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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

Ora M. Roberts says …

Whole grain organic rolled oats (I keep them in the deep freeze), organic walnuts (freezer), unsweetened organic dried cranberries without preservatives (freezer), unpasturized honey, organic whole wheat flour (freezer), organic raisins (freezer), pumpkin puree (from home-grown organic pumpkins) in the freezer, and organic ground cinnamon (stored in my herb cupboard). So, why is my pantry full? Time to clean out my pantry :)

Jennifer Smith says …

We can not live without.... (drum roll please) the home made chicken stock I keep in our freezer each and everytime I make a whole chicken. Its perfection to our taste buds, and since I make it, I know I'm feeding my entire family something wholesome, nutritous, and I know EVERY SINGLE INGREDENT in it!

Sita says …

Gluten-free options! From stuffing to pie crust, Thanksgiving is as much about gluten as it is about turkey. This being my third Thanksgiving being gluten-intolerant, I'm still figuring out affordable ways to adapt so that I get to enjoy what everyone else is eating and so that they don't notice they're eating gluten-free alternatives. But the market is growing every day with new choices, and that is one thing I am most thankful for!

sfo says …

My family traces back to the pilgrims, so Thanksgiving is a big holiday for us--and it is not complete without cranberries in several forms!

Trish H says …

Absolutely must have boxes of chicken and vegetable stock on hand. I couldn't make Thanksgiving Dinner without. Use it in my gravy, my mashed potatoes instead of dairy and to make soup from the leftovers. Love it!

Kris Gresahm says …

Our favorite staple is "Friends With Leftovers"! Many years ago my Mom started a tradition while we were in college of inviting all the college kids over the day AFTER Thanksgiving to help clean up leftovers. Over the years this event has become larger than our actual Thanksgiving. Now my family,and friends, including my grown children and their friends, come over for "Thanksgiving 2" and everyone brings leftovers to nibble while we play board games and drink wine. It has become a terrific event! We get to sample what other families make for their favorites and we make sure no food goes to waste.

margie says …

It has to be the Simply Organic Roasted Turkey Gravy Mix everyone thinks I slaved over the stove making it from scrach.but i wont tell if you wont lol

Jan says …

Love the Thanksgiving Holiday and all the delicious goodies, especially a great hormone free Turkey...yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cyndie N. says …

Gotta have the gluten free products!!

Becky says …

Free range organic chicken broth for some awesome homemade turkey noodle soup made with leftovers!

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.

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.

Liz says …

Pumpkin pie! It simply wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

Joanna says …

If not a fill of the pantry, I'd be happy to take some of the prepared items home such as quinoa salads, couscous, vegetable dishes, etc. home.

stephanie says …

I can't do without rice! Makes a great easy and tasty side dish.

Karen Taylor says …

Must haves this time of year for my pantry include savory spices like cumin and garlic for making endless pots of hearty thick stews full of organic edamame, barley, rice, corn, tomatoes, peas and other seasonal veggies and legumes. Yummo!

Larissa says …

For the past 4 years now, one Thanksgiving staple I cannot live without is Pure Maple Syrup. I first used it mixed with fresh orange juice as a glaze for our turkey in 2007. Everyone raved at the flavor, including my grandmother who's turkey was hard to beat. Unfortunately that was her last Thanksgiving with us. Since that year, I've found several news ways to incorporate it into our Thanksgiving feast..I mix it into softened butter to make a pure maple butter or the fluffy rolls we have. Drizzle a little bit over orange segments for a light breakfast before the feast. This year we are going a different route since most of the family is now vegetarian/vegan. Stuffed acorn squash, first roasted with a maple syrup, butter, and sea salt glaze. (For the few that DO eat turkey, I think I'll go the orange and maple syrup glaze route again...it really was a show stopper!).

Jill says …

I have already been thinking of all the smells and tastes of the season. Thank you for including lots of chocolate in your gift!

Laurette Sebastienne says …

I use these chocolate bars (•365 Everyday Value® Organic Dark Chocolate Bar) to shred onto the top of my home made fresh from the oven dark chocolate cracked sea-salt brownies...A pantry must for me. We stock up. Holidays and fall weather call for dark chocolate brownies and these chocolate bars make it all the better. YUM.

