Managing a home kitchen is not easy. We need to stock up on essential foods, many of which go bad even before we get to use them. Buying in bulk is convenient and also cost-friendly, but it doesn't hold well for all foods. There is no point in hoarding perishable items. But there are many foods with inherent natural properties that make them last for a long time, even years. It's all about understanding the science behind it. For generations, we have relied on tried-and-tested methods by our ancestors for storing our food. Their wisdom teaches us to stock some commonly-used foods in large quantities that last for years without any special protection, provided they are stored properly. Let's see what these foods are.
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Here're 9 Commonly-Used Foods And Drinks That Stay Fresh For A Long Time:
Salt is obtained from the land and contains sodium chloride mineral, which is a natural preservative. That's why, salt is always added to foods like pickles to preserve them. So, salt itself can last up to five years if stored away from sunlight in a cool area.
The molecular structure of sugar is such that it fights the growth of bacteria, making it last for at least two years. But it's very important to keep sugar away from moisture. Once it is exposed to water, it absorbs the moisture and can spoil.
3. Soy sauce:
This Chinese food-special condiment contains some salts that can inhibit bacterial growth, allowing it to last for years, albeit with a slight reduction in its pungent flavour. Just make sure to store it in a cool place.
4. White rice
Unlike brown rice, which contains more oil and is prone to spoilage, white rice like wild arborio, jasmine and basmati rice can last for years. It is important to keep the rice away from moisture and bugs to prolong its life.
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Just like salt, vinegar has great preservative properties due to its highly acidic nature. Vinegar is often used to preserve other foods due to its long shelf life. A good quality vinegar can stay fresh for up to four years in a properly sealed glass bottle. If opened, it can still stay fresh but may lose some of its acidic flavours.
6. Dried beans:
Dried beans like rajma and chane have no expiry date. They can be stored indefinitely without losing their nutritional value. However, they will lose moisture after a couple of years, which means they will require longer soaking time to soften.
The nectar of flowers, mixed with enzymes from bees, creates a liquid that is naturally low in moisture and highly acidic, making it a food item that lasts forever without spoiling.
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Homemade ghee made with clarified butter without any adulterated content can last for a year. If opened, it can be stored in a refrigerator and it will last for the same time.
You probably already know this: When it comes to liquor, older is better. Liquor, except wine, can last forever. It may lose some aroma but it will mature to become a better drink.
Nature and science have provided us with a range of food items that can be stored for a long time without being spoiled. Proper storage is key to enjoying these long-lasting foods. Don't forget to stock up on these items for a well-rounded pantry!