West Chester Alert

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Salvaging Pantry Staples

by Margaret Moses, MBA, RDN

What’s a person to do when the bag of brown sugar in the pantry is rock-hard or the honey in the cabinet is crystalized?  Before tossing seemingly spoiled foods, try a few creative solutions:

– Expired baking soda can be used as an abrasive cleaner.  Mix it with liquid soap to form a paste to clean the tub, shower or sink.

– Turn extra cornstarch that’s no longer good enough for baking into a craft!  All you need is cornstarch, water and food coloring.

– Old grains and dried beans can be used as pie weights.

– It’s safe to remove freezer-burned or discolored areas before cooking (to minimize the less than fresh taste).  Try cutting the meat into bite-sized chunks and adding it to the slow cooker for stew or chili.

– Seal brown sugar in an airtight container or storage bag with a slice of bread – after a day or two, the moisture from the bread revives the brown sugar.

– Crystallized honey is honey’s natural preservation method (which is why the sweetener has no expiration date).  Place the jar of crystallized honey in a bowl of hot water for 5 – 10 minutes or until smooth.

For more creative solutions and nutrition tips, visit Margaret’s blog.