Photo: PixabayFresh food is the go-to choice for many grocery shoppers. Canned goods, dried foods, and other pantry products are often overlooked because they don't seem as exciting as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy options, but foodies should always have them on hand. Not only are there lots of delicious recipes you can make with pantry staples, but they also have longer shelf lives than fresh fare.
What foods have the longest storage life?
In general, foods with the longest shelf life, sometimes called storage life, have preservatives or are stored in containers that prevent them from spoiling. Some foods have a shelf life of as long as 30 years, depending on the brand you buy and how you store it. When searching for long-lasting products, look for items that are:
- canned or jarred
There are pantry staples that will be safe to eat forever. Their freshness, flavors, and consistencies may change, but if stored properly, they never expire. While not all of these items are tasty treats on their own, they can help make supermarket foods with the longest shelf lives taste like gourmet masterpieces.
|Apple cider vinegar||Gelatin||Pure vanilla extract||Sugar|
|Dried herbs and spices||Honey||Salt||White vinegar|
Top Foods with the Longest Shelf Lives
These picks are renowned by a variety of foodie-approved sources as being the top foods with the longest shelf lives. Each of these foods has a shelf life of at least 2 years, but be sure to check the label for each product you buy to know exactly how long you can expect it to be safe to eat. Remember, once you open the package or prepare the food, the shelf life becomes shorter. Product labels will also provide this information. Lastly, be sure to keep your products stored in a cool, dry area. Your pantry is a great spot, but if you're short on space, a temperature-controlled closet or basement works well.
|Almonds||Chocolate (at least 70% cacao)||Dried pasta||Pecans|
|Canned beans||Cocoa powder||Dried tea||Pickled meat|
|Canned fish||Dehydrated fruit / Dried fruit||Dried white rice||Pickled vegetables|
|Canned fruit||Dehydrated vegetables||Freeze-dried cheese||Potato flakes|
|Canned meat||Dried beans||Macadamia nuts||Powdered eggs|
|Canned soup||Dried lentils||Maple syrup||Powdered milk|
|Canned vegetables||Dried meat / Jerky||Meals ready to eat (MREs)||Walnuts|
|Cashews||Dried oatmeal||Peanuts||Wheat berries|