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#TrainWithGrains Tuesday Tip #15 Storing Grain Products

We know how hard it is to ensure you and your family are enjoying a healthy lifestyle that includes whole grains. Every Tuesday we will release a #TrainWithGrainsTip that will help you include whole grains into your healthy lifestyle.

Our tip this week:

Tip #15

Okay, so for the past 15 weeks, you’ve been trying to incorporate whole grains into your healthy lifestyle, but now your starting to see more grain products in your fridge, pantry and freezer.  We know your want to eliminate your food waste so, can grains go bad? How do we keep them fresh and edible?

Well, we did the research and got these answers for you on some of the most popular grain products!

Bread

Sliced bread is stored better in a plastic bag and can be stored in a pantry for up to a week as long it is sealed in an airtight container (this includes plastic bag with twist tie). Bread can be store din the fridge BUT it dries out much faster, so it is recommended that it be frozen where it can last up to 6 months!

Cereal

Cereal should be stored in a  cool, dry and dark place, with the openings sealed to prevent air and moisture.  Cooked cereals should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container to keep out moisture.  Found stale cereal this morning? it may not taste the great for breakfast, but as long as there is no mold, discolouration etc. stale cereals can be used for baking or as bread crumbs.

Cornmeal

Store your cornmeal in an airtight, sealed glass or plastic container with locking lid in a cool dark, place.  Storing your cornmeal, this way can keep it fresh for up to 2 to 3 years.

Granola

The best way to store granola is in the pantry in either an airtight container in a cool, dark place or in its original packaging. Storing in the fridge can soften the granola and can cause it adsorb moisture which can cause mold growth.

When stored properly, it will keep for 6 to 8 months if it is stored properly and kept away from warm, moist environments!

Oatmeal

Dry oatmeal (packed or dry mix) can last for a year in the pantry, stored in a cool dry environment not susceptible to temperature change. Just watch for a change in color or texture. Do not eat it if it develops an odor or tastes different than usual. The flavored instant type typically has a slightly shorter shelf life because most of them contain some cream and/or fruit in the package, both of which have shorter shelf lives than grains.

For prepared oatmeal, you may keep it fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator below 4°C immediately after use in an airtight container.

Pasta

Dried pasta can last for 1-2 years in the pantry whereas fresh pasta and cooked pasta can last for a week days in the fridge as long as the pasta is kept in an airtight container. Fresh pasta can also last for 6 months in the freezer stored in a freezer safe container! Make sure, the pasta is dry before freezing or it will mushy when thawed.

Tortillas

When tortillas begin to go bad, they will become stiff and stale tasting. If they become moldy, the tortillas have gone bad and should not be eaten. That being said they can last for about a week in the pantry in a cool, dry environment in proper packaging or can last a month in the fridge. if frozen, they can last up to 6 months! Making home made tortillas? Stay them in the fridge below 4 °C!

Storage tips for grains

Grains and grain products are generally dry ingredients unless the product contains eggs, cream, fruits etc. Grains can be stored for a long time as long as they remain dry and cool. Some easy tips to remember while buying and storing grains are:

  • Keep prepared grain foods in airtight container when in fridge to prevent mold growth.
  • If in pantry, in a cool, dark place away from heat, humidity and moisture sources.
  • Write best before date on packaging to quickly keep track of date.
  • Using original packaging? Make sure opening is sealed and secured at all times.
  • Using an airtight container with lid? Leave room at the top to ensure the lid secures properly.

Read more about storing grains from the Whole Grains Council!