Food Storage - How Long Does It Last?

We advocate 1-day-a-week cooking on our meal plans. The idea is you spend 2 to 3 hours one day a week preparing most (if not all) of your meals, then reheating all week long. That way you always have a healthy meal waiting for you.

http://photos.happyherbivore.com/2012/11/Leftovers_Food_Storage_Safety.jpg

Many first-time users will ask about storage -- should you freeze the meals? My advice is to store as much in the fridge as you can (unless the recipe indicates otherwise). I don't advocate freezing foods for two reasons: 1. a lot of foods don't do well frozen, or the texture changes when it's been frozen and 2. reheating something frozen takes a lot longer than heating something that's been chilling in the fridge and you'll be quicker to ignore what's in the freezer than what's in the fridge. (Note: for more information, see this post on how to freeze foods).

Since our meal plans are completely plant-based, you don't have to worry about bacteria and contamination with the same vigor as you would with foods containing animal products like meat, cheese or eggs. Still, food safety is important and proper food storage is key.

How long does it last?

FOODS PURCHASED COLD: (Fridge / Freezer)

- Chocolate Syrup (6 months / do not freeze)

- Salsa: Fridge: 3 days after opening / Freezer: 1-2 months

- Juice (in cartons): 3 weeks (unopened) / 8-12 months

- Margarine: 4-5 months / 12 months

- Miso: 3 months/ do not freeze

- Soy/Rice/Almond Milk: 7-10 days / do not freeze

- Tofu: approx. 1 week / 5 months

PANTRY ITEMS (unopened / opened)

- Baking Powder {6 months / 3 months)

- Baking Soda {18 months / 6 months)

- Brown Sugar (4 months / indefinitely)

- Cocoa (indefinitely / 12 months)

- Confectioners Sugar (18 months / indefinitely)

- Cornmeal (18 months / refrigerate after opening, 18 months)

- Cornstarch (18 months / 18 months)

- Extracts (i.e. Vanilla) (3 years / 1 year)

- Flour (1 month / refrigerate after opening, 6-8 months)

- Flour Mixes (i.e. Bisquick) (12-15 months / use by date)

- Shortening (8 months / 3 months)

- Sugar (2 years / indefinitely)

BAKED GOODS (shelf / refrigerator / freezer)

- Cake (1-2 days / 1 week / 2+ months)

- Cookies (2-3 weeks / 2 months / 8-12 months)

- Muffins (1-2 days / 1 week / 2 months)

- Yeast Rolls (3-4 days / 1 week / 2 months)

CONDIMENTS (unopened / refrigerate after opening / pantry after opening)

- BBQ sauce (12 months / 4 months / 1 month)

- Dressings (10 months / 3 months / must refrigerate)

- Ketchup (12 months / 6 months / 1 month)

- Mustard (12 months / 12 months / 1 month)

- Olives (12 months / 2 weeks / must refrigerate)

- Pickles (10 months / 1-2 weeks / must refrigerate)

SHELF-STABLE FOODS (unopened / refrigerate after opening / pantry after opening)

- Beans (Dried) (12 months / - / 12 months)

- Beans (Cans) (2-5 years / 3-4 days / must refrigerate)

- Brown Rice (12 months / 6 months / 12 months)

- Crackers (8 months / 3-4 months / 1 month)

- Dried Fruits (i.e. raisins) (6 months / 6 months / 1 month)

- Herbs (Dried) ( 1-2 years / - / 12 months)

- Honey (12 months / - / 12 months)

- Jam/Jelly (12 months / 6 months / must refrigerate)

- Juice Box (4-6 months / 8-12 days / must refrigerate)

- Lentils (12 months/ - / 12 months)

- Maple Syrup (12 months / 12 months / must refrigerate)

- Molasses (12 months / - / 6 months)

- Nuts (12 months / 4-6 months fridge, 9-12 months freezer / 1 month)

- Oats (12 months / - / 6-12 months)

- Pasta (Dry) (2 years / - / 12 months)

- Peanut Butter (6-9 months / - / 2-3 months)

- Potatoes (6-12 months / - / 6-12 months)

- Spices (Whole) (2-4 years total)

- Spices (Ground) (2-3 years total) paprika, chili powder and red pepper should be refrigerated

- Vegetables (Cans) (2-5 years / 3-4 days / must refrigerate)

- Vinegar (2 years / - / 12 months)

- Water (bottled) 12 months / - / 12 months

- White Rice (2 years / 6 months / 12 months)

Get the current meal plan now.

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