15 Tips to Keep Food Fresh Longer

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable produce from above

Good food is not inexpensive these days, but you can save on your grocery bills by making a few small changes in how you store food. When properly stored, your food will stay fresh longer.

  1.  Fridge Temperature: It’s important to keep the fridge at the right temperature so it keeps your food fresh. Ideally, your fridge should be kept at 38 to 40°F. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature.
  1. Expiration Date: When shopping, check for the expiration date. Most supermarkets try to sell to their customers the older food items by putting them in the front. The next time you go grocery shopping, dig deep into the shelves to find fresher food. The same rule applies to fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables.
  1. Local Products: Produce sold at the supermarket has usually travelled some number of miles to arrive at the store from the farm. Produce from local growers is more likely to be fresher and last longer in your fridge.
  1. Go Super-Local – Grow Your Own Food! If you have space and time to do some gardening, you can try growing some herbs, tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables.
  1. Paper Towels, Your Best Friend!

      1. Paper towels in the bottom of the crisper drawers will absorb the moisture and prevent the vegetables from wilting. (As a bonus, it also makes cleaning the crisper drawers easier). 
      2. Pack your lettuce in damp paper towels. If your lettuce is starting to wilt, try soaking in ice water for 5-30 minutes.
      3. Before refrigerating, wrap mushroom in paper towels to keep them dry. An alternative is to use paper bags. If they get too dry, you can quickly rinse them before cooking.
  1. Keep Bananas Together: When bananas are kept in a bunch, they last longer. Keep your bananas out of the fridge until they ripen. If they get over-ripened, put them in the freezer. You can use them to make banana bread!
  1. Keep Herbs Together: To make the best of your herbs, store them in bunches. Rinse the bunch, put them in a resealable plastic bag and place inside the freezer to keep them fresh for up to a month. When you need them for cooking, chop and mix them with the food as usual.
  1. Other Methods for Herbs: Another way to keep herbs fresh is to keep them inside a jar of water in the windowsill. Or, you can chop them, and place them in an ice cube tray, cover with olive oil, and freeze. When it’s time to cook them, just add the cube of iced oil in a hot pan.
  1. Container of Water:
      1. A simple container of water can keep many foods fresh in the fridge. You can store chopped celery, cucumber, radishes, and carrots like this. 
      2. You can use a water jar to store green onions on your countertop to expand the lifespan. The advantage of storing them like this is that the tops will continue to grow, and you can just cut as you need.
      3. Asparagus is another vegetable that you can put underwater. In a shallow glass of water, store its larger ends on the bottom.
      4. You can store hardy greens, swiss chard, kale with their stems in water too. Use a plastic bag to cover the greens loosely to keep them crisp longer. 
  1. Keep Apples Away: Apples release a gas (ethylene gas) that hastens the ripening process of many foods, especially root vegetables such as onions. There’s an ongoing lively debate about storing an apple with potatoes, with one camp saying that apples will prevent sprouting, and the other side saying that apples will cause premature sprouting of potatoes. To be safe, it might be best to store apples away from other foods.
  1. To Store Room Temperature: 
      1. Tomatoes should be kept outside of the fridge. Keeping the tomatoes on the counter will allow them to ripen. If you notice that your tomatoes are close to getting bad, you can slice or cut it in chunks, and roast it. Put the pieces in a container with some olive oil and store them in the fridge. They will last around one week. 
      2. Other vegetables that shouldn’t be inside the fridge are potatoes and onions. Those should be stored in a dry and dark place.
      3. Avocados should also be stored outside of the refrigerator. Like the tomatoes, they taste much better when allowed to ripen. If you have matured avocados and you plan to eat them later, you can put them in the fridge. 
  1. Magic Vegetable Oil: Use a thin coat of vegetable oil on squashes when putting them in the pantry.
  1. Open Container for Garlic: Garlic shouldn’t be stored in a closed container. Place them in a paper bag or an open basket.
  1. Making Berries Last: Berries always seem to ripen much too quickly. To prevent that, wash them in water with a splash of vinegar before putting them in the fridge – 1 cup of vinegar for 3 cups of water. You can either keep them in a ziplock bag or in the container they came in. Make sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them. Also, don’t forget to put them in the back of the fridge where it’s colder.
  1. Tin Foil, Another Great Ally: Aluminium foil is another great option to keep food fresh because it gives escape routes to the gasses that cause food go bad; air-tight plastic bags trap those gasses.

One of the best ways to keep your food fresher longer is a fully operational and well-maintained refrigerator.  For the very best in repair and maintenance of all your major appliances, call the experts at C&W Appliance Service. Call (855) 358-1496 or (214) 358-1496 for prompt, professional service. 

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