Sugar In Your Pantry or Not?
There may be two drastically different ways of viewing sugars today. One could be caused by the economy and the skyrocketing prices, where you must decide if bread or sugar goes onto the shopping list. The other one could be influenced by your view of nutrition.
First, sugar stores well in the pantry. The rule of thumb is: granulated sugars need to be kept dry, and brown sugars need to be kept moist. This means an airtight container with a tight fitting lid. One word of caution, I have discovered that brown sugar kept in metal cans sometimes causes rust to form, because of the moisture, and can taint the taste of the sugar. Should you choose metal, make sure it has a food grade finish on the inside of the container, (such as commercially made canisters) with no chips, cracks or dents.
However, syrups, molasses and honey are sugars also. Therefore, a similar pantry rule applies. They must be kept in airtight containers or they could pick up molds from the air and other substances that can spoil the whole batch. The cooler the pantry or cupboard area, the longer the shelf life is for the syrup family.
Your budget will decide how much you store in your pantry. However, the consistency rule can be applied here. Buying even a small amount, consistently, will add up. Yes, it most likely will take a few more paydays than you would like to accumulate the amount of sugar you need for preserves, baking or other needs. That’s why you need to learn the meaning of budget stretching and positive buying, or is that positive thinking? It’s called the “thrill of the hunt,” and can be fun. Budget for it, paying the best price that you can find at the time. If you are aware that the local supermarkets will be having a case lot sale in the near future, ask the store manager if one of the items to be offered at a real sale price will be sugar. If so, save your budget stretching dollar amounts until that sale to buy your sugar. (See the article on price recognition to help you know if it really is a sale price.)
Now the nutritional view of sugars. Lately, there seems to be a great cry to “Not buy it!” (referring to refined, granulated sugars.) Where would Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookies be without Sugar?! Decide how much your pantry will need, and which type / kind. Do some research and see what works for you. Here is a list of the major sugars and sweeteners out there in our foods:
sugar, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, sorbitol, fructose, maltose, lactose, manitol, turbinado, honey, corn syrup, molasses, and maple syrup.
Choose your sweeteners and learn how to preserve them properly. Oh no, chocolate has sugar in it too! Oh well, that’s one more buying decision I don’t have to make. I just decide: white chocolate or milk chocolate!