The holidays are over, and now it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for winter. Along with the freezing temperatures, snowstorms and icy roads, comes the time where you need to stock up on some pantry essentials. You may be in search of hybrid foods or items that are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to store. You’ll want to be able to find them in most grocery stores, too.
This article will give you a list of 8 top items that should be in every household’s food pantry during the coming chilly months.
Pickles are cucumbers pickled in a brine of vinegar, water, sugar and spices. They often come with garlic cloves or other pickled vegetables like carrots. They can be eaten as they are but they also add flavor to many dishes including sandwiches and salads. You can get anything these days from garlic pickles and dill pickle spears to baby gherkin pickles.
You may be able to access some great pickle offers online. You can buy pickles in bulk from specialist companies, and enjoy free shipping deals and local pickup options. If you sign up for a newsletter you’ll be able to receive details of any new product alerts too, whether they’re for your snacks, cocktails or mealtime side dishes.
Rice is an essential and healthy pantry item to have in your home. It is a grain that can be used for many different things, including rice pudding and rice cakes. It is also good when mixed with other ingredients such as vegetables or herbs.
Sadly, white rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, meaning it raises your blood sugar levels faster and higher. Brown rice contains more fiber and nutrients, and it lasts longer than white rice if it’s stored properly. Always be sure to keep your rice in an airtight container so no moisture can enter the bag or box.
Pasta is a great pantry food to keep on hand in case of emergencies. It’s very versatile and it doesn’t require much effort to cook. You can use it as the base for many meals when combined with pasta sauce and other vegetables etc. You can also use pasta as a healthy alternative to bread when making lunch boxes or picnics.
Brown pasta is healthier than white, but it’s up to you which one you prefer. Keep in mind that pasta will only have a shelf life of around two years when stored correctly, although it will easily endure your winter season. Some classic pasta dishes are pasta al Pomodoro, pasta primavera and pasta bolognese.
4. Nuts And Spices
If you want to put some nuts aside for Christmas, you should know that they can go bad very quickly. Keep your nuts in a cool place with less humidity and away from direct light to preserve their shelf life. Eating nuts is a healthy choice but you have to make sure that you eat them moderately (they can lead to cardiovascular diseases due to their high-fat content). You could stock up on anything from walnuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts or peanuts.
Baking spices such as cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg are great pantry foods for winter storage, and they can help you prepare delicious pies. You could add some extra flavor into soups by infusing them with various baking spices too.Keep all your herbs and spices out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources so their flavors will last longer.
What kinds of beans should you stock up on? Black, white or pinto beans are all great choices. You can also add kidney beans, cannellini beans or lentils into this list of pantry foods, since they offer many health benefits. You could make them into dips and salads that can be served as appetizers for a festive meal with your family and friends.
Keep the beans in an airtight container to preserve their flavor and nutritional value; they’ll stay good for years if you store them properly.
6. Canned Food
This can be a great way to fill your pantry if you are concerned you could be unexpectedly snowed in. The good news is that canned food doesn’t lose its nutritional properties over time like some other foods. You could buy canned vegetables that include carrots, peas and green beans. You could also stock up on canned fruits such as peaches, tangerines and pears. Canned soup can be a lifesaver, providing your family with extra warmth during those cold winter days.
You could also buy canned meat such as chicken, tuna or ham. It may be wise to stock up if you are concerned about the price of fresh meat going through the roof this winter. Don’t forget to buy some canned fish too, as it offers many health benefits, being highly nutritious.
7. Dried Fruit
This is something you should seriously consider. Dried fruit is a really healthy choice as it’s rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Keep dried apricots, plums or raisins at hand to make some delicious desserts for family gatherings over the holidays.
Some other options are dried cranberries, apples and peaches. You could preserve your favorite fruit (and its flavor) by air-drying it instead of using the sun or a dehydrator machine.
8. Frozen Foods
It’s an amazing fact that freshly picked peas that are swiftly frozen are more likely to be fresher than some of the vegetables you buy in the supermarket. They are also better for you than canned food. Some great frozen food items are frozen peas, carrots, cauliflower, sweetcorn and broccoli. You can put them in boiling water or steam them in the microwave for a few minutes – they will be ready to eat by dinner time!
Hopefully, you are now ready to go shopping, either locally or online. Write a list in advance, based on your family’s preferences and the meals you are planning to cook. When winter draws in, you’ll have nothing to fear because your pantry will be stocked up and ready to feed you.