Use it or lose it (or freeze it!). Photo
|How long has that flour been in your pantry? While manufacturers are required to provide a “use by” date on the package, many people think that staples like flour will stay fresh for years.
As a rule of thumb, whole wheat flour will go rancid sooner than white enriched flour. That’s because whole grains contain the whole kernel, which in turn contains the germ. The germ contains fat (oil)—and as we all know, fat goes rancid.
So you may have some extra time with white flour, but keep an eye on the date of your whole grain flours and other whole-grain products like grits.
For longevity, you can store any type of flour in the refrigerator—or better yet, in the freezer, for up to two years. But plan ahead: Refrigerated or frozen flour must come to room temperature before it’s used.
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