Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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?

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

11104 comments

Comments

Linda garcia says …

Cranberries, cranberries, cranberries.. So good in everything you cook for that sour/sweet taste. Fresh cranberries, Ok so not a staple but dried cranberries store well. I cannot think of anything that cranberries will not enhance the flavor of.

Audrey says …

Wheat flour for thickening the delicious turkey gravy and for the whole wheat rolls to slop in the gravy. And, let's not forget about those wonderfully tasteful waffles on the weekend following Thanksgiving. As a diabetic, this is simply a must, but also simply devine!

Debbie Nickel says …

I cannot do without organic whole berry cranberry sauce and organic dried cranberries. I use them in a variety of side dishes that my family loves during Thanksgiving dinner.

Nissa Lind says …

I must have the 365 dark chocolate bars to snack on while cooking. But the other staples are a gluten free baking flour blend, short grain brown rice and olive oil.

Faye says …

Sage. Nothing says Thanksgiving more than stuffing!

Vicki B. says …

I can't live without cinnamon. It's great in cranberry chutney, baked apples, and pumpkin pie. It's even good just boiling in water on the stove to give a holiday smell to the kitchen. I can never have too much cinnamon.

janet says …

how about that whip cream. all the sweets need just a little more.

Susan Benesch says …

My family feasts on homemade bread so I must have flour and yeast. Other essentials for my kitchen are whole nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cinnamon.

Sylvie Rivin says …

It's not on the list, but wild rice is one of those things that can be used in so many wonderful fall dishes from an orange/cranberry rice "salad" to wild rice & mushroom stuffed acorn squash...mmmmmm. I simply can't do without it this time of year!

Joyce says …

I rely on canned pumpkin during Thanksgiving season. I make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and pumpkin/cranberry muffins. Of course, the pumpkin must be organic!

Aimee says …

Pecans from my in-laws' family farm. We keep them in the freezer year round, and pull a few out at a time to chop and toast in a pan and put in everything from pies, to pancakes and waffles to yogurt, oatmeal, cookies, muffins, breads and trail mix. Living in Georgia, can't live without our pecans! Great source of protein too since we don't eat a lot of meat. My kids love them too!

Jennifer says …

Vanilla! I remember my mom always dropping one extra capful in whatever recipe called for it "for the bowl" and have followed that tradition.

Sharron says …

365 Organic Wildflower Honey which I love along with Purity Farms Organic Ghee (clarified butter) on cubed sweet potatoes. Actually I have this throughout the year as well. Love it!

Christie says …

I must have cinnamon during the Thanksgiving season. The smell and flavor of fresh cinnamon always reminds me of the holidays.

Natasha says …

Actually, I have to say Rosemary. It may sound weird, but ever since I made a delightful turkey with rosemary gravy and herbed stuffing, I get all fuzzy inside thinking about making it again each Thanksgiving. It may not be traditional, but it's changed my world!

Kate says …

I cannot live without white wine and rosemary in my pantry! I love to saute veggies in it for a quick and tasty side dish.

Becky says …

Pumpkin! Pumpkin muffins or bread are the perfect treat to share throughout the holiday season. They smell delicious and are great with coffee and a good conversation.

Sally says …

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the "gravy" from a Julia Child recipe I have used for forty years. I make a base the day before which requires extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Dry white vermouth, chicken stock stock, bay leaf, thyme, and cornstarch from the pantry. Sauted onion and carrot and giblets complete the ingredients simmered for 3 hours . This makes a spectacular gravy when added. Do it every year! Of course I put gravy on EVERYTHING............

Margo G. Dietrich says …

I can't choose between the cinnamon & ginger spices (which I use all the time as natural anti-inflammatories) and the nuts which hubby and I eat a lot because we're vegans. Thanks for this opportunity!

TJ says …

Butter in nearly every dish makes the holiday feel more special than everyday.

Mary Vaughn says …

Chicken broth

KRobertson says …

Chicken or Vegetable broth or stock is used in copious amounts in my house. From the stuffing to the turkey to the gravy to the mashed potatoes, nothing would be the same. And with a vegetarian teenager, I'm better able to create side dishes that she can enjoy with the rest of us.

