Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Week 4: Sugar, honey, corn syrup, molasses

This week's food storage items are:

September Week 4: Sugar (white, brown, powdered), honey, Karo corn syrup, molasses

It may be hard for you to know what your family consumes in sugar every year. One helpful thing is that sugar (granulated, powdered and brown) has an indefinite shelf life, and the same goes for honey, as indicated in this post from stilltasty.com:

Does Pure Honey Ever Go Bad?

Question:  I have a bottle of pure liquid honey that’s starting to get thick and sugary on the bottom. Does this mean it has gone bad and I need to replace it? 
Answer: No — your honey should be fine, provided you’ve been storing it properly.
From a safety standpoint, commercially produced pure honey has a practically indefinite shelf life,says the National Honey Board. It’s not unusual for honey to crystallize over time —  but that doesn’t make it unsafe to use, adds the Honey Board.
That said, prolonged storage can potentially take a toll on the taste and appearance of honey. Besides crystallizing, your honey may also start to darken, change aroma and lose flavor after a couple of years. So it’s a good idea to check your honey from time to time, to see if it’s still satisfactory for your tastes.
As for honey that’s already crystallized, you can revive it by placing the opened honey jar in warm water and stirring until the crystals dissolve. Another option is to transfer the honey into a microwave-safe container, with the lid off. Microwave on medium-high power, stirring every 30 seconds, until the crystals dissolve.
To help keep honey at its best, be sure to store it in a cool, dark area and keep it tightly capped after each use.

So, you can feel good about buying whatever you can, and knowing that if you buy too much, it will stay on the shelves until you need it. I like to pick up sugar at case lots sales once in a while, and keep extras on the shelves. As you go through this system for a couple of years, you'll be able to see how much of each product you use in a year, and then you will know how much you need on the shelves. I keep way, way more granulated sugar than I need, but that is all to be saved for a rainy day!
Decide how much sugar and sweeteners you'll need this year, and write them on your shopping list. In the next day or two, when you're out on errands, stop by the grocery store and pick up the items from your shopping list. Bring them home, get them on your shelves, and update your inventory sheets. And think how happy your family will be that you will have something sweet for them in the years to come!

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

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