KEEPING FOODS FRESH
Keeping foods fresh, whether buying groceries for a day, week, month or more, can save both time and money.
Who hasn't found a really good deal in the local supermarket or wholesale store, brought it home and thrown it into the fridge (or left it on the kitchen counter) only to end up throwing a good amount out because it had become spoiled.
Food spoilage is wasteful and costly, especially when there are some guidelines and tips available to help.
The following tips were collected from Mother Earth Living, along with a few of ours. We hope you will find them helpful if you have ever questioned how you can be keeping foods fresh.
GENERAL TIPS FOR KEEPING FOODS FRESH
#1 - Buy Locally This one makes sense for those of us who are fortunate enough to have access to local produce. The produce in the grocery store may have already traveled long distances.
#2 - Clean and Prep ASAP Again, it makes sense to clean and prep fresh foods as soon as you get them home or as soon as possible.
#3 - Buy Smaller Pieces This tip applies to produce that contains a lot of water (such as watermelon). If bought in smaller pieces, they will last longer and have more flavor.
#4 - Plan Meals Make an effort to plan meals in order of what needs to be used up first.
#5 - Grow Your Own Food If you possibly can, grow your own food or at least some of it. If it will be too much for you and your family, you can share your harvest with friends or donate to your local food bank.
KEEPING DAIRY PRODUCTS FRESH
#1 - Prevent Hard Cheeses From Drying Out Simply rub butter on the cut parts of hard cheeses to prevent them from drying out!
#2 - Keep Air Out of Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese Store these products upside down in the fridge to help keep the air out and make them last longer.
KEEPING FRUITS FRESH
#1- Soak Berries Wash all berries before putting them in the fridge. Here is our favorite procedure to remove dirt and wax and help keep fruits fresh longer:
Fill a sink with cold water. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt and stir. Add the berries and let soak for 30 minutes.
To dry them, you can spin out the excess water in a salad spinner. This procedure not only cleans the fruit but actually makes the berries last longer.
#2- Apples Store apples on the kitchen counter or table. Do NOT store apples in the fridge. If they do not get eaten right away and get soft, just cook them.
Remember also to keep apples away from other foods! They give off ethylene gas, which can cause other foods to spoil.
KEEPING GREENS FRESH
#1- Rinse Greens Greens such as lettuce should be immediately rinsed in cold water and spun dry before refrigerating. They can be stored in the spinner basket or in a breathable cloth bag. (They need air circulation to retard spoiling.)
#2- Kale, Collards, and Swiss Chard These greens should be stored in the fridge in a glass of water with a loose bag over the top. Make sure to trim the ends first.
#3- Salad Greens or Peppers Wilting? If your greens or peppers are starting to wilt, they can be soaked in ice water just to crisp them before making a salad.
#4- Scallions Store scallions in a jar of water right out on the counter! You can actually triple their life by storing them in this way. They will keep growing as you snip the tips to use.
KEEPING HERBS FRESH
Please continue reading here for tips on keeping herbs and veggies fresh. Please see our article, Fridge, Counter or Pantry Storage for more tips on keeping foods fresh.