America is becoming notorious for the amount of food it wastes annually, so preserving our food for as long as possible is great for our wallets and even better for the environment. Believe it or not, most people are storing their food totally wrong! Here are fourteen clever hacks to preserve your produce.
#1 Make your onion and garlic last for months
These make one of the best pairings in cooking, but should be stored in a very specific way. Store onions and garlic in separate brown paper bags, with small 1-cm holes, punched in and folded over the top.
Lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as does putting them near potatoes.
#2 Keep potatoes in the dark
Exposing potatoes to light will also cause them to ripen much faster. So store them in a dry and dark area, but keep other vegetables away from your potatoes.
#3 Wrap and bag avocados
Take the morning paper and wrap it over your unripe avocado. Then place the avocado in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature. The avocado will ripen more slowly, still leaving the avocado with the smooth buttery texture we all love. Once the avocado is ripe, you can move it to a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator.
#4 Wrap up your bananas
Stop storing your bananas in the fridge ASAP! Wrapping banana stalks in plastic will prevent ethylene gas from initiating the ripening process by forestalling the stem.
#5 Tin foil your celery
Plastic wrap can sometimes cause your celery to lose its taste and texture, so instead use ton foil and store celery in the fridge to keep it firm and fresh.
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#6 Keep food in a dry place
Moisture is the essence of life which includes bacterial life. A moist environment makes a perfect breeding ground for mold and ripens produce very quickly. Use a paper towel to absorb excess moisture and preserve the food for longer.
#7 Don’t store these fruits and vegetables together
Ethylene-sensitive produce such as apples, eggplants, potatoes, watermelons, broccoli, carrots, and pumpkins should not be kept near ethylene-emitting produce such as bananas, melons, pears, mangoes, plums, tomatoes and apricots.
#8 Don’t put these fruits and vegetables in the fridge
Unripe bell peppers, cucumbers and, tomatoes are commonly stored in the refrigerator. Tomatoes and cucumbers will become slimy, while bell peppers will become soft instead of crunchy. Store in a separate place such as fruit bowl. However, once they are ripe, you can keep them in the fridge.
#9 Store fruits and vegetables in the warmer part of the fridge
Broccoli, radishes, spinach, arugula and apples can be stored fridge drawers that are in more temperate areas of the refrigerator. When particular types of produce are at lower temperatures, they can still lose their crispness and good odor.
#10 Peeled vegetables can be stored in water
When the surface of food is exposed to air, it can cause mold and bacteria to live and thrive faster. Keeping peeled carrots, potatoes or celery sticks in jars of water will keep your veggies fresh and bacteria-free.
#11 Flip your tomatoes
The stalks of tomatoes are the most delicate part of the vegetable, and when stored upside down, it can cause the tomato to ripen and spoil faster.
#12 Wash before eating, not before storing
Many fruits and vegetables have a natural coating which is the first defense against mold and bacteria; washing this off will speed up the growth of mold. Wash fruits and vegetables before you eat or cook with them, but not before storing them away.
#14 Broccoli and Cauliflower
These are flowering plants, and like all flowering plants, they thrive on water. Most produce shouldn’t be stored in water, but broccoli and cauliflower are notable exceptions. Either keep in a glass of water or cover with a wet paper towel.
Our healthiest foods don’t have to have such a short shelf-life. Share these easy and inventive tricks with your family and friends to help them save money on groceries and lessen the country’s food waste. Check out more of our tips for storing food here.
- How to Store Onions, Garlic, & Shallots. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- W. (2012). Separate, then Wrap the Stems. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- H. (2015). Tips for Storing Cut Vegetables to Keep Them Fresh. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- How to Organize Your Fridge to Keep Food Fresher, Longer … (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- S. (n.d.). Store Potatoes. Retrieved November 11, 2016, http://www.wikihow.com/Store-Potatoes
- 7 Simple Rules for Effective and Hygienic Dry Goods Storage. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2016.
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