A well-stocked pantry is key for any great cook. Stocking your kitchen with cold-weather pantry staples means you’re always prepared no matter how the cold the weather is outside, or which unexpected guests may show up. Also, ensuring a few key essentials are always on hand will help you to stay away from too many prepackaged and processed foods.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your winter pantry stocked.
Tips for a Well-Stocked Winter Pantry
Before going out to stock up your winter pantry now is the perfect time to clear out what you don’t need. Do you have seasonings that are more than a few months old? Chances are the spices no longer have the kind of flavor you need (this is especially the case with seeds and plant-based seasoning). Also, take out the odds and ends you know you won’t use to make space for the new goodies. You can always donate nonperishable items to the local food pantry.
Some canned goods just go with your hearty winter foods better than others. So stock up on canned beans, corn and tomatoes, the basics. Pick up a variety of tomatoes (anything from Italian stewed to Mexican diced) to give you plenty of options. Generally, you’ll want to have frozen or fresh meat on hand, but having some canned chicken is a quick fix for soup.
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Noodles, Grains, and Beans
Speaking of soup, there’s just nothing like hot soup on a cold day. So grab some pasta, beans, and rice. You should also consider picking up some tortilla strips and chips to have around. Tortilla soup is a great alternative when you’re tired of chicken noodle or chili. Oatmeal is another great opportunity to keep in the pantry for a warm, nourishing breakfast. You might even want some grits in the pantry for suppertime. With a well-stocked pantry, you can have a hearty meal in 30 minutes. Great for those busy weekdays when you are running kids everywhere or finishing last-minute errands.
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Having the right seasonings on hand can turn the same ingredients into completely different meals. For ground turkey add a little Cumin for tacos or Italian seasoning for meatballs. Here are a few essentials to keep on hand.
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Garlic salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Dried thyme
- Dried oregano
- Dried parsley
- Red chili pepper flakes
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If you have enough space, you’re in luck! Fruits, veggies, meat, bread, even cheese can be frozen. You can mix and match for days. We suggest a nice variety of meat options like ground beef, chicken thighs (perfect for the crockpot!), and Costco salmon burgers are amazing. Vegetables to have on hand could be any mixed variety packs such as corn, peas, and carrots. Frozen berries, hashbrowns, and bagels are all freezer friendly as well.
Some fridge staples to have on hand? BBQ sauce, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Tortillas are long-lasting when refrigerated, as well as potatoes, pears, and cabbage!
What you put into your pantry ultimately comes down to you. You know what tastes and sounds good during the winter months. By picking up items ahead of time, either due to being on sale or just when you’re doing regular grocery shopping, you’ll always have great winter staples on hand. So whether the power goes out or you just feel like a cozy night in, by following these tips for a well-stocked winter pantry you’ll always be happy with meal time.