Being able to make the fresh food we buy last as long as possible is something we all want, but sometimes we struggle to get right. Now this may not actually be completely our fault as it is very dependent on the food and where we are purchasing it from. We can never be completely sure how long something has sat on the shelve for or being in storage until delivered to the store.
But want we can control is our own food wastage and how we store our food. Knowing a few simple tips on how to keep food fresh for that little bit longer is a great skill to have.
To help you we have a few simple tips on food that we all generally have in our fridge and pantry. I can tell you that these have come in handy, I normally grow my own veggies and fruit but being in drought that last few years we have not had the spare water to put to our veggie patch.
I would normally just pick the veg and fruit I need at the time and leave the rest on the tree on in the patch. Then as the seasons comes to end pick what is left and freeze for later use.
If you want tips on freezing your fruit and veg then check out our post here, we also have great options to how to use straight from the freezer.
Although onions are not normally around too long it is great habit to get into and know how to store them correctly. Especially if you want to grow them in your kitchen patch and may have a few that need to be stored until you use them.
I have found and through some intense research that the best way to store onions especially when you have a large amount is in clean stockings (yes female stockings) make sure that they are clean. This is a great use for stockings that have holes or runners in them. Place one onion at a time into the stocking leg and tie in between each onion to keep them separate. They will last around 6 months. Keep them in a dry place like your pantry or a place where the temperature does not change too much.
This only happen to me once and that was enough for me to make sure that I know always store my flour correctly. There is nothing like wanting to make a loaf of bread or cake to find bugs in your flour.
And with a easy solution there is no reason for this to happen. Make sure that you always even if you leave your flour in the bag to store it in an airtight container with 2-3 bay leaves to keep the bugs out. Easy as that.
I also like to have flour in a airtight glass jar for easy access, then store more stock flour in the bag in a airtight container with the bay leaves.
Watermelon is the one piece of fruit that most kids and adults love. We all normally purchase watermelon whole as this is the cheapest option. But we don’t always end up eating it all and then we waste it.
They great thing about watermelon is that I freezers really well. You unfortunately cannot unthaw it as it does have a high-water content, but try cutting it into chucks and freeze for a frozen summer treat. Rather than going for the ice-cream treat the frozen watermelon as a great option.
I love a good soft cheese, but I’m not one to eat a lot of it. So, being able to keep it fresh for a little longer and to have it available when I want is a great option. Especially when a good cheese can be expensive to purchase it is certainly not something you want to throw away.
I have learned that the best way to keep soft cheese fresh is to place it in water with salt in a airtight container, like a glass jar with a screw top lid. The best thing about this process is that it will last around 3 months. You cannot certainly bet that.
For hard cheese, these freeze really well and unfreeze great. Just slice, cube or keep whole place in a air tight container for freezing or zip lock bag. The cheese will last about 6 months this way.
Herbs are really simple to keep fresh as they dry out really well and are just as good dry as they are fresh in any cooking. When you dry, just make sure that you do is to then store in airtight container. You want to ensure that air can not get in as this is what ruins most foods as well as keeping the bugs out.
Another great way to keep you herbs fresh for long is to freeze. Place your herbs in ice tray with water or oil and freeze for single servings. They last for ever in the freezer.
I also like to add different herbs to Homemade Butter. You then have flavoured butter to use in your cooking whenever you want. Place the herbs in the butter and mix together well and place wrapped in cling wrap, container or zip lock bag. These can also be frozen. To see how to make your own herb butter see out post here.
Using fresh ginger in cooking is something that I do with every meal. I tend to go through a lot of fresh ginger, which means I tend to buy in bulk as this is cheaper to do. To keep the ginger fresh and in the size that I need I have found that cutting the ginger into chucks about a thumb size, then place in a jar with screw top lid and fill with water until all the pieces are covered.
This is the best way I have found to keep my ginger fresh; it will last about 2 months this way. After that it does tend to go soaking. Keep the skin on to keep in the flavour and I like to change the water over every few weeks to keep it fresh.
Have you ever brought a bag of potatoes only to find that they last only a week or a couple of days before they start to go bad? It can be so disappointing when this happens.
But a simple trick and it works trust me is to add a whole apple to potatoes to stay fresh and to minimise potatoes going bad. The apple also stays fresh this way too for a good couple of months. I have actually used the same apple for 2 lots of potatoes and have not had to change it. Amazing but so simple. If your wandering a 5 kg bag of potatoes last us around 2-3 weeks so, you see how far that one apple as gone.
Easy Pickled Veg
One of the best ways to keep veggies fresh, especially if you have extra laying around is to pickle them. They are great to use in casseroles, stir-fry’s or just add to the side of you plate.
To make a simple pickle just add in a little sugar/salt/vinegar and bring it to the boil. The amounts are really going to depend on how much you are making.
Then all you do is place chopped up veggies into a jar and top with boiled water. Screw top lids is best as it provides a great seal.
Try it with carrots, cauliflower, red onion, bell peppers or cucumber.
We all love fresh berries when in season and tend to stock up whenever they are on special. A great way to keep them fresh is to place in glass jar and store in fridge, this helps to stop mold forming.
Or if you have a lot, try freezing them, they all tend to unfreeze well and keep their shape but are better to eat frozen or to use as a ice-cream topping or smoothie.
Are best to keep in the kitchen bench and use within a few days for unripen tomatoes. This will help to retain freshness and flavour
However, if you have ripen tomatoes they will be okay to be stored in the fridge for up to around 4 days.
For my ripen tomatoes from my garden of all variety. I have found that they will last a couple of weeks in the fridge before needing to be used.
To keep fresh try make them into relish or passata. They can also be frozen for later use in this manner.
I have found the best way to keep lettuce fresh is to wash and separate the leaves, dry then on paper towel.
Place paper towel in a container top with the lettuce and place a sheet of paper towel on top. Store in the fridge. Make sure all the air is out of the container. This will keep the lettuce fresh for about 2 weeks.
However, we really use lettuce ever day so it can be wasteful to keep buying whole lettuces for a couple of leaves. Try growing your own lettuce in your garden or pot they grow all year round and means you can pick the amount of lettuce you need at one time and the rest stays fresh in the garden longer. No more waste or extra trips to the shops.
If there is something you want to know how to keep fresh or how to make it last longer to save money and time then drop a comment below we love to be able to help you.
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