Fresh foods like fruits, veggies, and leafy greens are an important part of any healthy diet. Being free of preservatives and artificial ingredients, they have much shorter shelf life compared to packaged foods items.
This article offers a few tips on how to extend the shelf life of purchased produce like leafy greens, avocados, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and many more!
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are the most sensitive veggies which can spoil very fast unless stored properly. To extend their shelf life, rinse and dry them right after bringing them home and store them in a plastic bag with a paper towel. Make sure you poke tiny holes in the bag in order to let air inside.
Avocados are likely to ripen very quickly and lose their prime state. To delay the ripening process, put a nearly ripe/ ripened avocado in the fridge. On the other hand, to ripen them faster, store them in a paper bag along with apples.
Keeping tomatoes in the fridge causes them to lose their flavor and juiciness, so keep them on the counter instead. If you want to use them before them go rancid, blend them to make a delicious taste that can be kept in the fridge.
Choose garlic that is firm and fresh, as the fresher it is when you buy it, the longer it will last. The best would be to keep it in a container that protects it from light but also allows it to breathe, like overturned clay pot or covered wire basket.
Keep potatoes in a cool, dark place, and make sure you keep them away from onions! If them grow little sprouts, remove the sprouts and use the potatoes anyway as sprouting doesn’t indicate that the potato has gone rancid.
6. Fresh Herbs
Herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro last for quite some time when trimmed and placed in water in the fridge. Placing a plastic bag over them helps keep them even fresher.
Store onions in a cool and dark place in a paper bag. If you use half of it, store the rest in a container in the fridge.
Berries stay freshest in the fridge. In case they start to spoil in the very beginning and you have no time to enjoy them, put them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag to use them later in desserts and smoothies. Avoid rinsing them prior storing as this makes them more susceptible to molding.
Store them in the bottom drawer of the fridge to keep them fresh and crispy.
Store meat in the drawer at the bottom of the fridge to keep it fresh longer. Wrap it to prevent any leakage, particularly if stored along with other produce.
Eggs keep best in cold, so store them in the coolest part of the fridge ( in the back).
Additional Food Storage Tips:
1. Buy Local
Buying local means that you are getting fruits and veggies that have been picked a few days earlier, which gives them longer shelf life compared to produce purchased in the supermarket.
2. Be Flexible With Expiration Dates
The labels on the foods don’t actually indicate food safety, but are used to help retailers with product turnover. Because the egg or the meat should be used by a specific date, it doesn’t mean that they have gone bad.
3. Plan Your Menu
It is recommended to plant the menu for the upcoming days at the beginning of the week. Create a shopping list and get the foods you need, as this allows you to use everything you bring home instead of keeping it there for days until it goes bad.