John says …

canned tomatoes, beans and olives...

judyrussi says …

Thanksgiving is the one time a year when I need to have cranberry sauce to complete the meal. Just can't have Thanksgiving without it.

Marty says …

Pumpkin

Sarah says …

Oh my gosh my mouth is watering reading all of these comments-even at five-fifteen in the morning! YUM! For me it's cinnamon, sage, and ginger for the cranberry sauce.

hana says …

My staple is some kind of broth, veggie or chicken. It gets used somehow in just about every dish.

Anna Pippins says …

PUMPKIN is most definitely my thanksgiving staple!

Rich Wiedemann says …

I absolutely must have pumpkin...pies, soups, etc! It brings out the warmth of the season!!

Becky says …

Sage! In the sausage dressing, on the turkey, in the sweet potato spoon bread! It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it!

antondria says …

The one staple that i must have during the holidays is sea salt. Since i must use salt in everything i prepare from broths to baked goods, then i must make sure i have it on hand otherwise my food will taste like ugh.

Michelle Denault says …

I use a lot of cinnamon!

susan yager says …

Organic maple syrup! It can add richness of flavor to a variety of dishes when used in very small amounts. For example, a teaspoon or two in carrots when cooked in butter and tossed with some chopped parsley. Or just a couple of teaspoons as sweetener in granola, made with toasted organic steel cut oats, and a variety of nuts and dried fruits.

Ann says …

Without a doubt it has to be cloves. Cloves just say holiday. I remember my mother using cloves in her holiday baking and I continue to do the same. It gives that special smell and taste to many of my baked items.

cheryl says …

Cranberry sauce - jellied and stuffing mix! two must haves. am thrilled they are organic now!

Michele says …

I love Rosemary on potatotoes etc u name it .. Happy thanksgiving

Glenda says …

365 Everyday Value® 100% Pure Grade A Organic Maple Syrup is the product I cannot live without! French toast and pancakes for my grandson, ice cream for my hubby and oatmeal for me. My son even puts a little in his coffee! A very versatile, multi-purpose, wonderful product. A big winner from Whole Foods.

Minette Riordan says …

I cannot live without olive oil! It was a close tie with chicken stock, though, from making gravy to stuffing and left over turkey soup. However it all starts with the olive oil and the amazing smell of sauteing garlic and onions and spices. I love the 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it's a staple in my house.

Meagan says …

This year all four of my parents are visiting! I'll makes sure to have plenty of fresh baked cookies (lots of good spices) on hand.

Tanya says …

I cannot do without my low sodium tamari! It is essential for making vegetarian gravy to go with the mashed potatoes.

Jordo says …

I would have to say family is the main ingredient of a successful Thanksgiving preparation. Without the teamwork in the kitchen and around the house (setting the table, pouring drinks, etc.), everything cannot get done in the most effective way that doesn't put all the pressure on the stereotypical matriarch of the house... while the obvious ingredients of butter, chicken stock, a "big" bird, and spices compose the meal, the real composition lies in the whole family relaxing and sitting at a table giving thanks for each other and what we have been given...

Tara DeVeau-Mora says …

Have to have Pecans and Pumpkin for pies :) We have always had those 2 pies for Thanksgiving... of course potatoes and green beans and turkey are also favorites.

JoAnn says …

Sage! To me it is the smell of Thanksgiving--stuffing, turkey etc. It just wouldn't be the same holiday without it.

Vicki O says …

Canned pumpkin is a staple at Thanksgiving and all throughout the year. It is a healthy alternative to use in place of oil for baking.

Pamela Caruso says …

Chicken Broth! Gravy, stuffing, and anywhere else I decide to use it! Bring on the big day! :)

minni says …

a full array of nuts and seeds...for making granola, adding to hot and cold cereals, and munching on as is!

maria says …

Garlic and olive oil. Let stand together, then put a dab behind your ears and inside your elbows. Pour myself a glass of red wine, sit back, and breathe it all in!!

Tracy A says …

Bread for stuffing!!! I save the ends of fresh loaves in the freezer in the months leading up to Thanksgiving so that I have a delicious base to make my stuffing from.

Carri says …

range free, organic chicken stock....& pumpkin puree!

Trudi A says …

must have organic pumpkin puree for a magical once a year pie, also herbs and spices, especially cinnamon and sage.

Pages