Being stuck in traffic. Burning your mouth on the first bite of food. Standing on a piece of Lego. Having a bag so heavy that it sets off the passenger seatbelt alarm. There are certain parts of life that can be oh-so-frustrating, but none more so than finding a fridge full of uneaten food that’s started to go off before you’ve even had a chance to eat it. Frustrating, wasteful, vexatious and expensive.
That’s why it’s so important you know exactly how to store the different foods in your kitchen.
You see, storing your food isn’t just something you do before and after cooking each meal; it’s an important part of the whole process, from the moment you step into your kitchen after your weekly food shop right through to the moment you start whipping up something delicious. That’s where we come in.
We’ve rounded up the best tips, tricks and bits of advice to make food last longer, so that you’re wasting less money, time and ingredients. Translation: your kitchen life is about to change.
Keep Your Bananas Separate
If writing on a banana with a ballpoint pen is one of life’s greatest pleasures (seriously, try it), picking up an overly-ripe banana is one of the worst. Luckily, this soft, brown problem can be delayed by simply storing your bananas away from other pieces of fruit. Not to get too scientific, but it’s all to do with ethylene gas. Anyway, storing them separately will prevent them from going gross too soon. The other thing you can do is wrap the crown (that part of the bunch where they all join) in cling film, which will also lengthen their shelf life.
Wash Your Berries in Vinegar
Because fate has a way of being cruel, berries are both the most expensive fruit and the quickest to go mouldy. Talk about frustrating. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to extend their delicious little lives: bathing them in a vinegar solution that’s one-part distilled vinegar and 8-parts water. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the vinegar, but this hack can make strawberries last up to two weeks longer than usual.
Store Your Onions in a Pair of Tights
This might sound pretty unusual, but keeping your onions in a pair of tights can help them last up to – wait for it – an incredible eight months longer. One of the more unusual techniques on this list is keeping onions in a pair of thin tights. They don’t have to be your favourite pair from M&S, just an old pair that have maybe seen better days. Once you have that, pop your onions in one by one, tying a knot between each one before storing them in a dark, dry place. Yes, your family will probably question your life choices at first, but we guarantee they’ll start copying you before long.
Wrap Your Veggies in Foil
Let’s get straight to it: certain vegetables will stay nutritious and delicious for a lot longer when wrapped in foil and then stored in the fridge. In fact, both celery and broccoli have been known to last up to four-weeks longer if kept like this.
Store Apples & Potatoes Together
An apple a day keeps those weird sprouty things away… from your potatoes. That’s right. Placing an apple next to your potatoes means the ethylene gas from your apple will keep your potatoes fresher for up to eight weeks, meaning your non-sprouted spuds will be ready for mash-duties.
Put Paper Towels in Your Salad Drawer
Whether you line your salad drawer or simply pop a couple of sheets in your salad bags, this little food storage hack will see your kitchen roll absorb most of the condensation that vegetables create as they chill. This is good news because that excess moisture is guilty of making your fresh salad bits wilt. And the best part: not on;ly will you have fresher veggies, but you won’t have to spend your weekends dealing with that gross cucumber gunk hiding at the back of your fridge.
Take Your Tomatoes Out The Fridge
There are two reasons you need to stop storing your toms in the fridge: the cold ruins their delicious texture and drastically takes away their yummy flavour. That’s why we recommend you keep your tomatoes on your kitchen countertop, where they can ripen to their full potential. Oh and, just so you know, toms aren’t the only vegetable-slash-fruit that shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. Potatoes and onions are also best left in a cool dark place, such as your larder.
Treat Your Asparagus Like Flowers
Next time you grab a pack of fresh asparagus from your local’s farmer’s market, make sure you trim the ends when you get home, just like you would a bouquet of flowers, and then store them in a vase or glass of water. Once you’ve done that, loosely wrap a plastic bag over the tips and then pop them in your fridge.