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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

Kate says …

Low sodium broth (all flavors) is essential to my pantry! I use it for everything from making gravy and keeping the turkey moist to flavoring squash and other veggies to making my new favorite Thanksgiving recipe, the Whole Foods Split Pea and Sweet Potato soup!

Aileen says …

Extra virgin olive oil. It's such a staple in our house that we don't even keep it in the pantry anymore. Though chocolate does help me get through all of the cooking I do!

denise says …

I cant do with out pine nuts, olive oil, sea salt!!

Ryannah Tannarome says …

Chicken stock

Judy Kurtz says …

Organic turkey.....after all, what would the wonderful sides and desserts be without a healthy turkey choice?

eric culver says …

365 Everyday Value® Organic Wild Rice Mix

Kathy M says …

Cranberries! Sauce! Dried! Fresh!! Love them all!

Caitlin says …

Stuffing mix! My family is very particular about their stuffing!

laura graham says …

An assortment of apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It is not the holidays without my dad's fabulous apple pie.

T.R. says …

My smoked sea salt. It adds the best flavor to anything and everything. So even without any other spices you still get this amazing taste.

Stephanie says …

I can not do without maple syrup. From dressing up squash to throwing together a quick breakfast, it makes everything more special.

Laura Johnston says …

I can't make it through the holidays without pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon. Good vanilla is a must. These items provide the flavor and aroma that screams HOLIDAYS.

CRAIGGERS says …

SOOOOOOOO DO LOVE LOVE LOVE 'EM PECANS!!!! IN EVERY SIZE, SHAPE AND SEASON! PECANS ARE PERFECT FOR ADDING JUST THE PRECISE FLAVOR, TEXTURE AND CRUNCH TO ANY TASTY DISH...AND THEY CELEBRATE AUTUMN IN EVERY WAY DELICIOUS!

Amanda says …

oh how I love autumn cooking ingredients! I always keep cinnamon and nutmeg around. My favorite is making a batch of apple sauce in the crock and smelling it all day.

Beth Rouser says …

Free Range Chicken Broth to make my mother's wonderful dressing and gravy. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them.

Lisa says …

Spices for sure; especially sage!

Megan says …

Can't do without day-after turkey and really good bread. Leftovers make the best sandwiches!

kim smith says …

The turkey,fond memories of my dad carving it at the head of the table.gone now for 22 yrs but memories are like yesterday

Jacqueline Green says …

I simply cannot do without the wonderlicious spice, cinnamon,which is the flavor and aroma that our mouths water for in one of the Big side dishes at our Thanksgiving table called Sweet Potato Pon.

Lilyrose says …

cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice...Love making pies, cakes and cupcakes and muffins...the aroma when baking is heavenly

Zak Bauman says …

Bread crumbs are a must along with garlic and spices. I also need to make sure to have some corn starch so I can thicken my gravy.

kate says …

We love nutmeg!!! Four our honeymoon, five years ago, we went to The Spice Island, Grenada, where nutmeg grew everywhere! This spice has very special meaning to us!

Amy Chamberlain says …

All the staples that I would need for Thanksgiving.

Kimberly Pauley says …

Dried Cranberries! They add great flavor to cereal, muffins, salads, doggy cookies... or I can just grab a handfull for a snack. They help curb my sweet tooth too! YUM :)

Mechelle S. says …

Sugar & baking powder! :-)

Cassandra says …

Flour,sugar,vanilla, cinnamon

Marcia A. says …

I cannot do without CINNAMON. It's a must for sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and all sorts of baked goods. I even love it sprinkled on my coffee =)

Beth says …

Stock in a box, olive oil, onions, potatos, garlic and lemons

Donna Canetti says …

Pumpkin is my favorite Thanksgiving pantry staple. I love it in pies, cakes and breads, pancakes, cookies, polenta and most of all pumpkin ravioli.

Michael Mccrary says …

Organic cranberry sauce makes the holidays!

Jackie Allen says …

Absolute must have..POTATOES! Wouldn't be complete without delicious mashed potatoes

Bev says …

Organic potatoes, no boxed stuff for us. My husband makes the best mashed potatoes ever!

robbie says …

Love the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves! But I also love making freshly baked bread, and just learned to make whole wheat bread. (So, baking supplies of any kind!)

Amy says …

The holidays are all about cinnamon. I couldn't do much without cinnamon! Not only is it good for you, but it makes your house smell great! What a wonderful opportunity you are giving all of us! Thank You! :)

Wanda says …

I'm a cinnamon fan as well! It's a must for pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and lots of other goodies. I guess I would have to say that pumpkin is one of the essentials as well, especially either from our garden or the farmer's market.

Cathy says …

I can't live without Old Bay Seasoning. My sister introduced me to it in the 1970's when she moved to Maryland. I use in in stuffings, to season meats, making before dinner pickings. I find it more versatile than the traditional stuffing seasonings! Recently a friend of my husband gave him conch. Not knowing what to do with this sea food we steamed them in white wine steamming solution and then I ground them up with my hand grinder and made "conch" stuffies. I baked them in custard cups ( of course they did contain Old Bay Seasoning) and they came out great! I serves them with rice and a steammed vegetable. What an inexpensive treat. I guess fishermen cast off conch they a predators of scallops, but a good food source for a tight budget. Also recently I have found a gadget called a julienne peeler. A little pricy, but now many veggies I used to steam I now saute with olive oil and perhaps save more of the nutrients. A new taste at any rate.

Iris says …

I must have chicken stock, peacans, maple syrup, and sweet potatoes!!!!!!

Catherine says …

Canned pumpkin - I use it in so many ways for the holidays, from pie to a lovely pumpkin-corn bisque.

Cher says …

Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!

Steve Mosley says …

We love the 365 organic vegan stuffing!

Anne Morrow says …

Everyone's favorite part of our meal is the dressing, so one of the pantry staples for that is cornmeal to make the cornbread. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without our cornbread dressing!

Lisa says …

Cinnamon and nutmeg - both a must!

candice Jernigan says …

It's not the holiday season with out the smell of pumpkin spice floating thru the air!

Marianne says …

so many to choose from, but stock in a box is a lifesaver when you are trying to cut down on prep time!

Stine says …

canned pumpkin! that's where everything starts!

Eileen says …

We love Imagine chicken broth at Thanksgiving and all year. Low sodium and no sugar. We use it for many recipes.

Shari Brookens says …

Many choices that don't include animal meat are available. Organic seasoning makes them delicious.

Carole Ziegler says …

Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Yummy, yummy, yummy for your tummy not only for the holiday but any day!

Kellie Halder Hansen says …

potatoes - can never have enough sweet and mashed on thanksgiving!

michael says …

coconut custard pie and cranberries! (not together, ick!)

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