7 Awesome Ways to Store Fresh Food Longer
Are you tired of your fruits and vegetables going bad before you can eat them all? According to experts, the majority of families discard about 15 percent of all fresh foods purchased. This might add up to a significant sum of money depending on where you reside and the season. It's critical to figure out how to keep fresh food for longer. Never fear, because I have some awesome tips to help you store your fresh food longer! By following these tips, you'll be able to enjoy your fresh produce for weeks (or even months) instead of just a few days. So what are you waiting for? Read on to learn seven foolproof storage ideas to keep food fresh.
1. Root Vegetables Simple Solution
Store fruits and vegetables in the fridge as soon as you get home from the store. This will help them to last longer.
In the past, homemakers would use root cellars to store root vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots. This was because the root cellar provided a cool, dry place that was out of direct sunlight. Today, you can use the same basic idea to store root vegetables and keep them fresh for longer. The goal is to keep these vegetables in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Storing them in the refrigerator will actually make them spoil quicker. An alternative is to store root vegetables in paper bags stored in the cabinet. Be sure to keep onions and potatoes separate or they will spoil. By following these tips, you can keep your root vegetables fresh for longer.
Cheese is one of those foods that can be hard to keep around. You want to have it on hand for when the mood strikes, but it always seems to go bad before you can use it all. One way to help prolong the life of your cheese is to wrap it in wax paper. This will allow the cheese to breathe without exposing it to too much moisture. You should also keep each type of cheese separate from the others. This will prevent flavors from mixing and ruining your perfectly good cheese. With proper storage and little effort, you can enjoy your cheese for longer.
3. Fresh herbs
If you're someone who loves to cook with fresh herbs, you know that they can make all the difference in a dish. But if you don't properly care for your herbs, they won't last long. Here's what you need to know to keep your herbs fresh.
Herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley are similar to cut flowers - they need water to stay fresh. The best way to store these types of herbs is in a glass on the counter with about an inch of water. Change the water every few days, and trim the stems as needed.
Non-leafy herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary don't need as much water. To store these herbs, dampen a paper towel and put it in a reusable bag. Then, pop the bag in the fridge. These herbs will last a little longer than leafy herbs - up to a couple of weeks.
With a little TLC, your fresh herbs will last longer so you can enjoy them in your cooking.
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4. Canning fruits and vegetables
Home canning is a fantastic way for fruit and vegetables storage for a longer period. You can control what goes into the food, and you don't have to worry about chemical preservatives. Jelly, jam, sauces, fruit halves or vegetables can be stored for a year or longer if they are processed correctly. Canning is really not difficult and it's a great way to make sure you always have healthy food on hand. Store-bought canned goods may be easier, but you don't always know what you're getting. Home canning is definitely the way to go!
5. A vacuum sealer
A vacuum sealer is definitely a worthwhile investment if you're looking to extend the shelf life of your food. Not only will it help keep your food fresh for longer, but it'll also help you save money in the long run. If you frequently find yourself throwing away spoiled food, then a vacuum sealer is definitely something worth considering. They typically range in price from $100-$300, but they're more than worth it when you consider how much money you can save by not having to constantly buy new groceries. Plus, vacuum-sealed food also takes up less space in your freezer, so it's a win-win all around!
6. Use in a Recipe
If you've ever gone to the grocery store, bought a ton of produce, and then watched it all go bad before you had a chance to eat it, you know how frustrating it can be to let food go to waste. And if you're trying to save money, wasting food is the last thing you want to do. The good news is that there are plenty of recipes that can help you use up those ripe fruits and vegetables before they go bad. For example, if you have a bunch of ripe bananas, you can make banana bread or banana muffins. Or if you have some overripe tomatoes, you can make roasted tomatoes or tomato soup. So next time your produce is starting to look too ripe, don't throw it out - get cooking!
We've all been there. You open the fridge and find that some of the food has gone bad. Or, you get home from a trip and realize that your food has spoiled. Before you start to panic, there are a few things you can do to salvage the situation. First, check the expiration dates on all of your food. If it is past the expiration date, it is probably not safe to eat. However, if it is only a few days past the expiration date, you may be able to still eat it if it looks and smells okay. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and throw it out. Next, check for signs of spoilage such as mold or unusual smells. If you see any of these signs, toss the food immediately. Finally, if you do find some of the food is too far gone to eat, do not simply throw it away. Start a compost pile for all non-protein leftovers or foods that have gone bad. Composting the food will at least provide nutrition for the soil in a flower or vegetable garden. So, next time you find some bad food in your fridge, don't freak out! Just follow these simple tips and you should be able to salvage most of it.
Testing the Seal of Your Storage Containers
You know those plastic storage containers with the little locking tabs on the lid? Yeah, those are tasty little money-savers...until you get home and realize that the seal wasn't actually all that tight after all and your berries have gone bad. Before you invest in any kind of food storage container, it's important to test the seal to make sure it's actually airtight. An easy way to do this is to put a small piece of paper inside the container and close it up. Then, try to pull the paper out. If it comes out easily, the seal isn't good enough. You'll want to find a different container or perhaps one that's a little more snugly constructed.
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Not all foods need to be stored in airtight containers - in fact, some foods actually do better when they're allowed a little airflow. For example, storing cut onions in an airtight container will only cause them to spoil more quickly. Instead, put them in an open container or even just wrap them loosely in wax paper before putting them in the fridge. Other foods, like berries, should always be stored in an airtight container because they're highly susceptible to mold growth. The bottom line is that you'll need to use a little trial and error to figure out what storage method works best for each type of food.
When in Doubt, Throw It Out
One of the cardinal rules of food storage is that when in doubt, throw it out. If you're not sure whether or not something is still fresh, it's better to err on the side of caution and toss it rather than taking a chance and eating something that might make you sick. After all, food waste is a lot less expensive than a trip to the hospital!
Finally, think about what type of container you're using to store food. Glass or ceramic jars are ideal for dry goods like grains and beans, while plastic containers are best for wetter items like soup or stew. Whatever type of container you choose, make sure it's clean and dry before adding any food - otherwise, you run the risk of contamination.
Seven tips later, you now have the power to keep your food from going bad. Storing your food is not that difficult, key words storage, storage and more storage. These guidelines are easy to follow and can save you money in the long run by keeping your food fresh. Hopefully, with a little effort on your part, we can all take these steps towards reducing wastefulness and putting good food back into our bellies instead of the trashcan. With these tips in mind, you're well on your way to becoming a food storage expert! Thanks for reading and happy preserving.
One of the best ways to enjoy delicious, nutritious food is to eat seasonally. Not only are seasonal foods typically less expensive than out-of-season produce, but they also tend to have more flavor. This is because fruits and vegetables that are grown in their natural environment and harvested at the peak of ripeness are more likely to taste better than those that are grown in artificial conditions and picked before they are fully ripe. In addition, seasonal foods are often more nutritious than those that are not in season. This is because they contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help to boost your immune system and protect your body against disease. So next time you're at the grocery store, make sure to look for foods that are in season. Your taste buds and your health will thank you for it!
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