How to store, refresh and re-purpose foods to save big money
When food items have gone stale, limp, or have otherwise become unpalatable, we tend to just throw them away. And if food is not stored properly, this can happen rather quickly. Stop this loss by knowing how to store, refresh and re-purpose foods to save big money.
How to store foods:
Apples: Keep in a closed container or covered by plastic to maintain moisture. Use newspaper between any layers and do not allow them to touch each other. Store in a cool, dry place.
Bananas: To slow down ripening, wrap the stems in cling wrap, either individually or with the stems still together. Another method is to keep them in the fridge. The skins will darken but the fruit will not.
Berries: Gently wash in a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Fully dry before storing in a container with holes in the refrigerator.
Celery: Wrap in aluminum foil before refrigerating.
Citrus fruits: Store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, microwave for 7-12 seconds, then roll them on the counter to release more juice and break up the fibers between the sections.
Ice Cream: Put the entire container in a resealable freezer bag to maintain creaminess.
Mushrooms: Place in a paper bag, then refrigerate to prolong their freshness and texture.
Soda: Retain carbonation by dividing larger bottles into small, airtight containers.
Tomatoes: Store at room temperature, stem-side-down.
Store fruits and vegetables separately in the refrigerator. Fruits and veggies give off different types of gasses, so don’t store them together. And always keep apples separate from all other produce.
How to refresh foods:
Celery: Cut the bottoms off the stalks and place in water in the fridge.
Chips and Crackers: Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Crisp in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can zap them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
French Fries: In a heavy-bottomed pan, heated to medium-high, spread in a single layer and crisp.
Lettuces: Separate the leaves and revitalize in ice water for 5-20 minutes.
How to re-purpose foods:
Greens like kale or spinach: Chop and freeze. Use in preparations such as soups, green smoothies, and stir-frys.
Fresh Herbs: Place diced fresh herbs in an ice cube tray, fill the spaces with water or olive oil and freeze. Once frozen, pop them out, place in freezer bags, and store them in the freezer. Use them in recipes that can handle the included water or oil, such as sauces, stocks, pasta, or casseroles.
Various produce that needs to be used quickly: The combinations are nearly endless for fruits and vegetables when making salsas, stocks, and spreads. Chop them up and mix with sugar and/or herbs and spices, as well as other ingredients like vinegar, salt, or citrus juice.