Clever tricks to keep food fresh longer
At the start of the year, many of us set out with resolutions to eat healthier and wiser. While things start off well, our good intentions can end up getting undone by the cost of eating healthy. Not only are certain fruit and veg more expensive than they should be, but they also go off so fast.
It’s very discouraging to look into the fruit bowl and see mould starting to form on some tangerines you bought a few days ago. However, there are things you can do to try and increase the ‘life expectancy’ of your fresh fruit and veg. So here are five tips from the team here at Repair Aid to keep your fresh food even fresher for a lot longer.
Store apples & potatoes together
You may be a bit confused at the idea of storing apples and potatoes together but there is a science behind why this is good for both of them – and even your other fruit & veg. While your default may be to stick apples into the fridge or a fruit bowl, they are actually best when they are stored with potatoes. This is because apples release ethylene gas.
The gas is generally harmful to your other fruit and veg, but not to potatoes – quite the opposite. The gas keeps your potatoes fresher for longer and ensures you’re less likely to be left trying to cut away the bad bits when it comes to mashing them in a week or two. As an added bonus, keeping apples in the bag with potatoes also keeps other fruit and veg fresh fresher as the gas is actually harmful to them and makes them go off faster. So get apples out of the fruit bowl or the fridge and match them with a vegetable that appreciates their toxicity!
Bananas are better together
Some people find that they are best when they are alone, while others prefer being one part of a couple; but bananas prefer being in a bunch. So instead of breaking away individual bananas, only do so when you are going to actually eat them as they last for longer when with their pals. As an additional tip, if you wrap them up in cling-film when you first buy them, this will also boost their lifespan by a few days too.
Line your salad drawer
In the kitchen, one of our best friends is undoubtedly kitchen roll. Their use seemingly has no ends and so we are happy to give them another reason for existing: to line your salad drawers and bags. As vegetables can create a build up of condensation, this extra moisture actually reduces their freshness and causes them to wilt. So the solution is to line your salad drawer with kitchen roll, and even stick a sheet into any salad or spinach bags.
An added bonus that comes from having some kitchen roll in there is that it’ll actually absorb any juices that run from decaying vegetables. This makes it easier to clean your fridge when it comes to that time of month… or year(s)?
Keep tomatoes OUT of the fridge
Although many of us have been convinced that tomatoes belong in the fridge, the problem is that refrigeration impairs their taste and textures. If you truly want a juicy, ripe tomato then you’ll want to keep them on a shelf or counter instead. Just don’t store them away from the sun as they actually prefer a bit of sunlight to a cupboard! Now you should have the perfect tomato for a refreshing sandwich or side to your dinner.
Mushrooms do better in a bag than a box
While pre-packed mushrooms from the supermarket often come in those soft plastic cartons, mushrooms fair far better in paper bags. Mushrooms do not like moisture and, as such, a bag helps them stay as clean and as dry as possible. This is precisely why greengrocers will use bags to store mushrooms. Some supermarkets will have them loose and we recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to store them properly.
Fresh herbs in water
When buying fresh herbs, many of us are just tempted by stuffing them into the fridge. But, in reality, fresh herbs do much better and last for much longer if treated with a bit of care. When you get them home, take them out of the packet and plop them stem-down into a small glass of water and put them on your windowsill. This is great if you want to make them last over the course of a week.
And when they’re reaching past their best, simply chop them up and freeze the remnants. To do this properly, drizzle a wee bit of olive oil over them and put them into ice cube trays. Fill the water up about two-thirds and they’ll last for months.