You know those things you’ve had around the house for so long that at some point you stopped really “seeing” them? For example, I once had a wall clock hanging in my kitchen for years before it occurred to me that I didn’t even particularly like the clock!
If this type of phenomenon is familiar to you, you’ll know it can happen in any space in the house, including your pantry and kitchen cupboards! Even though we know most foods don’t last forever (with a few notable exceptions), it’s alarmingly easy to overlook the ones that have been sitting in the same spot for an extended period of time.
Having your pantry and cupboards full of stuff that has long since passed its prime isn’t the best use of that space! In this post, we’ll be taking a look at 6 items in particular you should consider getting rid of.
6 Things In Your Pantry You Should Get Rid Of
1. Old Herbs & Spices
Dried herbs and spices don’t necessarily go bad, but they can lose their potency over time. Go through your herbs and spices in your cabinet and take stock of how long they’ve been there. Anything you’ve had for over 2 years should probably be replaced.
2. Old Oils & Cooking Sprays
Cooking oils can start to spoil when exposed to air, light, and heat. Even if a bottle of oil is unopened, it could go bad if it’s been stored in a warm or light-filled kitchen. Give your cooking oils a sniff, and if they smell metallic, soapy, or bitter at all, throw them out.
Check the expiration date on any cooking sprays in your cupboard as well. Dispose of any cans that have expired, especially if they’ve been regularly exposed to heat. Aerosol cooking sprays can explode when exposed to heat, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
3. Old Or Tainted Flour
When properly stored, flour should stay good for one year. To keep flour fresh as long as possible, it should be kept in an airtight container in a cool place. And be sure to inspect your flour every once in a while, just to make sure there aren’t any weevils lurking in it.
4. Old Yeast
Have you ever made a yeasted dough that didn’t end up rising? Expired or inactive yeast was likely to blame. Even when stored in the fridge, yeast only stays good for about three or four months. Check the dates on your yeast before starting a baking project to avoid disappointment!
5. Old Nuts
Most nuts have a shelf life of six months or less. Nuts have a high oil content, which can cause them to spoil faster than other types of dry items in your pantry. (Pine nuts can spoil particularly quickly.)
Just to be safe, it’s always smart to do a smell test before using nuts in a recipe. If they have an astringent or medicinal smell, toss them.
6. Old Crackers
Make sure to throw away any crackers or other grain-based products that have been in your pantry for a long time. The longer these items sit in your pantry, the better the chance that any insect eggs lurking inside will be able to hatch. (Again, anything you can do to avoid a weevil situation is worth the effort!)
Have you taken stock of your pantry recently?