June 17, 2024

Genius storage hacks that will help your fresh food last longer

Let’s be honest, before the pandemic, most of us were probably guilty of wasting more fresh food than necessary and not paying much attention to how certain ingredients should be stored. But now, to help reduce the need for supermarket trips, we’re trying to make the food we already have last longer. So these are some of the storage hacks we’ve come across, to help make your fresh produce last as long as possible.

Thanks to the Government-enforced lockdown to help combat the spread of Coronavirus, we’re all confined to our houses and, as a result, doing a lot more home-cooking than usual. (We miss you, Nando’s).

Wrap bananas in clingfilm

The secret to keeping bananas fresh is to wrap the stems in clingfilm, according to Sunripe, a Canadian food market. You can wrap the stems individually or cover a whole bunch. Don’t forget you can also peel and chop bananas to freeze, which are perfect for adding to breakfast smoothies, and overly-ripe (but not rancid) bananas are delicious when baked into banana bread.

Use kitchen roll in the fridge

Kitchen roll is your best friend for food longevity as it helps to absorb moisture, keeping fruit and veg fresh and crispy. Pop a piece of kitchen roll in a pack of mushrooms to keep them from spoiling, as well as with salad greens like lettuce to stop them going soggy. Some people even use sheets of kitchen roll at the bottom of the salad drawer in their fridge.

Store celery, cucumber and asparagus in water

Some veg needs water to stay fresh, however. Storing sliced cucumber in water will preserve it, as well as keeping greens like spring onion, asparagus and celery in jars of water like flowers (@making. homes. a. haven on Instagram shows us how to do it).

Freeze avocados

Is there any foodstuff that spoils quicker than an avocado? One minute it’s hard as a rock, the next it’s an inedible pile of greeny-brown mush. That’s why we were overjoyed to watch gut health guru Bethany Ugarte’s avocado hack on Instagram. She shows us an avocado that’s been in her freezer for four months – to defrost it quickly, simply run it under warm water, let it sit on the side for half an hour, and it’ll be good as new. Avo will keep in the freezer for a long time, but is best used within 3-6 months.

Turn yoghurt upside-down

Hands up who’s thrown out big tubs of dairy products – such as yoghurt, sour cream and cottage cheese – because of mould? Try storing them upside-down in the fridge next time; this creates a vacuum in the container that stops bacteria, and therefore mould, from growing. Just make sure the lid’s on properly!

Use ice cube trays for milk and fresh herbs

There’s many tips online for keeping milk fresh, such as keeping it on the fridge shelf instead of in the fridge door, where the temperature is most inconsistent due to the constant opening and closing. But one hack that’s taken social media by storm lately is freezing milk in ice cube bags for tea and coffee. The same also goes for fresh herbs; chop them up and freeze them in ice cube bags with water and olive oil. Ready to add instant flavour to dishes like stir-fries and stews!

Wash berries in vinegar

This one may sound strange, but there’s a whole host of foodie websites and blogs that recommend washing berries in a water-vinegar mix to keep them fresh. As soon as you buy them, put them in a large bowl and wash them in distilled white vinegar and water, before rinsing, waiting until they’re completely dry, and refrigerating them in a container lined with kitchen roll.

Butter your cheese and ditch the plastic

Any cheese expert (cheese-pert? ) will tell you that plastic-wrap is the worst way to store hard cheeses such as cheddar, not least because it can spoil the flavour. Specific cheese bags or cheese paper is best, but baking parchment will work too, and this should ideally be replaced each time you use the cheese. Another age-old trick is to rub a thin layer of butter on the cut side of your cheese each time you use it, to prevent oxidisation and mould. We’ll be edam-med if we let a good cheese go to waste (sorry).

Keep tomatoes stem-end down

First of all, tomatoes should be stored outside of the fridge for better shelf life –but did you know that keeping them stem-end down will help them last longer, too? This is apparently because it stops the air from getting in and the moisture from getting out.

Use this guide

Finally, if you’re totally clueless as to which ingredients should live where in your kitchen –from the fridge to the fruit bowls –use this handy guide on BBC Good Food. Pineapples in the fridge and garlic in the dark? Who knew.

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