32 genius ways to make food last longer!
I really hate food waste, it is a pet hate of mine! So I want to share with you my best 32 genius ways to make food last longer! This list has a lot of detail giving tips on storing food in the refrigerator, food preservation hacks, ways to store food like to wrap broccoli in aluminum foil and much more! So let’s get into it below!
Top ways to make food last longer…
- Store spinach & lettuce in a container with a sheet of kitchen towel – these leafy greens spoil quickly when moisture is around, so place the leaves in a tuppaware or ziplock bag with a sheet or two of kitchen towel in the fridge, the kitchen towel will absorb the moisture helping the greens to last much longer. If they begin to wilt, leave in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to re-hydrate.
- Keep a cool fridge – but not too cold! The optimal temperature for a healthy shelf life is around 37° F / 2° C. Don’t reduce it any lower as ice crystals will form & quickly spoil the products inside. A freezer should be at 0° F / -18° C.
- Have you ever bought bananas with cling wrap on the top? This is a preserving hack, as the plastic helps to contain the ethylene gas which the banana releases to ripen the fruit. Containing the gas will slow down the ripening process.
- Place asparagus, kale, chard & celery upright in a jar with water, similar to how you treat fresh flowers! A bit of water helps them thrive and prevents spoilage, however be sure to change the water every few days. Or chop up these veggies and store in a container of water to keep them crunchy.
- Don’t store an opened tin or can in the fridge. Once opened the iron from the tin will begin to dissolve into the food, giving it a metallic taste & produce unhealthy bacteria. Instead, empty the food into a container with a lid or in a covered bowl.
- If you want to speed up the ripening process, place certain fruits in a paper bag out of the fridge. Many fruits naturally produce ethylene gas when ripening. Putting them in a paper bag, creates a breathable but concentrated environment for the gas, ripening the fruit faster. This works for bananas, tomatoes, avocados, kiwis, mangoes and pears.
- To slow down the ripening process, store the fruits in the fridge
- Wash fresh berries in water and a little vinegar to extend the life of the berries! Mix a bowl of water and small dash of vinegar to wash the berries in. Rinse before storing in the fridge in a tuppaware or glass container.
- Store ice cream upside down to avoid freezer burn!
- Let cheese breathe & store in ventilated container or wrap in kitchen towel. The plastic wrapping cheese comes in will suffocate the cheese so store in a breathable environment.
- Once you’ve cut into an apple or avocado, brush lightly with lemon juice to stop them going brown, then store them in the fridge
- Wrap celery and broccoli in tin foil tightly to help them stay fresh for up to a month.
- Cut away roots from vegetables like carrots, beetroots and turnips. The roots takes precious nutrients from the vegetable. So chop the roots to help the vegetables stay healthy for longer.
- Potatoes, mushrooms, garlic & onions are best to keep ventilated in paper bags outside the fridge in cool, dry place. This will create an airy environment yet the paper will absorb any moisture. The less moisture the longer shelf life!
- If mushrooms begin to dry up and shrivel, leave them in a bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes to re-hydrate.
- If you live in a humid area & experience your salt clumping. Add a few grains of rice to your salt container to absorb any moisture preventing salt to clump.
- Store things like yogurt, cottage cheese & sour cream upside down. This will create a vacuum in the container to keep bacteria and mold from growing.
- To freeze cheese, you will need to grate it up first, add in a teaspoon of cornstarch and freeze in a ziplock bag or airtight container.
- Put an apple in your potato sack; the gas released from the apples prevents the sprouting of roots on the tomatoes. However onions and potatoes shouldn’t be stored together as they spoil each other faster!
- Keep lemons & limes in the fridge to help stay fresh for longer. Best to store them in the crisper draw in a ziplock bag.
- Use ice cube trays for freezing, perhaps my favourite hack as it is great for freezing in portions. Get your ice cube tray and fill each cube with things like tomato puree, curry pastes, herbs in oil or lemon juice. Once frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer bag back in the freezer. You can now easily use one cube at a time for cooking.
- Avoiding washing vegetables until just before you use them. Washing them & storing vegetables will add unneeded moisture, so just wash them right before use.
- Keep grapes attached to the stem. Pulling them off will just expose the attached area of the grape to moisture causing it to wilt quicker.
- Store grains in airtight containers with tight fitting lid to avoid moisture damage. Foods like rice, flour, popcorn, oats and lentils.
- Blitz stale bread into breadcrumbs or chop into croutons and freeze for a later date.
- Extend eggs shelf life an extra week by hard boiling them.
- Nutty butters like almond, peanut and even tahini should all be stored upside down, this helps the oil evenly distribute. Be sure the lid is properly closed first!
- Once opened Soy Sauce, keep in the fridge to avoid oxidation which will ruin the flavour and quality.
- Store leftover tofu in a container of water to keep fresh, but change the water ever day or so. If you want to keep it longer, simply put into the freezer to last up to 3 months.
- Courgette, aubergine and green beans stay fresh for longer when stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
- Tomatoes & melon are best stored outside of the fridge to avoid them producing a watery texture. However, once cut they should be stored in the fridge.
- Freeze leftovers! So many foods can be frozen to extend the shelf life, left over meals being one, so freeze them to enjoy at a later date.
I hope you found this helpful! Let us know in the comments below!
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