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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

Marilyn says …

Sliced almonds & pecans...looking forward to trying the pumpkin pie pecan crust recipe!

Kelly says …

It's got to be canned pumpkin...gotta have it.

Barbara Williams says …

Duck breasts are the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal in my family for the following reasons: 1) Turkey has become a year-round staple. 2) Duck is so much more favorful and is totally consumed on Thanksgiving Day - no leftover blues. 3) Duck breasts are, for us, luxury items not regularly consumed, and therefore a perfect way to give thanks for life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness.

Mitchell Schuller says …

I don't think I could choose just one, but I do always have to keep cans of pumpkin puree. It's amazing how it can dress up anything you make. And it's wonderful using it with sweet potatoes and marshmallow.

NL Butler says …

North Shore Distillery's Vodka! We host the holiday every year, need I say more?

Sam says …

Definitely 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Berry and Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauces. Why? First of all the 365 value line gives me pesticide free fruits that are processed without preservatives and chemicals at a price that is competitive with conventional canned sauces. In fact, in many cases the Everyday 365 line is identical to many other higher priced "organic" labeled fruit products but they are available at a much lower price. I also cannot imagine Thanksgiving without jellied cranberry sauce next to the turkey.

Angie says …

One thing I can NEVER do without is a big bag of Thai Jasmine rice. Although it's not a "traditional" Thanksgiving meal item, I've found that it adds a wonderful flavor to all of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Ever tried a Broccoli & Rice casserole using it? Or use it as a stuffing for the turkey. The amazing aroma of this rice cooking is enough to make mouths water in my house - even before I start cooking the desserts (and incidentally, it makes great rice pudding). Here's my salute to new/non-traditional Holiday ingredients!

Tessah says …

Pure Vanilla - a must for baking, oatmeal and anything that requires just a little something extra!

Kimberlee Aguilar says …

The tradition in our family is red chile on top of mashed potatoes. Pantry items that we cannot do without for Thanksgiving are dried red chile pods for making the chile.

mirabelle says …

Pumpkin!

casey says …

this will be the first year that i make thanksgiving meal on my own....so i'm not quite sure yet!

Jen says …

potato flour, organic chicken stock and pumpkin!

Deb says …

I must have pecans so I can make sweet postatoe casserole to take to my mom's house!

Suzanne B. says …

Lundberg Wild Blend!!! When cooked as the package directs, it is THE MOST FABULOUS wild rice side! Is also great used in stuffings, risottos, other recipes.

Jeremiah McDuffie says …

SPICES, all kinds for so many different reasons

Andrea says …

I can't do without Frontier Organic Nutmeg for sweet potato pies and Cinnamon for yummy organic homemade carrot cake!

Jeff says …

Gotta have the broth and the fixings for the stuffing. Those chocolate bars will be great for topping of Thanksgiving dinner!

Melia says …

I cannot live without almonds. There are so many things you can do with them. Roast them, put them in a salad, use them in a dessert, or even just have them out for guests to snack on. They are a super food indeed!

Karen says …

As soon as the first fresh cranberries hit the shelves, they come home with me. I'll be baking cranberry nut bread and making fresh cranberry relishes and salads all season long. Other must-haves include nutmeg, allspice & walnuts.

Michelle says …

The pantry staple I cannot do without for my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal is Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. I use it for my mashed potatoes, my dressing, and for steaming veggies, versatile staple item - DELICIOUS!

Fred says …

I'm a year round heavy drinker,one of my favorite beverage is Santa Cruz Organic Peach Lemonade.

Sophie says …

Dark brown sugar - a spoonful of sugar makes any day brighter (or "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" as Mary Poppins said); for the Holidays, it's OK to splurge on the REAL thing!

Sheri says …

Spectrum organic vegetable shortening is fantastic for baking.

Ray says …

I have to have canned pumpkin for pies!!

Nancy says …

Pecans - for pie, stuffing, & snack

Heather says …

Sugar is a staple in my house for the holiday season. Im a baking fool!

