"Spring Fling": Clean Out Your Pantry

When pantry items lose their zing, it's time to give them a fling!

Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, and Geoffrey Zakarian, play a round of Spring Fling, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Spring is the perfect time to clean out your pantry and we have a list of 8 commonly used pantry items below. Play along with us and guess which 4 of these items you may need to "fling" after a long winter? (No peeking down at the answers!)

  • Chocolate chips
  • Dried beans
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Brown rice
  • Pistachios
  • Pasta
  • Molasses
  • Honey

Get ready to tally up your results!

PANTRY ITEMS THAT SPOIL QUICKEST

  1. Pistachios
    Pistachios can start to go bad after only 3 months! They have one of the shortest shelf lives of all nuts because of their high oil content. Exposure to air and light causes them to go bad faster.
  2. Brown Rice
    Brown Rice begins to spoil after 6 months. Unlike white rice, the natural oils in the brown rice husk make it expire faster.
  3. Molasses
    Molasses can start to lose flavor after 6 months. Molasses is sensitive to heat and humidity and the flavor degrades over time.
  4. Cereal
    Cereal can start to go stale after 6 months. Exposure to moisture, air, heat and light causes cereal to lose freshness, so make sure you don't skip the most important meal of the day and use that cereal while it lasts.

While these 4 items may not be at peak flavor for eating, we have 2 fun ways to repurpose these expired pantry staples so you won't feel guilty about the idea of tossing them in the trash.

The first is to add stale cereal to a bird feeder. Keep in mind, you'll want to leave out sugar-coated cereals or cereals with marshmallows and artificial dyes. These contribute to avian obesity.

Self-care is in the air this spring! Another fun idea is to make a face scrub using your molasses and brown rice past their "hey-day." Blackstrap molasses contains lactic acid that is a natural remedy for acne and has antioxidants that promote smooth, toned skin. Ground brown rice can be used as a natural exfoliant. Just run it through a food processor or coffee grinder until you get a finely ground consistency. Or use a spice grinder to pulverize the rice into a fine powder. Mix about 1/2 cup of rice powder with a couple tablespoons of molasses and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and treat yourself! It can be stored in an airtight container at room temp.

There you have it -- a fresh start to the spring season! With your newly cleaned pantry, we hope we've inspired you to start cooking up a delicious spring feast…or maybe a recipe or two from today's show? Just a suggestion!

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