Don’t you just hate it when you think you have food leftover from last night that you will just heat up for dinner tonight only to find that it’s all gone bad? I know I do. I have had to throw out so much food that I decided to do a thorough research on how to best store food so that it doesn’t go bad.
I have compiled a list of some tips and hacks which can help you preserve your food longer as well as tackle some of the daily food preparation tasks.
Food Preservation and Storage Tips
1) Cut veggies
Once you’re done washing your veggies, store them in a plastic bag or glass container with a folded-over paper towel inside.
The towel will keep the veggies fresh by soaking up any extra water as well as any condensation that may occur after washing.
Try storing the tomatoes with the stem end down; this both blocks air from entering and moisture from escaping through the scar that once attached the tomato to the vine.
Also, try storing them at room temperature instead of the fridge.
Get an air-tight container and line it with slices of roughly chopped onions then place your halves of avocado on the onions and shut the container tight.
Chop off the leaves and roots of the celery, wrap first in a paper towel and then in aluminum foil. Then keep in refrigerator crisper drawer to keep fresh for up to 3 weeks.
Got mold spores all over your berries? Get rid of them by properly rinsing them in water mixed with vinegar before storing them in the fridge. This also works with moldy greens.
Keep your diced potatoes in cold water before cooking. This prevents oxidation which turns them brownish or grayish instead of white.
Don’t much fancy eating the rest of your cut apple brown? Squeeze some lemon juice over the cut part to slow down oxidation.
Also, try using a mixture of honey and water to achieve the same result.
8) Ripen fruits faster
Toss your green banana or your hard avocado into a paper bag. Ethylene gases are released from the stem faster causing even faster ripening of your bananas.
9) Preserve bananas
You can keep your ripe bananas fresher for longer by wrapping the end of the bunch or each separate banana with plastic wrap. This prevents the release of ethylene gases from the stem, which would cause the bananas to ripen faster.
Use a laundry mesh bag for storing your potatoes. The mesh allows free circulation of air.
Wrap onions individually in a new pair of pantyhose, then store them in a cool, dry place.
Simply nip open the knot at the bottom of the hose, and slip an onion out when you need one.
You can also store the onions in a mesh laundry bag.
12) Green onions
Got too many green onions? Chop them up and freeze them in an empty water bottle, either plastic or glass.
To keep your asparagus fresh, just cut half an inch off the bottom of your asparagus, and store it in water in the fridge. Cover the tops with regular produce plastic bags.
Put your smoothies in mason jars and store them in the freezer. Mason jars do not shatter. Just fill it up to the freezer fill line. Your smoothie should stay fresh for about 3 weeks.
15) Tomato paste
Store scoops of tablespoons of tomato paste in the freezer so you only grab just what you need next time you are cooking.
16) Fresh herbs
Freeze all your extra fresh herbs in olive oil. This way, they are easy to add to your favorite stews.
17) Boiled eggs
To keep boiled eggs fresher for longer, leave them unpeeled then store in the fridge. They should stay fresh for 5-7 days. If you’ve already peeled them, store them in an airtight container, in the fridge for no more than 4 days.
Made too much soup? Pour the extra soup into red Solo cups and store in the freezer. Grab just the amount you need for dinner next time without having to defrost it all.
19) Chicken broth
Just like with soup, store extra broth in the freezer in solo cups.
Always store your milk in the coldest part of the fridge.
Store your bread in a paper bag with the cut side facing downwards. This prevents the crust from getting softer.
22) Flour/ cookies/ uncooked pasta
The best way to store all the above is in air-tight glass jars. These jars do not let moisture in so your food stays dry and fresh.
If you made too much dough for your cookies or cake, just put it in a zipper bag and store in the freezer. It will be fresh to use next time. In the case of cookie dough, use wax paper to divide the layers before freezing them in the zipper bag.
24) Slices of cake
Just like with cookie dough, divide the slices with wax paper and freeze.
25) Birthday cake
To preserve that leftover birthday cake, just secure bread slices to the exposed sections of the cake using toothpicks. The bread ensures the cake’s moisture does not escape, preventing it from drying out.
Store your butter in the back of your fridge, not in the butter spot in the front on the door of your fridge. This keeps it cool at all times.
27) Dry cereals
Use empty 2-liter soda bottles to store your dry foods such as dry beans.
28) Dry nuts
You can use old coffee creamer containers to store your peanuts and pistachios. Makes it super easy to access.
29) Shelled nuts
Store the nuts in the freezer to help preserve their essential natural oils.
Keep your lemons fresh by putting them in a container full of water and covering the container with a lid.
Remove your mushrooms from their containers and store in a paper bag instead to keep them dry and fresh.
Do not store your lettuce in a plastic bag. Use a perforated bag instead or wash and store in a bowl in the refrigerator or in a paper bag, once completely dry.
Fresh meat from the store should be stored in its store wrapping. Re-wrapping and storing meat could increase the risk of exposing it to bacteria. Do put a plate beneath it to capture any excess moisture if your meat didn’t come with a tray under it.
While sugar rarely goes bad, brown sugar tends to form lumps that you end up just throwing out. Prevent this from happening by tossing in a couple of mash marrows in the container.
You could also toss in some orange peelings or an apple slice to prevent hardening of the sugar.
Store your hard cheeses in the store wrapping in the cheese drawer of your fridge, until you are ready to use them. (do not repackage). They should stay fresh for about six months.
36) Ice cream
Think all you got to do to preserve ice cream is to toss it into the freezer? Well, you might want to place a piece of wax paper over it just before placing it back into the freezer, to prevent freezer burn.
37) Wine in glass
To preserve a glass of wine without diluting it, just plop a few grapes into it. Works with cocktails as well.
38) Plastic wraps
These are great for covering bowls of food for storage. But they do tend to get tangly. Store your roll of plastic wrap in the fridge. A chilled wrap is so much easier to use.
39) Use alternative wraps
That shower cap you use to cover your head when showering can be used to cover your dishes of leftovers to keep germs away-a fresh cap of course. They are easy to use and re-usable.