Rainy says …

Summer savory. A surprising necessity for amazing stuffing.

Becky Price says …

I can't live without organic chicken broth through the holidays! From prepping the main meal to re-heating, re-making the infamous leftovers, it is one staple that sees it all through!

Karanina Henderson says …

I can not live without King Arthur flour to make quick bread for Thanksgiving Dinner. I have a delicious recipe that is great with cheese.

Samantha says …

Sea salt! I put a lot of salt on almost everything. Things just do not taste right without it!

Debbie says …

I simply cannot do without pumpkin puree! I use it to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cream cheese roll, pumpkin protein bars, waffles/pancakes, cookies, muffins, donuts, and soup. I put it in my oatmeal and cream of wheat. I'm sure there is even more but that's what I can think of at this moment.

Darlene Gordon says …

Poultry seasoning absolutely puts the finishing touch on the dressing and gravy. Yummy !

Michelle T says …

Olive oil helps me create almost all my favorite parts of Thanksgiving!

Cindy Corum says …

Pumpkin. Great for breads, desserts, spreads...

joette higgs says …

Bittersweet chocolate chips....the best for flourless chocolate cake, cookies, double chocolate brownies, chocolate sauce for ice cream. Love to bake at the holidays & share the baked goods with all my friends!

Terri David says …

Can't do without vegan stuffing. Just love it.

Teague says …

For Thanksgiving, I need cornstarch to make the perfect gravy.

Debra Gommesen says …

I love the items you have for sale. I wish you had a store close to me so I could shop there. I hope you soon add a Grand Rapids, MI store to your line up. Thank you for providing a needed service.

Abby says …

A variety of organic canned beans. I'm recently vegan, and there are so many easy and delicious bean-based recipes ou there.

Elizabeth S says …

organic oatmeal, it is a good healthy start for breakfast to get my day headed in the right healthy direction.

Cecelia Heer says …

It has to be the cranberry sauce in a can. Yes. Cranberry sauce in a can. The one that you open on one side with an electric (or manual can-opener), then on the other side you use a "beer can opener" so the suction allows the jellied cranberry sauce to ooze out of the can. Of course, the best part is the ridges in the sauce from the can. And this is always sliced with a serrated steak knife (don't ask me why but it is) onto the plate. And, of course, no one ever eats it...Well maybe uncle Frankie would take a bite. And for more than 40 years this has always (and will always be) been a tradition.

Nicole Leary says …

Dried sage! So many savory uses.

Crista says …

vanilla extract, baking powder, and chicken and veggie stock!

John says …

Cranberries are a must have!

CHRISTINE M. says …

ALLSPICE. SHOULD BE USED MORE OFTEN. A UNIQUE TASTE

Mary says …

•Frontier Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg and Organic Ginger I make a mixture of these and put in a tightly capped mason jar and use for coffee, baked apples, over warmed fresh pineapple, and in my pancake batter. Also great in warm cider.

Sarah says …

Chicken broth! Perfect for the stuffing, yummmm!

Megs says …

Probably nutmeg ( since it's my mom's nickname for me), and it just has a holiday smell and taste to me.

Teresa Russell says …

We must have Olive Oil, and Rice. Brown Sugar during the holidays, along with flour makes for wonderful deserts.

Randi says …

My family cannot live without wild rice during the holidays. If there wasn't our family's famous Wild Rice Stuffing, no one would show up!

Iiz says …

During the holiday seasons I can not live without cream - we put it in sauces and on pies!

Kerri S says …

Gluten free flour so I can bake pies and make gravy.

Virginia says …

I use chicken broth for everything. Cooking lentils, cooking rice, etc. And I love imagine organics!

Judith Wink says …

CinnaYUM! Canned, spiced pumpkin for my favorite pie! Chicken stock for that extra, tasty moisture.....

Tara says …

Cinnamon and nutmeg. Yams must have nutmeg! Yummy

Martha says …

It has to be canned pumpkin! It's not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!

Maggie DiMauro says …

The pantry staple I absolutely cannot live without on Thanksgiving is PECANS. I toast them to bring out even more nutty flavor and add to my stuffing. I then use them in the most buttery pecan pie, and also whip up some candied spiced pecans to sprinkle on my yams before serving.

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