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Buying bulk foods online? Find out the best foods to buy in bulk.

There are lots of reasons to buy bulk foods online, from saving money to preparing for natural disasters.  When you’re buying bulk foods online, it’s important to choose wisely.bulk-foods-online

So which are the best bulk foods online to buy?

The best answer to that is whatever foods you use the most of.  To be more specific, here’s a list of some of the most commonly purchased bulk foods online and some tips on choosing which to buy:

Rice

When you’re stocking up on foods, rice is a staple that is on everyone’s list.  If you’re going to be storing rice for long periods of time, make sure to buy white rice instead of brown rice.  Brown rice contains the germ, which is the oil in the rice.  The germ can go rancid much more quickly than white rice so you’ll only want to store about three months worth of a brown rice vs. nearly unlimited storage for the white varieties.  Try basmati or jasmine rice for extra flavor or try forbidden rice for an exotic change.

Beans

With a tremendous variety to choose from beans are a one of the great staples.  When stored properly, beans have been known to last for decades, so these are great to stock up on.  You’ll probably want to buy the most popular beans: black turtle beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.  Why not try some different beans like cannellini, adzuki, baby lima, great northern, or mung beans.   Beans are a great staple food and when you’re buying bulk foods online, those staple foods are a great choice.  Use them for soups, stews, dips, taco and burrito filling, eat them on green salads or chopped veggie salads.  Bulk organic beans are definitely one of the best foods to stock up on.

Oats

One of the best staple foods, oats are available in a number of varieties: whole oat groats, rolled oats, and steel cut oats.   Whole oat groats are an unprocessed oat kernel with the hull removed.  Whole oat groats can be stored for quite some time; you can use a home grain mill to grind the groats into fresh flour as you need it.   Steel cut oats are whole oat groats that have been cut into bits with steel blades.  They’re also called pinhead oats and they look like a coarse grain.  When making oatmeal from steel cut oats, your cooking time will be longer and your oatmeal will be nuttier and chewier than oatmeal made from rolled or quick oats.  Rolled oats are your typical oatmeal variety – they come in various sizes from regular to thick and cooking times vary depending on the thickness. Quick oats have been rolled even flatter to have the shortest cooking time.  Oats are not only great for making oatmeal but they’re also good for making cookies and breads.

Quinoa

A versatile grain that is higher in protein than other grains, quinoa is a fantastic choice when you’re buying bulk foods online.  Quinoa can be quite expensive so buying in bulk will cut your costs and allow you to enjoy this incredibly healthy food.  Quinoa cooks quickly in about 20 minutes and can be used in place of rice in most dishes.  It can be eaten hot or cold, even as a breakfast porridge.  Quinoa is available in a few different varieties: white, red, black and rainbow (a combination of the three).  They all have a nutty flavor and great nutritional profile.

Buckwheat

This often overlooked grain is another great pick.  Buckwheat contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein that is very easy to digest.   Although its name contains the word ‘wheat’, buckwheat is not part of the wheat family and contains no gluten.  In fact it technically isn’t even a grain, it is a seed.  It can be used to make porridge and cereals, and makes a great cooked grain base for a chopped veggie and grain salad.  Buckwheat is also very useful in a variety of raw vegan dishes like granola and crackers.

Nuts

When buying bulk foods online, it is important to only purchase a quantity that you will use before the product goes bad or gets stale.  If you consume or use a lot of nuts, buying them in bulk will definitely save money but make sure to store them properly so they don’t go rancid.  Because of their high fat content and tendency to go rancid, nuts should be kept refrigerated or even frozen if you’re going to store them for an extended period of time (8 months to a year).  Some nuts store better than others so when nuts are on your list to buy bulk foods online, these are some of the better nuts to choose: Almonds, Hazelnuts, and peanuts have a higher fiber to fat ratio so they’ll store longer than nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts.

Spices

Most people don’t think of buying spices in bulk when they are buying bulk foods online, but this is one place where you can really save money in the long run.  Pick the spices you use the most for your cooking and baking, things like cinnamon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and other seasoning blends.  When you’re buying them in smaller quantities, you’re paying for the jar almost as much as the spice inside.  In contrast, if you’re buying bulk foods online, most bulk spices come in 1 pound mylar bags which are lightweight, inexpensive and great for long term food storage.  Once you open the bag, you’ll need to transfer the spics to something airtight.

Remember, make sure you have sealable storage containers and that you have a cool, dry place to store your bulk foods.  If you don’t think you can use them quickly enough, split them with a friend and you’ll get the benefits of the low cost when buying bulk foods online without having more food than you’ll use.

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