17 genius hacks to keep food fresher for longer and save you money
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Follow these tried and tested simple tips to help you keep food fresher for longer during the lockdown and save cash and wastage.
When foods are stored properly, they stay fresher for longer - and when trips to the supermarket are difficult, that’s a Godsend.
Here, Richard Hughes from The Richard Hughes Cookery School in Norwich shares his simple tips for how to make some kitchen staples last for as long as possible, including a strange idea to keep your onions from sprouting.
17 Genius Hacks for Keeping Food Fresh for Longer
Line the crisper in your fridge with a few sheets of kitchen towel to absorb condensation that vegetables generate as they chill. Moisture makes fresh foods wilt faster so the paper helps keep them fresh. The same trick works in bags of salad leaves.
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An apple a day keeps sprouted potatoes at bay…keep an apple in your bag of potatoes to prevent your spuds turning into plants. Apples produce ethylene gas which keeps potatoes fresher.
For the reason given above, keep apples on their own and not in the fruit bowl.
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Lettuce can be wrapped in a damp paper towel before going in the fridge which can help to keep it fresher – revive it by soaking in iced water for several minutes if it has become limp.
Here’s one that your Grandma may remember: store onions in an old pair of tights. Place them into the tights one by one, tying a knot between each onion and then hang them in a dark and dry place, like the shed, until you need them. The tights allow air to flow around the onions and stops them rotting.
Wrap cheese in paper – baking paper is ideal – rather than plastic film so that it can breathe. And spread butter on to the cut-side of cheese to keep it from drying out.
Celery or broccoli can have a longer life in your fridge if you tightly wrap it in foil.
Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are notoriously short-lived after they’ve been picked. But if you wash them in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water before you put them in the fridge, they may live to fight another few days.
Store garlic in an open basked or a paper bag.
Let your avocados ripen outside the fridge and then, when you squeeze them and decide they’re ready to eat, put them in the fridge and you can preserve them at the perfection point for longer. Brush a bit of lemon juice on the exposed avocado flesh if you want to put half back in the fridge (and keep the stone in!).
Grapes last longer in the fridge but cucumber lasts longer out of the fridge (and out of plastic wrapping).
Keep milk in the main part of your fridge rather than in the door, if possible. The temperature in the door fluctuates every time the fridge is opened and milk stays fresher for longer if kept cold at all times!
Keep bananas in a bunch and wrap the end of the stalks in plastic film to prevent the ethylene in the stalks from reaching the rest of the bananas – it can help them to survive another five days! Keep bananas separate from other fruits – unless you need to ripen solid avocados or tomatoes quickly!
Spring onions can be frozen after chopping. Similarly, celery, carrots and radishes can be chopped and then stored in the fridge in containers of water and will remain fresh for some time.
If your root veg still have their green tops, remove them as soon as possible – they steal the nutrients from the rest of the vegetables and mean they dry out faster.
Butter can be frozen in its original packaging for up to six months.
If your mushrooms are on the dry side, run them under the tap to plump them up.
* For more hints, tips and recipes (including how to make your fast food favourites during lockdown) follow The Richard Hughes Cookery School on Facebook.