The start of spring means warm weather and longer days. But, it also means that your food will spoil a lot quicker if not stored correctly. To avoid this, our Food Editor, Ntwenhle Gcabashe shares her tips and tricks that will not only keep your food fresh, but also save you money!
1. Keep your fridge organized and not too full. The fuller it is, the harder it is to keep cool. The bottom shelf is the coldest part of the fridge, so it’s wise to keep meat there, not only because it will stay fresh for longer, but because it will prevent cross contamination.
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2. Before placing vegetables, remember to line with paper towels. This will absorb excess moisture, and keep them fresh for longer.
3. Always check the expiration date when shopping, especially because warm weather causes food to go off quickly. Foods that are a day or two away from expiring should be eaten as soon as possible.
4. One of my favourite things to do is plan my meals around what I have in the fridge. If you have leftovers, use them before preparing a new meal.
5. There are certain foods that you shouldn’t mix.
- Store apples separately as they contain ethylene gas that causes other foods to decay more quickly.
- Wrap lettuce with a damp kitchen towel, and if it starts to wilt, soak it in ice water for a few minutes.
- Wash fresh berries in water mixed with a dash of vinegar, and store in a plastic container.
- To keep carrots and celery fresh, chop and place in a jar or container with water.
- Keep bananas in a bunch or make delicious smoothies, cakes or pancakes if overripe.
- Ripe avocados must be stored in the fridge to stop them from rotting.
6. Do not keep bread in the fridge, it will dry out. Bread is best stored in tightly sealed bag or container at room temperature.
7. The coldness of the fridge kills the freshness and crispness of tomatoes. Keep them on a counter so that they ripen to their full potential. This includes potatoes and onions.
8. All dry foods such as pasta, cereals and pulses should be kept in airtight containers rather than the store packaging.
With these tips, all that good food will not end up in the dustbin! Let’s keep it fresher for longer!