KEEP IT FRESH
Here are a few of our favourite tips for keeping your food fresher for longer.
Check those expiry dates
It may seem obvious, but when you’re in a rush and trying to get your groceries done at record-breaking speed, it’s easy to grab what you need only to get home and discover that it’s already the day before expiry.
Meal planning and having a list when you shop not only helps to save money, but if you have chosen specific meals for each day you’re shopping for you’ll be able to pick out best before dates that last.
Not only is it a great idea to support small businesses, but buying from your local Farmer’s Market can prevent food waste. Grocery store fresh produce takes time to get to your local shop whereas food offered at a Farmer’s Market is freshly picked and should last you longer. Most stallholders will be happy to tell you all about their products, including how they are grown and how long you can expect them to last.
Grow your own
You don’t need your own farm to grow your own food! Even if your only garden is a balcony you can plant herbs and smaller vegetables in pots and planters that don’t take up a lot of space. Enjoy fresh herbs with every meal by planting your own vegetable patch and save money when it’s up and running.
Why not use technology to achieve your herb garden dreams? The Click and Grow Indoor Smart Garden lets you grow up to 9 different plants at the same time and make sure they have everything they need – you won’t have to do a thing.
Choose the right storage
Don’t just chuck that box of cereal into your cupboard, storing dry goods like pasta, rice, legumes and cereal in an airtight container helps to increase their shelf life, plus a neat cupboard full of beautifully labelled jars is incredibly easy on the eye.
By organising your pantry you’ll also be able to see and manage your food inventory better and end up buying and wasting less.
Top tip: Freeze your flour for 48 hours to kill any bugs that may be hiding in there, then make sure to transfer it to an airtight container and store it in a cool cupboard.
Control the moisture
Add a few sheets of paper towel to the fresh produce drawer of your fridge to control the moisture levels as this will help to prevent items from going off or wilting too quickly. This method works really well with lettuce, so add a fresh sheet of paper towel and store it in an airtight container to prevent it from getting limp and wilting.
Not everything needs the fridge
It can be tempting to put everything in the fridge to help prolong its’ goodness, but tomatoes are better left out.
The fridge can take away the flavour and prevent them from ripening into the juicy little fruits they’re meant to be. If they are already red and ripe you can always make roasted tomatoes or tomato sauce that’ll keep for up to a week longer in the fridge.
The fridge prevents avocados from ripening too. Rather keep them out at room temperature, or better yet near a bunch of bananas to get them ripe and ready to eat. If the avocado is soft and you want to keep it fresh for a few more days then storing it in the fridge is perfectly fine to do.
Wash your berries in vinegar
A punnet of berries doesn’t come cheap, and there’s nothing worse than having to throw away slimy, overripe berries that are meant to be pumping your body full of antioxidants. Washing your berries in vinegar (diluted with water) gets rid of bacteria to prevent things growing on them in the fridge. When diluted to 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, they won’t taste like vinegar but you can always rinse them before eating in case.
Top tip: Berries freeze really well. By putting them into freezer-friendly containers in the right portions means they’re ready to be put straight into your smoothie (and you won’t even need to add ice!)
Keep food away from bananas and apples
Unless you have a hard avocado that needs ripening, it’s best to quarantine your bananas and apples. Both of these fruits (as well as kiwi fruit and pears) give off a gas called ethylene which can cause other foods to ripen or perish if they are already ripe. A great tip if you need something to ripen quickly, but keep these items separate if you want your food to last longer.