33 Long Shelf Life Foods That Won’t Go Bad for Years

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With the stories about the brand new pressure of the coronavirus, you are in all probability questioning what meals are finest to purchase in the course of the time of self-quarantine. And whereas grocery shops are restocking recent components like meat and produce, we do not blame you for stocking up on shelf-stable meals, too. These meals with lengthy shelf lives are nice to have readily available anytime, however they’re going to additionally assist put your thoughts comfy when you’re apprehensive about potential meals shortages or catching the virus on the grocery retailer.

And contemplating the truth that about one-third of the meals produced on the earth by no means makes it to individuals’s plates, in line with the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations, maintaining long-lasting meals in your pantry isn’t a nasty concept. Right here, we have outlined a number of good-for-you kitchen staples that final for years—sure, we stated years—regardless of what it says on the label. And for extra, do not miss these 15 Traditional American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

rolled cut oats being measured

“Common and quick-cooking oats can final within the pantry unopened or resealed for 2 to 3 years,” says Laura Burak MS, RD, CDN, and founding father of Laura Burak Vitamin. “This economical and versatile grain is stuffed with cholesterol-lowering fiber, [deeming it a] nice staple to maintain in your cupboard in your morning bowl of oatmeal, in a single day oats, or a swap in for more healthy cookies or bread.”

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Chia seeds

There are a great deal of causes to offer three cheers for chia seeds. Not solely do they comprise all 9 important amino acids, however they’re additionally a potent supply of fiber and ALAs, a kind of omega-3s that may lower the chance of coronary heart illness. And when saved in an hermetic container within the fridge, they continue to be tasty and fit for human consumption for as much as a 12 months.

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soy sauce bottle

You might not suppose a lot of whether or not the soy sauce dispenser by your sushi plate is recent. In spite of everything, Asian eating places should undergo gallons of the stuff every month. However when you’ve bought a bottle in your fridge that you do not use too typically, you would be happy to know that it could possibly final virtually eternally if it is unopened. Opened bottles which can be refrigerated can final between two and three years.

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Ketchup and mustard

Unopened mustard can final for as much as three years. As soon as the seal is cracked, you have bought a few 12 months earlier than it goes unhealthy, though some opened varieties can final for as much as two years.

Spraying cooking oil

In the event you’ve ever checked out a can of PAM, you have seemingly realized that the cooking spray can virtually outlive you. In response to Eat By Date, the virtually-calorie-free stuff can final two years within the pantry and for an indefinite period of time within the fridge.

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bottle of leftover red wine on a dark counter top

“Having fun with a scrumptious glass of crimson wine will routinely put a smile on my face,” Burak says. “Along with stress-free with a pleasant glass of crimson by itself, you should use it as an ingredient in lots of sauces and recipes. Not solely is crimson wine excessive in antioxidants and a heart-healthy compound known as resveratrol, however bottled crimson wine can final for 2-3 years unopened. In response to the Mayo Clinic, the antioxidants present in crimson wine might enhance ranges of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), aka good ldl cholesterol, and defend towards ldl cholesterol buildup.”

Hemp seeds

“Hemp seeds will keep recent unopened in your pantry for about 14 months,” Burak says, including that “in comparison with different seeds, hemp seeds are increased in plant-based protein, fiber, [and] heart-healthy omega fat. I like these nutty-tasting seeds for smoothies, sprinkled on my peanut butter toast, and in my yogurt with berries.”

RELATED: This 7-day smoothie weight-reduction plan will assist you shed these previous few kilos.

Rapeseed canola oil

In the event you’re something like us, the enormous tub of canola oil sitting in your pantry in all probability lasts months on finish. Fortunately, the favored cooking oil does not go rancid rapidly. It might last as long as two years in a cool, dry place and for an indefinite period of time within the fridge.

maple syrup

Pure, Grade-A maple syrup is likely one of the finest pure sugars on the market. It’s got a comparatively low glycemic index and gives hint quantities of muscle-repairing manganese and anti inflammatory compounds. It additionally lasts eternally when saved within the fridge or freezer, which suggests you may be ready for pancakes or waffles when a craving hits.

RELATED: The straightforward technique to make more healthy consolation meals.

Coconut milk

Like most issues packaged in cans, coconut milk has a really lengthy shelf life. If correctly saved in a cool, dry place, like your pantry, the keto-friendly milk can maintain for a 12 months and a half to 2 years. Which means you have bought extra time to whip up that curried tofu dish.

coconut oil with spoon

Resulting from its excessive saturated fats content material, virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil can final an indefinite period of time. However, expeller pressed and refined coconut oils have a shorter shelf lifetime of about two to 3 months as a result of they’re missing in protecting antioxidants.

canned tomatoes

“Canned tomatoes do have an expiration date however they’ll usually final about two years if unopened,” says Claudia Sidoti, Head Chef and Recipe Developer at HelloFresh.

spam on shelf

“Spam is one other product that lasts eternally (or virtually),” says Sidoti. “Whereas it does have an expiration date, it has excessive sodium and sugar ranges. It does have a finest earlier than date, so verify the can in case you are not sure.”

beef jerky

Meat lovers, rejoice! Unopened or in a sealed container or pouch, beef jerky can final between one and two years, due to the dried nature of jerky (there isn’t any moisture for micro organism to develop). As a favourite meals of campers, hikers, and road-trippers, jerky is ideal for long-term storage. You possibly can simply stash a number of jerky sticks or items in a bag and maintain them there till your subsequent journey—even when that is not till subsequent 12 months.

bowl of trail mix mixed nuts

You possibly can take your time noshing by that Costco-sized bag of Craisins in your cupboard. Dried fruits, certainly one of our lengthy shelf-life meals, take about one to 2 years to run out. Need to maintain them tasting optimum for longer? Pop them within the freezer.

