College Cuisine- Stocking the Pantry

If I was to say “pantry” to my daughter she may look at me with a strange face. So to be clear this can also refer to stocking your cupboards, closet, food box or whatever you have depending on your accommodations. Over the last few weeks I have talked a lot about “non-perishable” food items. Just like pantry is an odd word to my teen I assume non-perishable may be as well. So today I wanted to outline what non-perishable foods are. After all they are staples for any kitchen even after college.

Non-perishable foods are “shelf-stable” items that do not spoil or decay.  They can withstand months of shelf life.  They do not require refrigeration. These types of items are found on the shelves of most home pantries.

Non- perishable foods include many boxed and canned foods. Here are a few examples.

Fruits and Vegetables
• Canned vegetables
• Vegetable and fruit juices
• Canned fruit and fruit cups; dried fruit
• Canned tomatoes (juice and sauce)
• Oatmeal 

Whole grain or salted crackers
•  cereals
• All pasta types
• Whole grain or white rice  

•dried beans
• Canned tuna, salmon or chicken
• Bean soups
• Baked beans
• Dried and canned beans and peas.
• Chili Beef stew
• Peanut butter and nuts

Also soups, gravies, jams/jellies, seasonings, powdered milk, granola bars, nuts, cookies, pre-packaged dry meals like hamburger helper, side kicks etc

Many recipes can be created using items from the pantry. Often with these items you just need to add water and heat. Since college aged kids are so busy studying, the last thing they will be thinking about is keeping food fresh. They seldom will be looking at expiry dates. This is why a stocked pantry is essential. As they grow and learn what they like and how to prepare meals, their pantry may change. Peanut butter and powdered milk are my must have items. But that is more out of emergency preparedness than daily use for us. (we had been without power in the winter for 2 weeks before and learned the hard way)

Do you have a MUST HAVE pantry item?


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