organic Chicken Broth - it's needed for a ton of stuff, daily, not just at Thanksgiving!

Ashley says …

I absolutely cannot life without pure maple syrup and of corse all the holiday spices nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, all spice!!!

Janice Amor says …

Believe it or not I just can't do without Rice. I feel every meal should be accompanied with Rice! That makes the meal complete and wholesome

Ragen Ashlie Roberts says …

For my thanksgivings I MUST have fresh cranberries. I know it's not a staple but cranberry salad without fresh cranberries is just not the same and it's something my grandmother made all the years I knew her so it needs to be there. For staples, though, I have to have plenty of flour so I can make things like bread and noodles to use all the wonderful thanksgiving leftovers in sandwiches, soups, and pies!

Kyle says …

I couldn't do without the seasonal spices! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves etc. Whether I'm making lattes, pancakes, candied nuts.. the spices are a must :)

Wendy says …

I would have to say vegan cane sugar. I make all of the deserts for my family and obviously need quite a bit for those. My family isn't vegan, so I like to show them how delicious vegan recipes truly are!

Iser Cukierman says …

Me please. Would love to get my pantry stuffed!!

JL Caldwell says …

Cranberries! Over the past couple of years, I've found so many uses for them (aside from just a side dish at Thanksgiving!).

Christine says …

Sage! It is a must for my delicious sweet Italian sausage chestnut stuffing

Jo says …

A freshly stocked pantry would be such a good addition to our constant quest to eat cleaner and healthier! As we run out of things, we are making good progress on replacing with organic options. Besides being the "right thing to do", we all feel better for the change!

Terri Bradley says …

I must have the 365 Organic Vegan Stuffing. My family consists of vegans and vegetarians, so the stuffing makes everyone happy. Our Thanksgiving has changed in recent years, but the love coming through in the food never will. I love my family and want to share many more holidays with the people I love!!!

Jacqui says …

I cannot do with sweet potatoes somebody has to make the pie and that would be me!

Stephanie Foreman says …

I can NEVER do without nutmeg. I put it in almost everything from eggnog to pumpkin pies and cookies.

Samantha says …

Paxo Sage and Onion Stuffing. I know it's not exactly a Whole Foods item but Thanksgiving and Christmas cannot happen without it! I make it the way my dad does and his dad before him. I'll change anything else on the menu but I will not stuff my turkey with anything else!

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