With the opening of farmers markets and the start of many people’s CSA shares, the perennial topic of food storage becomes fresh again. Check out these 5 tips to keep your food fresh longer.
1. Use your crisper
Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins.
2. Pick your spot
Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator.
If you go through a gallon of milk every couple days, then maybe it doesn’t matter. But those of use who just use a sprinkle in our coffee should definitely select a cooler spot, like the back of the fridge, which is less affected when the door opens.
Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear. Corn and berries benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front.
3. Use a paper towel to keep your greens green
Greens (especially leftovers) quickly become yellows and browns.
Arrange washed greens between paper towels to absorb excess moisture and seal them in punctured plastic bags.
4. Don’t pass gas
Ethylene gas, that is. Foods like apples, peaches and pears produce ethylene, a gas that kick-starts ripening, which can cause premature aging in some fruits and damage in others. Avoid storing ethylene-producing foods near others sensitive to it, or keep them in a plastic bag to contain the gas.
5. Know what NOT to refrigerate
Sometimes the refrigerator can do more harm than good – as in the case of avocados, bananas, tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes, potatoes and squash – which should be stored at room temperature. Cold temperatures can dehydrate and damage these foods.
What are your best food preservation tips? Share them in the comments!