Thinking of the essential pantry items you should have for your homestead this holiday? If you don’t have the things on this list, better start stocking up! The holidays require more than just cups of sugar and sacks of flour!
Pantry Items To Have To A Well Stocked Holiday Pantry
It’s that wonderful time of year again! The time of year where one’s focus should be on family and friends – not budgetary loose ends. So how does one balance the two? Here’s an easy trick: host the holiday festivities at your own homestead! All you really need to do to make the celebration a success is to have some key pantry items on hand.
1. Baking Flour
Flour costs cents but provides endless opportunity for loaves of bread and desserts that’ll keep your guests happy. Try different flours – and even mixing varieties – to add a gourmet touch. My favorite flours to mix are whole wheat and basic white all purpose, but I’ve mixed coconut with almond, potato, and quinoa.. the combinations are endless. Just make sure to check into the water absorbency of the flour and make any necessary adjustments. With flour, you’ll love my easy homemade biscuits!
2. Sweet Jam
Homemade sweet jam is the perfect addition to any breakfast, afternoon, or evening get-together. Yes, it’s pretty much perfect all the time. You can use it to flavor homemade loaves of bread or top desserts like chocolate or sponge cake.
3. Pickled Veggies
Let’s face it: pickled things are always an awesome find at functions. They’re flavorful, crunchy, and easy to eat while mingling. The best part for you: pickling is super easy – but buying pre-made pickles isn’t so bad either.
4. Dry Pasta
Large or frequent functions call for bulk foods. Buying dry pasta and cooking for guests is incredibly affordable when you consider the menu costs. Dry pasta can be purchased in bulk, coming out to few cents to a few dollars per serving. Adding your own canned tomato sauce with a fresh topping of herbs makes for the perfect family feast.
If you haven’t tried making your own pasta noodles at home, I suggest you try it this season. It’s pretty easy and it’s homemade, so you know exactly what’s in it.
‘Tis the season, after all! If you’re wanting to wow your guests with some sweet homemade goodies, you’re likely going to need sugar or a similar replacement. This too can be bought in bulk and kept in the pantry until needed. I recommend doing some of the holiday baking a little ahead of time and freezing the treats until the day before the event. This saves major time and, if you’re anything like me, stress right before the holiday hits.
6. Cocoa Powder
Ask yourself this: How will you ever make your guests delicious, warming hot cocoa if you don’t have any cocoa powder? If you want to really impress your guests, make the beverage from scratch. Just add a few teaspoons of cocoa powder to each cup of milk, whisk until well-blended and sweeten as desired. The best sweeteners here are definitely liquid: raw honey or agave nectar.
Baking soda and baking powder have an expiration date and you need to ensure they have enough oomph for helping your holiday baked goods rise up to the spirit of the season. If you’re in doubt, stock up on a new batch! I like to transfer my baking aids into airtight containers with labels on it.
8. Mixed Nuts
When you need a little longer getting dinner ready, putting out a bowl of nuts will keep everyone waiting patiently. The healthy fats and crunchy texture of nuts satiate in a way candy never can. I recommend walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews. You can even roast and flavor them yourself!
9. Shredded Coconut
So you can make super easy, super quick “holiday balls” that your guests won’t be able to stop eating, of course. You can make these with classic cocoa and honey, banana and date, or peanut butter banana. These ones are banana date balls rolled in the shredded coconut for that snowball look.
No pantry should ever be without potatoes. Potatoes can be shredded and fried for the most delicious potato pancake breakfasts, boiled and spiced for hearty potato salad sides, blended into soups, made into potato skin appetizers… the list could go on and on. Make sure you’re stocked up!
11. Quick Oats
Quick oats are simply fantastic. They can be used as a nourishing breakfast or as an integral ingredient in cookies. Want to make a scrumptious oatmeal bake? Try this.
12. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits, such as cranberries, peaches, cherries, and apples provide a stained glass flair to desserts or cookies. Dried fruits are also perfect snacks for both kids and adults.
13. Canned Tomatoes And Tomato Paste
With canned tomatoes and paste, you can easily whip up a delicious pasta sauce from scratch. Just add spices, dried herbs, and a pinch of salt or sugar to taste.
14. Canned Milk
Use condensed, evaporated, and coconut milk as a backup. No more cream for soups? Use evaporated milk. Condensed or coconut milk are an easy base for last-minute puddings.
If you have a source of milk in your homestead, better learn how to prepare them for a longer shelf-life. Don’t know how? Check out here the ways to have a continuous supply of milk.
It’s the foundation of holiday spice and everything nice! A little sprinkle of cinnamon goes a long way in creating that holiday flavor.
16. Airtight Tins Or Mason Jars
The dollar store has tons of these! They are perfect to store your own baked goods, then use as a gift! Flavor transfers easily from one baked good to another, which is why I prefer every kind of cookie having its own container. You will most likely to find tons of holiday-inspired tins, but watch out for solid gold, green, silver, and red and reserve those for year-round.
17. Plastic Zipper Bags
With all the holiday cooking and baking, I’m sure you will be bound to have leftovers of your most used ingredients. It takes some space to store those in containers, especially if they are only just a bit. But with zipper bags, you’ll save enough space. They are my go-to storage solution and of course, I make sure they have a label.
In need of pantry makeover ideas? Check out this video of home DIY tutorial by Kayley Melissa:
With the items above in my pantry, I can truly say that I am ahead of the game once the holidays kick in. You better start stock piling now and get your cupboards refreshed and organized!
What do you think of these essential pantry items? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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