Sugar and flour are two basic staples in my house . This is how I store them in my kitchen. I try to buy sugar and flour only when they are on sale. But, that sometimes means I have more than I need in a few weeks. I store the extra in my pantry, usually 5-10 pounds at a time but then I began wondering am I storing my staples in the best way possible to keep them as fresh as possible. I spend good money on groceries and am I getting the best from my storage so that they last longer and are fresher longer?
So, I did what I always do and started researching how to best store some of my staples. I think I am going to make this a weekly series of how to best store staples from spices to boxed cereal to rice. We spend quite a bit of money on these and I want to make sure that I am storing our items in the best way possible.
Tips for Storing Flour:
*Remove flour from the paper bags and store in a sealed glass or plastic container away from heat and light. So, my glass containers are partly fine. They seal well but they are in direct sunlight most of the day. So, I need to move them.
*White flour has a shelf life of six to twelve months. To keep it longer you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two years or the freezer indefinitely. Store in airtight containers such as freezer bags to minimize odors from the freezer or refrigerator from tainting your flour.
*Whole wheat flour only has a shelf life of one to three months. But, like white flour you can refrigerate it for up to six months and freeze it for up to one year.
*Always let cold flour come to room temperature before using.
*This part got to me, fresh flour can contain moth or beetle eggs that remain in the product after milling. Freeze the flour to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in freezer bags or other airtight containers for seven days. Freezing the flour kills eggs and larvae so that pests don’t develop in the flour during long-term storage. So, I guess freezing all your flour is best.
Tips for Storing Granulated Sugar:
*Sugar is pretty much the opposite of flour cold storage will make the sugar clump together and render it pretty useless.
*Remove from paper packaging and store sugar in a cool, dry place in an opaque, tight sealing container. So my jars though pretty are not the best option for storing sugar. Sugar should also be stored away from items with strong odors such as onions as they can absorb those flavors.
*Commercial sugar does have an indefinite shelf life but for optimal flavor and condition it should be used within two years of purchase.
*Interesting fact I found was that commercial sugar is resistant to microbial growth. Made me feel better after reading about the flour!
So, I will be moving my sugar and flour containers a new area and freezing the flour that is currently in my pantry. I have definitely learned something new and hope you have too!