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Properly Storing Grains Will Keep Them Fresh Longer

Several jars contain grains and beans
Natasha Breen/Shutterstock.com

Grains are one of the most shelf-stable foods at your local grocery, but there’s a right and wrong way to store them. Following these tips can greatly extend their freshness.

The key to grain storage is twofold: where they’re stored, and what they’re stored in. According to Jennifer Maeng, dietitian at Chelsea Nutrition, grains should always be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry environment.

Airtight Food Storage Containers Set

You can store a wide variety of grains in this seven-piece set.

Placing your stored grains in areas where moisture could seep inside, like a cabinet near the dishwasher, or close to the stove where high temperatures can reach them, will shorten their shelf life. A pantry or cabinet that doesn’t get much heat or moisture, can keep grains good for up to six months. And if you freeze them, they can stay good for up to a year.

What about cooked grains, though? If you’ve boiled some pasta or rice, the airtight container rule still applies. Just be sure to let them cool before you place them in the fridge to prevent any microbial growth. Bacteria can form if they enter the “danger zone”—any temp between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Once stored, your pre-boiled goods should be eaten within three days.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container

Perfect for storing cooked pasta in the fridge.

So, next time you stock up on rice or pasta, you might want to decant them so they’ll last longer. It’ll also help you keep your pantry or cabinets more organized.

[Via Well + Good]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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