Nothing beats the taste and texture of fresh food, from soft bread and hard biscuits, to perfectly ripe fruit and crunchy veggies. The longer your food lasts, the less frequently you have to replace it – meaning less wastage and less coins out of your purse when you do your weekly shop. Give yourself more time to consume all of your perishable food items before they go off, using these genius life hacks.
Not all food that is commonly kept in the fridge should actually be stored there. The cool temperatures can change the structure and taste of some foods, making them ripen faster and become unapetising.
Food for the fridge:
Food for the cupboard/counter:
Remove them from the punnets and containers that they come in and place them in paper bags or in a container with a paper towel to absorb the moisture they produce. Mushrooms do especially well in paper bags as it helps reduce the moisture levels and prevents them from going slimy. Some vegetables are actually better suited to the pantry than the fridge. All types of potatoes, winter squashes, onions, and garlic all prefer to be in cool, dark environments, so these are best stored in cupboards or pantries. Make sure your pantry is well-ventilated and you keep your potatoes and onions away from one another as they can spoil faster thanks to the gases they give off.
Although not technically a vegetable or a salad, we're going to add berries to this list since they're an ingredient in fruit salads and they have a notoriously short shelf life. To keep berries for longer, try soaking them in a bowl of one part white vinegar and three parts water for around ten minutes to kill any mould spores. Once soaked, rinse them in a colander and lay them on some kitchen roll to dry. Store them in a container without a lid and with a dry paper towel to promote airflow and absorb moisture.
It's best to wrap cheese in wax paper or parchment paper and place it in a container. Cheese needs good circulation and some humidity so it can breathe, and wrapping leftover cheese in cling film can suffocate the cheese and alter the flavour of your food too. Alternatively, you can try keeping your cheese in a cheese dome. A dome makes your cheese create its own climate, enabling cheese to last much longer than keeping it in its wrapper in the fridge.
Herbs are one of those ingredients that have a habit of going limp or mushy, forgotten at the back of your salad drawers. But, instead of throwing them into the fridge and forgetting about them until you decide you need a garnish for your culinary masterpiece, you should try to treat them like flowers. Keep them fresh in a glass of water and in a sunny spot, trimming some off any time you require a handful for your meal.
They may look prettier with their greenery, but beetroot, carrots, and other root vegetable that come with their tops still on can lose their moisture. With the leaves still attached, the vegetables have a habit of sending moisture to the leaves to keep them alive, making your food dry out a little faster. So, simply chop the tops for best moisture retainment.
Try not to overpack your fridge. By stuffing your fridge full of food, it can actually prevent cool air from circulating properly, thus making the fridge an inconsistent temperature. This can then facilitate bacteria and mould growth, making food spoil a few days quicker than they ordinarily would.
We hope that you find some of these tips and tricks useful, and if you're still looking for inspiration, why not check out one of the articles below?