People who have to spend most of their time in the kitchen preparing meals are in the lookout for diverse and innovative ideas that will make their task simpler and less time consuming. One of the most time-consuming tasks is running out to buy groceries at the nick of time. So, here are some of the most mind-baffling and crazy ways to extend the shelf life of your groceries.
Here Are 15 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last Longer
1.Rinse Berries In Water-Vinegar Solution –
Berries rot faster than most fruits and before you could eat the entire stock it is time to throw them out. However, vinegar and water solution increases their shelf life considerably. Mix water and vinegar in the ratio of 3:1 and wash the berries in the solution. Then drain the berries in colander followed by thorough rinsing under running water. Dry the berries up in a salad spinner for 15 minutes and store them in a container. For better results, keep the lid slightly open for moisture to escape and line the walls of container with paper towel. With this method, strawberries last as long as 2 weeks.
2. Store Onions In Pantyhose And Hang them To The Kitchen Wall –
This crazy trick will make your onions last as long as 6 months or more. Unbelievable right! Make sure the onions are fresh and mold-free. Cut off the legs from a clean pantyhose and put fresh onions into the leg. Tie a knot after every onion so that it takes a braided appearance. Hang the pantyhose against the wall in a cool dry place with temperature not more than 45 degrees. Make a slit in the pantyhose whenever you need an onion. This way you will be able to reuse the pantyhose. Hanging onions in pantyhose prevents growth of mold in onions because nylon (material of which the pantyhose is made) enables free passage of air thereby reducing moisture content in pantyhose. Besides, this trick also spruces up the kitchen decor.
3. Place An Ethylene Gas Absorber In The Refrigerator –
Bananas, avocados, apricots, mangoes, kiwis, tomatoes, plums, papayas and similar fruits and vegetables emit ethylene which is the prime reason of their short shelf life. Keeping different kinds of fruits separately is one trick but there is a more inexpensive and less time consuming way of saving your fruits – ethylene gas absorber. You can get three such by spending just $12. So, its a win-win situation. Fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas for ripening process. Although ethylene gas is helpful in making the fruits and vegetables tastier while in the ground, it accelerates ripening and causes wilting after harvest.
4. Treat Different Herbs Differently –
Delicate herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, etc. should be kept covered in a plastic and then refrigerated. You can also keep the stems of these delicate herbs submerged in a bowl of water so that appears like a bouquet. should be tied loosely and then hung for free passage of air. People who are fond of using herbs more than often should get Herb Savor which is a more cost-effective way. Herb Savor increases the life of herbs by 3 weeks.This Herb Savor works in the same principle as water bowl used to store herbs.
5. Put Leftover Green Onions In Plastic Bottle And Freeze –
Green onions – spring onions or shallots and the like – have a ridiculously short shelf life. Before you can finish the whole bunch, they turn bad. You can keep your leftover green onions in a plastic water bottle and put it in the freezer to extend their shelf life up to a month. You can also keep the green onions in a ziplock bag but plastic bottle is more handy as you can easily take out some whenever you need. This trick prevents growth of mold in the green onions. Just make sure the onions are completely dry before putting them into freezer to prevent freezer burn.
6. Prevent Crystallization Of Honey –
The one food that never spoils is honey but it crystallizes quickly which prevents it from flowing smoothly down the bottle. One simple trick to prevent crystallization of honey is to place it in glass container with water at its bottom and then put the glass container over candle warmer. It not only decrystallizes but also makes it warmer for easy pouring.
7. Maintain A Distance Between Onions And Potatoes –
Onions and potatoes go together only in dishes but when raw they should be kept apart. Each release gases that promote rotting. Onions release certain gases that promote sprouting in potatoes. Although you can eat potatoes that have sprouted, you should make sure that the sprouts have been carefully removed prior to cooking. This is because sprouts contain glycoalkaloids that have adverse effects on nervous system. In short, store onions and potatoes in cool, dark and dry place separately to make them last for up to 3 months.
8. Apple Is Potato’s Best Friend –
When you keep an apple along with your potatoes, you will see that the potatoes stand firmer and look fresher for longer. Ethylene emitted from apples prevent sprouting in potatoes. Apples extract the moisture from air which helps in sprouting in apples.
9. Store Rooted Vegetables In Vertical Position –
Fill a pot with sand (you can use a flower pot) and store the rooted vegetables like carrots, ginger, radishes, beets, etc. upside down in them with the roots covered with sand. Keep the pot in a cool and dry place. Sand maintains the humidity level thereby preventing the veggies from rotting.
10. Butter For Fresh Cheese –
Rub a little butter to the sides on block of cheese to prevent drying up of the cheese. Butter oils prevent the cheese from being crusty and hard. Also, wrap cheese in cheese paper and store in vegetable drawer in the fridge to prevent it from drying.
11. Plastic Wrap For Crown Of Bananas –
If you buy bananas in dozens but eat one a day then you should try wrapping the crown of that bunch with plastic. This trick will make the bananas last for up to 5 days longer. Also, keep bananas separated from other fruits as they get ripened much faster by the huge amount of ethylene gas released by bananas.
12. No More Plastic Bags For Tomatoes –
Tomatoes stored in plastic bags ripen faster because of the trapped ethylene produced by the tomatoes. Store the fresh tomatoes in a paper bag with the stem side down. On the other hand, ripe tomatoes should be kept with the stem facing upwards and in room temperature and away from light. The same goes for mushrooms.
13. Paper Towel Keeps Lettuce From Wilting –
A paper towel placed over lettuce absorbs the moisture and prevents wilting in lettuce. If you keep lettuce in a bowl inside the fridge, just put a paper towel over it before covering it with lid. With this trick you will notice that the lettuce lasts twice as much as conventional storage methods.
14. Roasted And Frozen Nuts Last Longer –
Roast your freshly bought nuts and then freeze the entire pack to increase its shelf life. Not only do roasted nuts taste better, but also last longer. Nuts have high oil content which makes them wilt and turn rancid quickly. Vacuum-packed jars is a better storage option than cellophane packaging. Freezing makes the nuts as long as 6 months.
15. Use Cooking Spray Over Leftover Guacamole And Then Refrigerate –
The main problem with guacamole – avocado based dip – is that it turns brown within hours. You can either spray cooking spray over it or sprinkle some olive oil on it to keep the avocado green for hours.