Thanks to Sustainably Amber for these great tips. During the pandemic I became more aware of how I stored my food to maximize its shelf life. As we all know a lot of grocery stores were low on food so I made an effort to make sure I put to use every single piece of food I bought.
Upon some future research I was shocked to see that the up to 40% of the food we produce in the US gets wasted. (According to the USDA).
You don’t need to spend money on fancy containers or special bags to keep your food fresh either. A simple kitchen towel, reused glass jars or reused plastic bags (such as bread bags) are all you need.
Below are some easy tips that work for me.
First make a section in your fridge labeled ‘eat me first’ for older foods. This ensures they are visible in your fridge and won’t go unnoticed.
Potatoes – keep in a dark location at room temperature.
Leafy greens – store in a damp cloth in the fridge crisper drawer.
Mushrooms – store in a brown paper bag in the fridge.
Carrots – keep fully submerged in a jar of water (changing the water every few days) in the fridge.
Celery– keep wrapped tightly in foil or store in reused plastic bag in the fridge crisper drawer.
Radishes– store in a damp cloth in the fridge crisper drawer. Don’t throw away those green tops either, you can make a tasty pesto from them or even eat them sautéed.
Herbs– store bottoms in a jar of water with a small reused bag (like a bread bag) over the top in the fridge. This creates a bit of a green house effect to keep them fresh .
Avocados– if not planning on eating right away then store in the fridge. Otherwise if eating right away keep on your kitchen counter.
Regrow cut veggies in a bit of water (bottom of spring onions, carrot tops, celery bottoms) in a sunny window. (Just make sure to change out the water every few days) Once they develop roots you can even plant them in your garden. They are fun to watch grow!
Don’t throw away your other scraps either. Such as peeled carrots, onion skins, herb stem or even apple cores. Keep them stored in the freezer until you have bag full. Once full boil them in water to make your own no cost veggie broth. Store the broth in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze for later use. Pro tip, freeze in an ice tray for easy unthawing at a later use.
As a last step you can always freeze any fruits that might be going bad, your morning smoothie will thank you.
Using these creative ways will help you get the best use out of the food you already have. Plus the earth and your wallet will thank you. Author Sustainably Amber