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How to Store Pantry Items

Consult these storage techniques and guidelines* before cleaning out your pantry.

By Elizabeth Passarella
Bag of coffee beansJamie Chung   

Cereal
Pantry: 1 year (unopened); 3 months (open)

Chocolate, bar for baking
Pantry: 6 months

Chocolate chips
Pantry: 1 year

Cocoa
Pantry: Indefinitely (unopened); 1 year (open)

Coconut, shredded
Pantry: 1 year (unopened)
Freezer: 6 months (open)

Coffee, beans
Pantry: 1 year (unopened can); 4 months (unopened vacuum-packed bag); 2 weeks (open)
Note: Do not keep coffee beans in the refrigerator or freezer. Condensation and odors from other foods can damage the flavor.

Coffee, ground
Pantry: 1 year (unopened can); 4 months (unopened vacuum-packed bag); 1 week (open)
Note: Do not keep ground coffee in the refrigerator or freezer. Condensation and odors from other foods can damage the flavor.

Cornmeal
Pantry: 1 year (unopened and open)
Refrigerator: 1 year (unopened and open)

Cornstarch
Pantry: Indefinitely if kept in a dry place

Corn syrup
Pantry: 3 years

Dried fruits
Pantry: 6 months (unopened); 1 month (open)

 
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Quick Tip

Broccoli

Broccolini is a cross between conventional broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It’s slightly sweeter and more tender than its relatives. If you substitute conventional broccoli in this recipe, cut it into long spears before cooking.