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 The Chef Chic

Love it. Cook it. Eat it.

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  • Writer's pictureChef Alisa

How Long Can I Keep It? Dry Foods Edition

Get answers to all of your dry food storage questions. How long can I keep it? What could go wrong? Will it hurt me?

How do I store Nuts? How long do they last?

Nuts and seeds are happiest stored in the freezer in a airtight container and I suggest using up nuts and seeds within a year or less. Nuts and seeds are full of all those yummy healthy fats that make them so yummy and so good for you. But, the oils are also what makes them go rancid quickly. Rancid oils won't necessarily make you ill but they taste awful and are full of free radicals that can be damaging to your cells. Stick with fresh, keep em in a sealed container in your freezer and lightly toast them in the oven for amazing flavor to add to all of your salads, snacks and baked goods.

What about dry pasta?

Dry pasta consists of flour and water. Super simple and super simple to store. Just keep it in a airtight container in your pantry. I would suggest that you consume dry pastas within a year from a freshness perspective. You could probably keep dry pasta in your pantry in its original container for 10 years or more and it would be fine but it probably would have a stale flavor but its never gonna hurt you. Same goes for dry rice, flour, beans and legumes. Freshly purchased is always better. I try to purchase my dry goods every few months and keep track of the rotation. Always make sure that you put the older product up front and use it up (then you won't accidentally forget the older product that got push to the back of the pantry!)

Coffee, Tea, Dry Spices and Herbs last forever, Right?

Ummm.....not so much! Oils give all of these items their flavors and aromas. And just like the oil in nuts and seeds they need to be protected! Always keep coffee, tea, spices and herbs in airtight containers in you pantry away from direct light. Unlike nuts, I do not recommend that you freeze these items. The oils are a bit more delicate and need to be treated as such. You can keep them for a year stored properly and if ground right before you use them they will still be amazing. Its time to clean out that pantry and dump all those already ground spices from 3 years ago - or ummm like the last time you moved! Old spices are not doing your dinner any favors!

Ok, But canned fruits and veggies last for decades right?

Well you would think so but again its about quality here. I only recommend keeping anything that is commercially processed like beans, tomatoes, olives, pickles, condiments get it, for a maximum of 3 years and then to the trash it goes! The texture really starts to suffer after an extended period of time. Next time you go crazy at Costco (like I always do) ask yourself....Can we get through this case of black beans in the next year?

What is the optimal temperature for my pantry?

I recommend between 60-70 degrees or the average room temperature. If you live in the South or in a very warm climate you may not be able to keep items as long because warm temps will degrade your dry goods faster. Buy smaller pack sizes and keep it fresh. Your dinner guests will thank you!

If you ever have any food safety or storage questions feel free to send us a message and we will answer all of your questions!

Chef Alisa

Love it, Cook it, Eat it.

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