for Foods from A-Z
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Do let us know if you have any useful tips or products that we haven’t covered here. Until we get a chance to update the article, we’ll let you know here as we come across new ones… for example, here’s a NEW storage solution we noticed one of our UK readers buy recently. Clever eh!
Asparagus – trim the ends like flowers in a vase and pop then in a jar with a little water ! Loosely wrap a plastic bag over the top and pop in the fridge. Again this one is a new one on me ( ref: housebeautiful.com) . If we are lucky enough to get asparagus, we tend to use it pretty quickly whilst it’s fresh !
Avocados – once cut, put lemon or lime on it to stop it going brown ( It’s the absorbic acid that does it… same rule applies to stop cut apples from browning) Keep them out of the fridge to ripen but once they are ripe, store in the salad drawer to extend the life. Once they are at the point to use, but you aren’t ready yet, it’s safer to store them somewhere you will see them ! So I store on the top shelf of the fridge where it’s a bit warmer but I out it in a plastic bag, loosely. Don’t seal the bag. Leave it open a little to get air in . I extended half an avocado life by 2 more weeks doing this – 1 week in the bottom salad drawer, 1 week in a bag on the top shelf. If you think you aren’t going to use them up in time, then cut them up and store in the freezer till you need them, then if you get a surprise guest, get them out a make a great guacamole or something ! Use a hand blender, add cocoa powder and vanilla extract and avo a healthy ice cream !
By the way, leaving the stone in may keep it fresh but it doesn’t seem to stop it from going brown ! I do it all the time.
Bananas – keep separate from other fruit as it makes them all ripen too fast. Usually you should keep them out of the fridge but someone gifted us a banana bag. Yup it’s a thing ! You store the bananas in this special wee bag in the fridge and they can last for weeks. We love it. If you’re storing them outside the fridge, hanging them helps prolong the life, or you can wrap the stem in tin foil or cling film to extend the life longer.
Broccoli, white & red cabbages, cauliflower and celery – chop off the ends, celery flowers and any bad bits and wrap in 3 weeks so far for me.
Bread – remember granny wrapping it in a tea towel – well that makes it last longer . Even better to store the wrapped bread then in a loose plastic bag. Or combine both tips by using this cool bees wrap.
Butter – It doesn’t need to go in the fridge. Keep it in a covered butter dish – the temperature stays a lot more stable inside.
Cheese – In the fridge, use the bees wrap, or a waxed paper or a porous paper like baking ( parchment) paper if possible to store opened cheese. Hard cheese storage out of the fridge, use a wire cheese box if you can and store in a cool place.
Cucumber, courgettes & lettuce – Cucumbers all come in a plastic wrap – a friend once brought us fruit and veg from their grannies farm and the cucumber was already in the plastic wrap! Hilarious –they obviously supply the local supermarkets or export or something. It keeps the moisture away , and protects it a little from bruising when handled because these babies bruise easily ! So that’s your clue, don’t put them in the fridge – yet. I’ve done that and you just get these big wet patches developing on them and ruin the texture. They go downhill quickly after that. So. Once you have started to use the cucumber or courgette, then you’ll have washed the outside. Make sure its dry, then wrap in a towel or paper towel and put that in a loose ( not sealed) plastic bag and store at the top of the fridge. You don’t want it to get toooo cold, so also be careful about where you place it . I place at the front so that there is no risk of it getting pushed to the back and freezing.
This is may favourite find. I’ve been able to make lettuce last a lot longer. I wash the lettuce in a bag, spin it dry, and store it like this and it’s amazing ! My cucumber, even better… I still have it looking fabulous at least 2 weeks later !
Eggs – keep them out of the fridge.
Flour and powdered goods – keep them in a tightly sealed ( preferably dark) container. I use jars a lot. Over time mites love living in your flour (yeuch!) so keep it airtight.
Ginger – Best not to store it in the fridge ( goes off fast) , and not in a sealed jar ( goes mouldy) . So store it on the counter where you see it and use it . If you don’t use very much, very often, divide it up and store some in the freezer. It makes it even easier to peel too, and don’t forget … the best way to peel is to use a tea-spoon, and the best way to grate is to use a micro-grater.
Herbs – usually they shouldn’t be stored in the fridge. If you do, then treat them like flowers ! Tall and in a jar with a little water and at the top of the fridge. If you aren’t going to use them all then cut them up and store In an ice cube tray with olive oil. Hey you can do the same with extra chopped up garlic too ! Just take it out and melt when you need it …for cooking or in a salad dressing or sauce.
For more woody herbs like rosemary and thyme, just roll them loosely in a paper towel and pop them in a bag. Put them at the top of the fridge or in the door, where you ca seem to reuse. I put my dressings etc there so it works for me.
Lettuce – This is may favourite find. I’ve been able to make lettuce last a lot longer. I wash the lettuce in a bag, spin it dry, and store it like this and it’s amazing ! Same for cucumber, even better… I still have it looking fabulous at least 2 weeks later !
Lemons – I’m still testing this. I assumed they’re better in the net bags they come in sometimes, but it’s not good for them to be touching – especially if one is riper than the rest. It will go mouldy more easily. Apparently storing in a plastic bag ( and NOT in the fridge ) is best too, so I will give this a go.
Onions, shallots, garlic – they come in nets for a reason ! Store or rather hang them in a cool darkish if possible place. Once cut they can go in the fridge, but put them in a container as the gases are not god for the fridge door seals – erodes them apparently.
Strawberries – Housebeautiful.com say to wash them in a vinegar solution ( 1 part distilled vinegar to 10 parts water) before storing and they can last up to 2 weeks longer. I haven’t tried this myself yet but will do when strawberry season comes along When you buy them, make sure you don’t have any mouldy ones in the punnet – check again when you get home and hook those out and throw them away immediately.
Tomatoes – keep out of the fridge and store this fruit in a fruit bowl – even with other fruit to ripen it faster. It loses its taste if it’s kept cold in a fridge, so it likes to be at a warm room temperature to be super tasty.
Peppers – don’t need to be in the fridge.
Potatoes – keep them in a cool dark place if possible. Apples is another ethylene gas emitter but apparently you need to store them ( or at least one) with potatoes. Apparently, it stops the potatoes from going off . Then there are to schools of thought on this – some say they make things go off faster, but when it comes to potatoes apparently not ! Sprouting – is ok for some foods like beans, but not for veggies.
I’m on the fence with this at the moment as a few weeks in, I’m seeing some sprout a little but I’ve no idea how old the potatoes were to begin with.
So I store an apple with my potatoes… but how will I know if it works. I’m Irish, so potatoes get eaten up quickly in this house !
Final note: click on the picture…
See if you get green or blue products when you click through to Amazon, and maybe let me know in the comments !
Just before I make this post public, I’m going to start this day with a feelgood deed, and click on the picture to buy green one for my parents . With fresh pods, there 2 pods and 4 sachets (i.e. 2 refills) and each sachet lasts 6 months ! When finished they can be safely recycled in soil like a fertilizer. Happy day everyone.
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