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5 Things to Purge from Your Pantry Right Now - Organizing Tips from Kitchn

5 Things to Purge from Your Pantry Right Now - Organizing Tips from Kitchn
From The Kitchn - November 9, 2017

Now that we are in the midst of fall and the holiday season is kicking off, there is no better time to give your pantry a quick clean-out to prepare it for all the cooking, baking, and entertaining that's ahead. Carve out a little time this week to purge these five items and you will be left with a fresh pantry that's ready to take on all the fun that comes with this most festive season.

1. Old spices

With all the baking you are about to do, you want your cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices to be up to snuff. Although dried herbs and spices do not technically go bad, they do loose their potency quicker than you may think. The shelf life can vary but a general rule of thumb is whole spices are best within two years, while ground spices are really only good to use within one year. Use your nose to be sure: If the spice does not have much aroma and smells more like the pantry than anything else, it's time to toss it.

Related: 5 Tips for Storing Your Spices

2. Rancid oils

While you may have thought it was a good idea to save the last bit of that fancy bottle of olive oil you brought back from your Italian vacation years ago for a special occasion, I hate to disappoint youit very well could be rancid. Olive oil (or any oil, for that matter) spoils quickly when exposed to oxygen, light, and heat. Even if the oil is unopened, if you have left it in a warm kitchen or the bottle is made of clear glass and it has not been kept in a dark spot, it could be bad. Rancid oil will have a metallic, soapy, bitter smell to it, so give it the good ol' nose test.

Related: The Best Way to Store Olive Oil

3. Stale crackers, chips, and nuts

If you plan on entertaining at all during this holiday season, you will likely need crackers, chips, and nuts for cheese boards, dips, and more, so check to see the status of what you already have in your pantry. If you did not seal the cracker box well or forgot to use a bag clip, the contents could be stale. Also, if you have stored nuts at room temperature in your pantry, they could be spoiledthey are actually best stored in the fridge or freezer.

4. Expired cans and jars

5. Old coffee beans

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