Karen says …

From my pie crusts to my mashed potatoes, I use butter to make my Thanksgiving flavorful.

Drkas says …

Olive oil is the absolute most important item. I will use it as the healthy oil in all of my cooking. Many studies talk about the Mediterranean healthy diet.

Suzanne Sapp says …

I will need organic pumpkin, to make pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, for sweet potato pie; organic sweetner to replace sugar. Butter, and pecans for pecan pie. Need fresh spices. I have special dietary needs. No preservatives, no sugar, no processed foods.

Alma says …

Cinnamon. I love the flavor and aroma. It enhances the taste buds. I use it in a lot of my holiday recipes.

Mary says …

My Thanksgiving must have is pumpkin for pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin pie for all of the family to enjoy and to share with friends. Yummmm.

Orlanda says …

Sage and Rosemary are great herbs to cook with butternut squash.

Melissa says …

Flour, and Cranberry Sauce for sure have to have in pantry and stuffing boxes are good too.

Nancy McGuire says …

The 365 Organic Dark Chocolate Bar is perfect for grating atop homemade whipping creamed pumpkin pie...it travels well over the river and through the woods...and will be the chosen quick snack for holiday get-up-and-go!

Gloria M says …

I love this time of year -- all the spices would be my staples. When I was growing up on the farm, everything on our Thanksgiving table either came out of the ground or walked on the ground on our farm. The only thing we used from the store in town was spices! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it truly is about nature's bounty and God's provision to provide us a great yeild.

Hope says …

At my Thanksgiving I definitely need to have squash, pumpkin and vegetable broth!

serena lembach says …

Cornmeal for cornbread stuffing. Gluten free hoisehold...

Katie says …

Can not be without cinnamon sticks for the best homemade cranberry sauce!

Tammy Ciora says …

Definitely cinnamon and lemon juice...these two products take any dish to the next level!

Grace says …

Green beans - the fancy french-styled cut kind! :) Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Give Thanks!

Julie Vandeputte says …

Cinnamon is a must have for Thanksgiving. Cannot imagine pumpkin pie, mincemeat pie or tarts, rice pudding, ginger cookies, sweet potato casserole, apple pie..... without cinnamon and cannot imagine Thanksgiving without these favorite foods. Both the taste and the smell of cinnamon add a holiday feel. Thank you Whole Foods for being there!!!

Michelle says …

Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without stuffing. I might try the organic vegan stuffing this year!

Susan says …

Pecans - besides Turkey and fresh cranberries, nothing reminds me more of Thanksgiving than pecan pie (and of course, pumpkin pie). I have what looks like a great pumpkin pie recipe that has a layer of pecans on it that I would like to try. I would also add Celtic sea salt or Redmond salt. Those in the know have terroized us with the dangers of salt but in fact it is common table salt that is the threat. I like knowing that I can safely add celtic sea salt or redmond salt and it will enliven the flavors.

Krystal says …

Canned artichokes. Our family has a tradition of artichoke soup on Christmas Eve, but also any time for a delicious, hot meal anytime during the cold winter months.

Dawn says …

Chicken broth!! organic boxed and "better than boullion" concentrate

Wendi says …

I stock my pantry cinnamon during the holidays! I use it in sweet potatoe caserrole and my hot cocoa.

Kristen Shields says …

I can not live without cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. To me, if just completes the meal. I have to have turkey, stuffing, and a little bit of cranberry on my fork to make my tastebuds meet perfection! Also, my son who is 12 likes to eat it all by itself. I don't know if I could do that but it is his favorite on Thanksgiving as well.

Stacey says …

My family loves rice dishes, and I love the organic wild rice mix. It makes a great presentation and is really good for them. They loves eating it and I love serving it. It makes every family gathering like a special holiday.

Heather says …

Can't live without organic broth!

John Smarra says …

We cannot do without garlic mashed potatoes.

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