Ways To Store Groceries To Extend The Shelf Life Of Food and Limit Grocery Store Visits!
#JayaOneCares — sharing tips to store food to keep groceries fresh for a longer time
To limit the potential spread of Covid-19 by shoppers and workers alike — besides social distancing with other customers — it is good practice to limit trips to the grocery store as much as you can.
Luckily, there are ways to hack your way to fresher, longer-lasting groceries.
Here are some of the best ways to store your food for optimal freshness.
- Don’t wash vegetables
Resist the urge to clean the dirt off your vegetables! The dampness makes them deteriorate faster in storage. Don’t forget to clean them just prior to preparing them for eating.
2. Vegetables need to breathe
Poke holes in the plastic bags you store them in or keep them in reusable mesh bags. An airtight plastic bag is the worst choice for storing vegetables.
3. Store broccoli and celery in aluminum foil
Celery is best consumed with that satisfying crunch, isn’t that right? Wrap celery and broccoli in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge to make that crunch stick around for weeks!
4. Keep bitter gourd and cucumber wrapped up
Bitter gourd and cucumber will last for up to a week wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. Sadly, they don’t freeze well — they turn into mush.
5. Use lemon juice/olive oil on avocados
Only use half an avocado in your guac? Keep the other half from turning brown by brushing the meat with olive oil or lemon juice.
6. Store Chinese celery and spring onion in water
If a vegetable has roots, stand it in a jar of water in the fridge, like a bunch of flowers. Spring onion, Chinese celery, Chinese chives, lemongrass, asparagus, and celery all stay fresh for longer this way.
7. Fruits and veggies shouldn’t be stored together.
Fruits and vegetables produce different gases, which can cause non-similar produce to go bad quickly.
To avoid this, it’s important to store highly gaseous produce, like apples, bananas, and avocados, by themselves. Less gaseous produce like broccoli, carrots, and potatoes, can be stored with each other, but should still be kept away from the others.
Other produce, like bell peppers, berries, and kale, can be stored pretty much anywhere.
8. Wash berries in a vinegar bath
Like with all produce items, you should wait to wash fragile berries like raspberries until you’re actually ready to eat them as added water can lead to early molding.
Berries carry mold spores that cause them to go bad very quickly. The good news is, you can easily kill off mold and bacteria with a quick vinegar and water bath, then dry off the berries on a clean cloth/paper towels and store it back in the clamshell/clean container lined with paper towels before they go in the fridge.
9. Use plastic wrap on bananas
Sometimes it feels like bananas turn brown the moment they enter your house. So wrap the stems of your bananas in cling wrap to make them brown slower.
10. Wrap greens in paper towels
Wilted lettuce makes for a sad salad. Keep it crispier by storing it wrapped in a paper towel or two to absorb excess moisture.
11. Mushrooms are best kept in the fridge
The best way to store mushrooms is by removing them from the container they were sold in.
Once you wash them to remove excess dirt, dry the mushrooms thoroughly, wrap them in paper towels, and store them in a paper bag in your fridge for optimal freshness.
12. Wrap lotus root in a damp paper towel
Wrap Lotus roots in a damp cloth or damp kitchen paper towel, then pop into a perforated plastic bag and store it in the fridge. They sometimes come linked together like giant sausages.
Don’t peel it or separate the links — cuts start oxidization which causes the root to harden and darken. They should keep for a couple of weeks in your fridge.
13. Store ginger in a plastic bag
The ultimate way to keep ginger fresh is to put it in a resealable plastic bag with all the air pushed out, and then store it in the crisper of your fridge.
14. Don’t store milk in the door of the fridge
Since people open and close a fridge regularly, the temperature of the door can be inconsistent, which means your milk could spoil a lot quicker when stored there.
The middle and bottom shelves, especially near the back of the fridge, tend to keep the most consistent temperature.
15. Keep onions away from potatoes
Onions can be stored like garlic at room temperature on a countertop. Just keep them away from potatoes. And don’t put them in the refrigerator. Storing them away from light also helps keep them from becoming bitter.
16. Store leftovers in airtight containers
Store all leftovers in leak-proof, clear containers or wraps to help your food stay as fresh as possible. Follow the ‘first in, first out’ rule: always eat the oldest foods first. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
17. Divide meat into portions and pop it in the freezer
Raw poultry lasts just a day or two in the fridge (at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder), but up to a year in the freezer (at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or colder).
Cooked poultry can be refrigerated a few days longer and should be frozen no longer than two to six months.
Red meat and pork can remain in the refrigerator for up to five days and can be frozen for four to 12 months. Leftover cooked meat will last three to four days in the refrigerator and two to six months in the freezer.
Hot dogs and lunchmeats will last two weeks in the refrigerator unopened and should be eaten within three to five days of opening (hot dogs can go a couple of days longer). In the freezer, they’ll last one to two months.
Bacon and sausage can be frozen for a month, and some sausage can be frozen for twice as long.
18. Portion ground beef in sandwich bags
Beef may be what’s for dinner, but you can have it tomorrow for lunch, too. Separate it into several sandwich bags, roll them flat, and freeze. The beef will last longer for three to four months and thaw quicker.
19. Never store bread in the fridge, but freezing can work
Putting the bread that you have bought from Tedboy or any grocery store in the fridge makes it go stale faster, so the best way to keep bread fresh is to keep it at room temperature on your counter.
However, you can consider freezing your bread to keep it fresh for up to three months if you don’t plan on eating within a week or so.
If you go for the freezer method, it’s best to cut the loaf into slices or sections first because continuously defrosting and re-freezing bread will diminish the bread’s flavor and texture.
20. Freeze brown sugar
Have you ever tried to bake but discovered your brown sugar turned into a bulletproof lump? Next time toss it in the freezer to keep it permanently soft!
21. Don’t store your coffee in the freezer
The beans are very susceptible to absorbing moisture, which can easily lead to freezer burn if you store the coffee in anything other than a truly air-tight container. The best storage method is an air-tight container in a dry, dark place like a pantry.
22. Freeze herbs in freezer bags
First, remove thick stems from herbs, then finely chop the herbs to turn them into a rough, almost-paste that’s more manageable to use when frozen.
Place your big batch of finely chopped herbs in a zip-top freezer bag, adding 2 tablespoons of oil. Seal the bag almost the entire way and press the herbs into an even, flat layer, making sure to remove any excess air.
23. Freeze curry leaves and chili
You can freeze curry leaves and chili as the skin protects it in the frozen state. Flash freeze by spreading curry leaves and chili onto a baking sheet in the freezer, and when frozen you can transfer them to an airtight bag or container. They’ll keep for about a year.
24. Peel, chop and freeze pineapple and mango
Pineapple and mango are an excellent fruit for freezing. Peel and cut into chunks, then store in an airtight container in the freezer. It will last for six months.
It’s never a great time to waste food, but it’s more important than ever right now. We hope these easy tricks will help with your food storage so that it keeps fresh longer and you can minimize grocery store trips amid the outbreak! Stay safe and take care!