A Preparedness Challenge Bonus
From time to time I like to post an extra challenge, usually something current and kind of fun. This week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m adding a bonus challenge—to stock up on chocolate chips…Or other chocolate if you prefer.
Is It Possible to Have Too Many Chocolate Chips?
Everyone loves chocolate chips! And Valentine’s is a perfect time to think of stocking up.
In a stressful time, chocolate chips and other types of chocolate make it a little bit easier to cope. The psychological lift from a favorite treat can be a significant boost to morale and contentment.
Chocolate Chips—How Many Should You Store?
To keep it simple, store one 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips per person in your family. You might even want to double that! (My husband, Craig, says that’s just barely enough!) Replenish them as you use them so you always have a reserve.
Chocolate Chips—Easy to Store and Replenish
Semi-sweet chocolate chips store well if kept in a cool place. The best-if-used-by date stamped on the package is usually about two years out. They can still be used past that date, although the quality may start to decline. Both the cocoa and high-sugar content keeps chocolate chips from spoiling. If the chocolate chips look OK and smell and taste right, then go ahead and use them.
Milk chocolate chips have a best-if-used-by date of about one year, but may still be edible after that time. If you can’t maintain a temperature below 75 degrees, store chocolate chips in the refrigerator or freezer in a closed container.
Stocking Up on Chocolate Chips
It is more than likely that you won’t have to worry about storing chocolate chips long enough for them to become inedible. The bigger challenge will be keeping a supply in your pantry!
From time to time, especially around holidays, chocolate chips go on sale, and that is a good time to stock up. Estimate how many packages of chocolate chips you typically use, then, I suggest doubling that amount so that you have a back-up supply. If I can’t find chocolate chips on sale, I buy them at warehouse stores. The packages are three times the size of ones in the grocery store and an OK price.
WHICH BRAND OF CHOCOLATE CHIP IS BEST?
The answer to which brand of chocolate chips is the best may surprise you. A few years ago, our family decided to do a “scientific” blind taste test to settle the question. We tested some popular national brands along with a store brand. Surprising to all of us, the store brand got the most votes. So, before you stock up on chocolate chips, you might want to have your own taste test—Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to stage the test.
What about Storing Other Kinds of Chocolate?
UNSWEETENED AND DARK CHOCOLATE
Unsweetened chocolate and dark chocolate, just like semi-sweet chocolate chips, can both be stored successfully for two or more years if kept in a cool place. Store them in an airtight container because the cocoa butter in chocolate readily absorbs surrounding flavors and smells.
Milk chocolate contains milk and has a shorter shelf life than dark chocolate, about one year. It also has a lower melting point (86° to 90° F) than dark chocolate (90° to 96° F).
Generally, if candy bars have added ingredients like nuts, nougat, and caramel, they have a shelf life of about six months. Store them in the freezer if you want them to last longer.
What Is the White Stuff on Chocolate?
As chocolate ages or if it is subjected to moisture or too much heat, it may get a white “bloom.” This is caused when the sugar in the chocolate combines with moisture, forming a white powdery crystal. It is harmless! If it forms on chocolate chips, it disappears when they melt. To help prevent a bloom from forming, store chocolate between 55° F and 65° F.
Add Cocoa Powder to Your Food Storage
Cocoa is a related cooking ingredient you may also want to store. Cocoa is powdered chocolate with the cocoa butter separated out. It is very versatile and when mixed with melted butter or oil it can be used in place of unsweetened chocolate.
Find out more about storing foods in Crisis Preparedness Handbook, Third Edition (2020). If you don’t already have a copy, you can find it here on my website CrisisPreparedness.com. Or, read it on Amazon in the Kindle version or hard copy version.
#emergencypreparedness #crisispreparednesshandbook #foodstorage #chocolatechips
2 thoughts on “Is It Possible to Have Too Many Chocolate Chips?”
You are doing such a service to all of us who look forward to your challenge and knowledge. Just wanted to acknowledge and say thank you.
Love this! Thank you!