Spring Clean Your Cabinets: The Shelf Life of Pantry Staples.
Despite the lingering snow piles here in Vermont (and seemingly everywhere else in the country), the long days and the calendar indicate that spring is here. As such, it's time for a little spring cleaning, not just of the closets, but in the kitchen, too. Beyond simply cleaning surfaces, now is the time to go through your pantry staples, check expiration dates on canned and other dry goods and toss anything that's been buried in the back of your fridge. For a handy reference —and for food that might not have an expiration date — here's a list of the shelf life of pantry staples.
Storage: Check the shelf life by putting a few drops of vinegar into a small amount of baking soda; if it bubbles a lot, it's still good. This works for baking powder, too.
Storage: Store in an air-tight container or place a slice of orange peel in the box to help keep it soft.
Storage: Store it in the freezer to double the shelf life.
Storage: Keep in an airtight container; refrigerate to extend shelf life.
Storage: If possible, buy them in small quantities in the bulk section and store them in jars. Also, don't sprinkle herbs into cooking food directly from the jar — the steam will make the herbs go bad faster.
Storage: Always store whole-grain flours in the fridge or freezer, since they go rancid easily.
Storage: Once you open the jar, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Storage: They'll stay fresher in the refrigerator.
Storage: If you live in a warmer climate, consider storing them in the fridge
Storage: Store opened jars of natural peanut butter in the fridge.