Brown rice vs instant rice

Basmati, wild, jasmine, and white rice all maintain for years, as long as they continue to be tightly sealed and that the harvested crop did not have any bug eggs amongst them when packaged. (That is extra frequent than you suppose.) When you open the field or bag, retailer the rice in an hermetic container or a freezer bag to maintain the grains recent. The one sort of rice that these guidelines do not apply to is fiber-rich brown rice. It accommodates oils that trigger it to go rancid after about six months.

cup of popcorn against yellow backdrop

“In response to Eat By Date, popcorn kernels can final indefinitely if saved unopened in an hermetic container,” Burak says. “I at all times maintain kernels in my cupboard to throw into my air popper for a fast snack. Air-popped popcorn is certainly one of my favourite go-to crunchy snacks as it’s 100% entire grain and a comparatively good supply of fiber. Plus, you get an ideal bang in your dietary buck, because the serving dimension is a number of cups of popcorn, in comparison with a serving of just a few chips or pretzels.”

black beans in wooden spoon

Beans needs to be a vital merchandise in everybody’s pantry. They’ve loads of fiber and vitamins, in addition to lengthy shelf life. In response to the U.S. Dried Bean Council, pulses like dried pinto, kidney, black-eyed, lima, and kidney beans will maintain for as much as a 12 months in an hermetic container. Simply make sure you retailer them someplace cool and dry that is away from direct daylight.

Canned tuna

In response to the USDA, low-acid canned items like greens, meat, and fish keep recent for as much as 5 years. That is as a result of they’re sterile, making it inconceivable for micro organism to intrude and destroy your grub. Phrase of warning, although: Regardless of how recent the can is likely to be, do not eat its contents if a can is bulging or leaking. Though botulism isn’t present in commercially canned items, broken merchandise have the next probability of contamination. On this case, it is higher to err on the aspect of warning.

White vinegar

White vinegar, which is often utilized in pickling and Thai and Vietnamese cooking, is tremendous acidic. In consequence, it is self-preserving, and its shelf life is “virtually indefinite,” in line with the Vinegar Institute.

shot of tequila with salt rim and lime wedge

Do not forget that bottle of fancy tequila your co-worker gifted you three years in the past? Properly, you’ll be able to drink it or regift it with confidence, as a result of exhausting liquor does not go unhealthy, as long as it is saved in a cool, dry place at the least. That stated, we will not promise the flavour might be as good because it was whenever you first cracked open the bottle.

Sea salt

Whether or not you like desk salt or sea salt, you’ll be able to confidently sprinkle it in your meals irrespective of how lengthy it has been hanging out in your spice cupboard. When saved in a cool, dry place, it stays recent indefinitely. The one exception to the rule is iodized salt, which solely lasts for about 5 years.


Unopened olives can final for as much as three years, so go forward and fill up on a number of jars. They’re certain to come in useful when last-minute home visitors come by. They can be utilized for all the pieces from martinis to appetizers and salads.

Cornstarch flour

You would possibly keep away from recipes that embody components you do not use commonly. But when that ingredient occurs to be cornstarch, you would possibly as effectively simply purchase it. When saved in a cool and dry space, the thickener is fit for human consumption indefinitely.

raw honey

Vitamin specialists love honey, which carries antiviral and antibacterial properties. Another excuse to like the sticky sweetener: its near-infinite shelf life. It could get grainy, exhausting, or change colour, however its antibiotic properties defend the style and maintain it from spoiling. Soften exhausting containers by inserting them in a bowl of heat water and stirring the honey till it melts.

bowl of vanilla extract with rolling pin and cookie cutter

In the event you usually go for imitation vanilla over pure vanilla extract due to the associated fee, chances are you’ll wish to rethink your behavior. Whereas the faux stuff goes unhealthy in as little as two years, the actual stuff has an indefinite shelf life—and it tastes higher, too.

marinara pasta sauce

“Marinara sauce like Rao’s Selfmade can final for 3 years. However I exploit so many jars of this scrumptious sauce that it by no means lasts that lengthy in my home,” Burak says, including that she makes use of our greatest pasta sauce on veggies, pasta, on cauliflower pizza crusts, and in bolognese sauce. Yum!

milk powder

As a result of powdered milk has zero moisture, it is in a position to keep safe-to-eat for years on finish. (That is two to 10 years, to be actual.) Simply make certain to not open it if you need it to final that lengthy.

white sugar in wooden spoon resting on brown sugar

Imagine it or not, sugar does not ever go unhealthy. To maintain the candy stuff from hardening into chunks or attracting pests, retailer it in an hermetic container or seal it in a plastic bag.

mug of coffee with beans

Even when you would not dare dream of sipping the stuff, many cooking and baking fans maintain on the spot espresso within the kitchen to infuse a espresso taste into recipes. As a result of the powder is extra concentrated than the freshly brewed stuff, it is an ideal tactic and an reasonably priced one at that. When you spend a buck or two on a container, it ought to last as long as two years if left unopened.

variety of pasta

Remember to seize some dry pasta to go together with that pasta sauce! Pasta containers will keep good in your pantry for months, if not longer, making them the right quarantine meals possibility so as to add to your buying checklist.

cooked quinoa

Quinoa will keep recent in your pantry for months, and it is such a flexible grain that you should use it in each candy and savory dishes. Use it as an alternative choice to rice or as a means so as to add protein to your morning bowl of oatmeal.

bowl of lentils with wooden spoon

Bored of dried beans? Attempt lentils as an alternative! They’re scrumptious in soups or on salads, and so they’ll keep recent for months in your pantry.


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