You know that awful feeling... Disgust, self-loathing and panic when you rummage through your fridge and find nothing to eat!
Wasn't it just a few days ago when you thought you had stocked-up on some delicious-looking, juicy, fresh and crisp produce from the grocers? And now they have all gone bad! What a waste of money and good quality fresh groceries.
If this is a regular occurance to you, it means that you are not storing your food properly. Dont fret, there is hope yet!
Use these awesome hacks to stretch the shelf-life of your fresh produce, save money and cut-down on wasting any more precious resources:
1. Store your produce DRY.
When it comes to produce, a little humidity is a good thing, but total wetness is detrimnetal. A small amount of moisture helps keep vegetables fresh, but too much will cause mould or mushiness.
Be sure to fully dry vegetables and fruit before storing anything that has been washed.
However, there are a few exceptions. For example, spring onions grow best when stored upright, roots down, in room-temperature water—and as long as you change the water every now and again, they'll keep growing that way indefinitely. Asparagus is similar to a fresh flower bouquet: Simply trim the ends, place them in a glass of water, and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to use them. Whole carrots, as well as halved celery stalks, can be stored in a covered container of water to keep them firm. Just change the water after every two or three days.
2.When in doubt, bag it.
Carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and celery, for example, should be stored in a plastic bag or container in the crisper of your refrigerator. Mushrooms should be kept in a paper bag. Vegetables should be kept separate from fruit in the refrigerator. This will stop them from ripening too quickly.
A cotton bag also will help reduce any condensation and additional wetness in the crisper section of the fridge. (or just use the bag your produce arrived in) can help keep the moisture in your vegetables from evaporating, which means your produce won't become limp after a few days. It also works with hardy greens: Remove the thick stems and place them in a paper bag or a reusable container with a lid.
Most refrigerated produce stays fresh longer when sealed, whether in zip-top plastic bags, reusable silicone pouches, or containers with tight-fitting lids. These containers hold in moisture, preventing produce from dehydrating, and they help protect sensitive produce from the effects of ethylene gas.
3. Swaddle your herbs.
Herb storage is a meditation on patience and gentleness in and of itself. Remove any twist ties or rubber bands from your herb bundle to begin. If your herbs are very filthy, clean them first (otherwise, consider washing as you use them so as to introduce as little extra moisture as possible). To dry, roll between two layers of clean, dry dish towels or spin in a salad spinner. Using a dry paper towel, gently bundle the now-dried herbs. Place the bundled herbs in a resealable bag or a plastic container (you can place numerous bundles of herbs in the same bag) (like a plastic shoebox or even just a quart container).
4.Identify and isolate gassy fruit
Ethylene-gas producing fruits, such as apples, bananas, pears, potatoes, peaches and honeydew melons, should not be stored next to fruit of which you want to prolong the lifespan. Keep each produce as separate as you can. Let bananas have their own spot, don’t store potatoes and onions together, and keep apples in a designated part of the fridge.
If you want to ripen something quickly, then by all means stash it with your apples and bananas.
5. Refridgeration Tips
Ripe fruit can be transferred to the fridge to keep them longer
You should keep lettuce and other leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or collards in the refrigerator. Lettuce should keep for a week or two. Spinach won't last for more than a week. Other greens will stay fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Easily perishable food such as ground onion, ginger, garlic, chili ,lemon juice or green chutney mix can be frozen in bulk in ice cube trays to be used for longer. These items usually go bad quickly if stored for more than a week in the refridgerator. Since it’s useful to keep these food items handy, within quick reach and always fresh for a quick stir fry or for use in condiment mixes, the trick is to freeze them in ice-cube trays, pop them out when frozen and then store them in convenient freeze-proof containers for use anytime you need a squeeze of fresh lemon or some ground ginger for your cooking or tea.
One of the best ways to store ginger is to peel and mince it finely. Place it on a tray and allow it to freeze. Store the frozen ginger in an air tight container. This frozen ginger can be enjoyed up to a couple of months without having to lose its flavour.
7. Keep citrus and ginger in the fridge.
For refrigerator storage, it is best to leave the whole piece intact and remove the pieces as and when needed. Store these pieces in a resealable bag and squeeze all the air out of it. This will keep the ginger fresh for more than a month.
Whole lemons can last up to a week if you store them at room temperature on the countertop. This is why you should store lemons in the refrigerator, as whole lemons can last for a month in the refrigerator if you store them in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
8. The softer it is, the sooner you should use it.
Determine which produce has the shortest life span. Usually, lettuce, spinach, and other soft greens perish very quickly compared to cucumbers, peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. This means you should use these items first in your meal planning schedule. Not only will you enjoy fresher produce and tastier dishes, this will also ensure you don’t get food poisoning from eating stale perishable food.
Save your potatoes and sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, fennel, and even hardy greens like kale and collards for the last days before you head back to the grocery store. If your produce has leafy tops (like beets or carrots), remove them from the vegetable and, if you want to eat them, store them separately.
9. Learn the coldest parts of your fridge.
Temperature swings are most common in the fridge's upper few inches. For example, have you experienced accidental freezing of your salad leaves before? To avoid frozen-thawed salad leaves or fresh vegetables, keep your most fragile produce (such as herbs and lettuces) in the middle of the fridge, away from the top portion.
10. Avoid overcrowding items.
Try not to overload your crisper drawers. Produce, like you and me, appreciates some space. The fridge is likely to function more efficiently as a result of more space: Moisture evaporates as air circulates around the products, while enemy number one-- mould, is kept at bay. You'll also be able to see and use what you have more effectively.
These 10 tips to keep your fresh produce lasting longer are a guaranteed game-changer! Make the world a better place not only for yourself but also for the environent by reducing food wastage. For fresh and quality groceries, shop with us at www.gogopasar.com or download our Gogopasar app on Google Playstore for a hassle free shopping experience. Protect yourself from COVID-19, by staying home and staying safe. Order from us anytime of the week and get it delivered the next day.
Do you have any of your own tips and tricks when you cook? Share them with us in the comment section.