Proper food storage is key to keeping your groceries fresh and minimizing wastage. However, with so many different types of food and various storage methods available, it can be difficult to know how to store everything properly.
Vacuum packaging is one option that can help extend the shelf life of certain foods by removing air and creating a seal. This method is often used for meat, fish, and deli items. Another way to keep food fresh is by using an airtight container. This will prevent oxygen from exposure and help preserve the quality of the food. Here are additional tips on how to store different types of food and keep them fresher for longer.
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See Best Before Dates as a Guideline
One of the most important things about food storage is that best-before dates are not expiration dates. The best-before date is simply a guideline to tell you when the food will no longer be at its peak quality. After this date, the food may still be safe to eat but may not taste as good.
If you have food approaching its best-before date, try to use it in a dish or recipe where the taste may not be as noticeable. For example, add ripe bananas to a smoothie or bake them into banana bread.
Store Them in Airtight Jars
Airtight jars are great for storing pantry staples like flour, sugar, and rice. Be sure to label the jars, so you know what’s inside. You can also use airtight containers for snacks like nuts and trail mix. Aside from preventing pests, these containers will also keep the snacks fresher for longer.
Store Produce in the Fridge
The fridge is the best place to store most fruits and vegetables. Some exceptions include bananas, tomatoes, and melons, which should be kept at room temperature.
When storing produce in the fridge, wash and cut them up first. This will make them last longer and be more convenient later. Place them in airtight containers or plastic bags before storing them in the fridge.
Wrap Cheese in Paper
Cheese is best stored in the fridge, wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper. This will help to keep the cheese from drying out and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the refrigerator. Hard cheeses like cheddar can last up to four weeks when properly stored, while softer cheeses like feta and ricotta will only last for about a week.
Treat Herbs Like Flowers
Herbs can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks if you treat them like flowers. Cut off the ends of the stems and place them in a glass of water. Then, cover the herbs with a plastic bag and store them in the fridge. Change the water every few days to keep the herbs fresh.
Wash Berries in Vinegar
Berries can be washed in a vinegar and water solution to make them last longer. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water and soak the berries for about 15 minutes. Rinse them well before storing them in the fridge. This method will also help to keep mold from growing on the berries.
Storing your food properly is essential to maintaining its quality and preventing wastage. This can be a challenge, but with some planning and knowledge of the different storage methods available, you can keep your food fresher for longer.