As we move into the latter part of the year, temperatures get cooler. Food choices also change, and you’ll want to be sure you have all of the Winter Food Pantry Essentials on hand, so you are ready for whatever comes your way.
How will you stock your pantry this winter? Whether you choose foods that require refrigeration or choose mostly non-perishable food items, these tips will help you know the best way to enjoy easy meals as winter long.
How to Stock your Pantry for Winter
I don’t know about you, but part of me loves a good winter storm. The kind that brings so much snow that you get snowed in for several days. That is, as long as the power doesn’t go out and we have plenty of food, so we don’t need to leave the house and can actually enjoy it.
Everyone all snuggled in with food, plenty of blankets and movie marathons is probably my most favorite part of the winter season.
I just love going into the winter season knowing that I have everything I need in my food pantry, including emergency food, so I am ready when the first big snowstorm comes.
In the summer it’s hot. We want foods that are light and crisp and cool.
When the weather turns cooler in fall and winter, people look towards warmer comfort foods to make them feel better and raise their temperature. This means more soups, stews, casseroles, pieces of bread and such. Is your pantry ready with all of the ingredients you need to keep on hand for these kinds of meals?
Now is the time to make the switch from salads to stews. Vegetables change with different seasons as well as the types of meats that people like to eat. There is just something comforting to come home to a nice hot and hearty meal when the weather outside is crisp.
I just love to have a pot of soup or a chunky stew simmering on the stovetop this time of year. Baking is another thing I find myself doing a lot of during the winter months. The additional bonus is that it also helps warm up the whole house.
Preparing your Kitchen Food Pantry
Most of the items you have are probably common staples that any pantry needs. Because you might be making more sauces or desserts, be sure to stock up on those kinds of ingredients.
There is nothing wrong with having two bags of flour especially if you will use them. Dry staples will last a while when kept in a dry, cool and dark place.
Make a list of what you will need. What types of meals do you typically make at this time of the year? I try to keep at least one extra package of anything I use regularly in my food pantry.
If the weather gets bad and I cannot get out to the store, having these pantry essentials on hand will get me through several days without having to worry about leaving the house.
Keep Some Summer in your Winter Food Pantry.
Can or freeze vegetables and fruits that you would like to enjoy throughout the colder weather. That includes all sorts of berries and summer vegetables. I love to freeze extra packages of berries when I can get them so inexpensively during the summer months, just for this very reason.
If you have a garden, canning ensures that nothing you have taken the time to grow will go to waste. Freezing fresh veggies and fruits now often provide more flavor than buying out-of-season imported fresh in the store. You will also save a lot of money too! Buying produce out of season will cost you so much more money, sometimes as much as triple the price!
Stock up on stocks for soups and stews.
Vegetable, beef and chicken stock or broth add flavor to dishes without adding salt. They are easy to grab at the store to have on hand, and they work out really well when you have not had the time to make your own broth.
You can even choose organic or low sodium varieties if that suits your needs better. I have noticed that I can usually find them on sale for almost the same price as their non-organic counterparts.
I like to keep several of these on hand at all times, especially this time of year when I am making all kinds of soups and stews.
Add to your condiment list.
Ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and all kinds of oils, including olive oil, can be used to create salad dressings and sauces.
I also like to have a good supply of peanut butter, which is an excellent source of protein, and other easy to grab and ready to eat snacks like seeds, nuts, and dried fruits.
Make room for grains.
Quinoa, couscous, oats, oatmeal, and barley are great sources of fiber and also create a filling dish.
We eat oatmeal just about every single morning for breakfast. I love to add barley to soups to make them “meatier”. Quinoa is one of my favorites because I can make up a lot of it and keep it in the fridge. When I want some, I pull out what I will use and then just add different veggies, spices or sauces to it to make a different side dish or a quick lunch.
These different grains allow you to eat well and feel full without packing on the pounds this winter.
Don’t forget some common staples.
Of course, your winter pantry wouldn’t be complete without some of the everyday essentials like potatoes, garlic, and onions. Store them at the lowest level in your pantry out of the light, if you want them to last as long as possible.
You can even keep them hanging in the bags they were purchased in if you want. They provide a wealth of meal ideas and add so much flavor to whatever meals you are making.
Keeping these items on hand in your winter food supply and knowing the best way for storing foods like this, so they can have the longest shelf life possible, will allow you to be ready for whatever winter might throw your way this season.
How will you stock your kitchen food pantry this winter? Here are some tips to get you started.