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:
Let Us Stock Your Thanksgiving Pantry
- 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.
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?