8 Ways to make your Groceries last longer
8 Ways to make your groceries last longer
Do you start off the week with good intentions? Buy a bunch of veggies, plan your meals, stock the pantry - only to reach Wednesday and realise you've started to create compost in the fridge and potpourri in the fruit bowl? Here are a few handy hints and tips to give your groceries some longevity and make them easier to store:
Onions in a bottle
Spring onions are a delicious topping but all too often they end up leathery and limp at the bottom of the fridge. Chop them up and dry them off with paper towel, then place in an old bottle to freeze. You can sprinkle them onto your meal prior to cooking. The freezing maintains the colour and full flavour. Drying them off prior to freezing is important as it prevents freezer burn or "sticking" in the bottle.
Once you've brought home berries, rinse them in a vinegar solution of one part vinegar to 10 parts water. Apple cider or white whine vinegar is ideal. The mixture is low enough in acid to not interfere with the flavour of the berries but high enough to prevent mould growth. Softer berries like raspberry can hold for about a week and sturdier berries like Strawberries can last for almost two weeks.
Keep Guacamole Green
I'm not sure how anyone ever is faced with the problem of leftover guacamole because in my house its wiped out in a few minutes but should the issue arise, you can keep the avo from turning brown by spraying oil over the top - some olive oil in an old spray bottle will do the trick. Another way to keep avocado fresh is to store it with the pit which prevents it from oxidising.
Storing Fruit and Veg together
The enzymes and gases in some produce will affect certain others in various ways - sometimes causing them to ripen too quickly or not at all. Here are some tips on storage:
- Keep Onions away from Potatoes - Potatoes cause the onions to spoil faster. Onions kept in a cool, dry and well ventilated area can last for several months.
- Store Apples and Potatoes together- Apples prevent the potatoes from sprouting.
- Remove any produce that has started to turn- One rotten apple can spoil the entire lot.
- Store other fruits with Apples - If you want to speed up ripening, apples emit a lot of ethylene gas that speeds up the process
- Keep bananas separate and on the counter- Bananas emit such a large amount of ethylene that they'll cause other fruits to ripen too quickly. Wrap the crown (the brown bit where the bunch joins together) in cling film to stop the bananas from ripening too quickly.
Rub a bit of butter down the sliced end of a block of cheese to prevent it from drying out. Also, store cheese in wax paper inside a storage bag rather than cling film to maintain freshness, prevent unwanted moulding and to stop it drying out.
Store salad lettuce with a folded piece of kitchen roll placed on top to prevent wilting. A sprinkle of salt in the bowl will also aid in keep too much moisture from building up on the leaves, causing them to rot. Seal the bowl tightly with cling film.
Run out of tupperware?
Use old bottle lids to close up storage bags. Simply the cut the top of the plastic bottle off a coupe of centimetres from the top, thread the plastic bag through the bottle neck, fold over and tighten the lid on for closed storage. This also provides an easier way to pour grains.
Mushroom minus the mildew
Plastic traps in the moisture which causes mildew and rotting. Storage in paper bags in the fridge or a cool, dry place will hold the mushrooms freshness for far longer.