Food is a need and also something inevitable. We cook, we order in, or we go out and most of the times they result in leftovers. The most challenging part is sustaining the life of the fresh groceries that you buy. If you are someone who loves to cook regularly but hate the effort put into frequent refills, you can use these tips to increase the lifespan of these various products listed below.
Let’s discuss the most common types of food storage:
- Refrigerator Storage: For foods that stay fresh inside the refrigerator at a temperature of about 35-degree Fahrenheit or less.
- Shelf Storage: These are mostly food items that are to be protected from direct sunlight and should be stored in a clean and dry area.
- Freezer Storage: This is ideal for products that need to be kept under 0-degree or below.
Some handy tips
Here are the tips to help you increase the shelf life of your groceries…
Storing pulses in a cool and dry area in airtight containers is a common and trusted way in India. You can even opt for adding preserving agents in the form of oils, which can be coated on the pulses or small tablets. They can be tied in a piece of cloth and added to the pulses.
Humidity can spoil pulses easily, thus these preserving agents help in protecting them even from the smallest amounts of moisture.
Made some extra hot sauce for your dinner party? Instead of just throwing them out, store them right to increase their shelf life and enjoy them for a number of days.
They can be filled into glass bottles and sealed with firm lids. Ensure that no sauce is gathered on the insides of the cap as these can dry up and attract bacteria. This tip can also be used for store-bought hot sauces.
Fried/Baked Indian Snacks
The shelf life of food items depends on the ingredients used and also on how it has been cooked. Fried or baked snacks can be stored in different ways to increase their longevity.
If the snacks are batter fried and contain some amount of moisture, then these can be put inside Ziploc bags and kept in the fridge for up to four days.
Snacks that are fried or baked enough to lose all the moisture can be stored in airtight containers for up to six months.
The key to increasing the shelf life of vegetables is to store them according to their characteristics. They also need to be kept separate from other food items, like cooked dishes and raw meat or fish.
- Potatoes and onions must be kept in a dry place away from moisture and harsh sunlight. Keep them separately as storing potatoes with onions can make the potatoes sprout and get spoilt easily.
- If you prefer washing your veggies and fruits, ensure that they are dried fully before storing them.
- When packing veggies in airtight bags, try to get out as much air as possible. The lesser the oxygen in the bag, the better it will be for your vegetables.
- You can even blanch vegetables like beans, carrots, and cauliflower among others and freeze them. Frozen blanched foods have a long shelf life and can be kept up to 3 months.
Meat, Fish and Poultry
The shelf life of different types of meat varies. Here are a few methods to help you store them.
- Chicken, if bought fresh, can be kept in the freezer for up to a year. It lasts for just 2 days when kept in a normal refrigerator.
- Eggs, on the other hand, cannot get frozen if they are in their shells. They last up to a month in a refrigerator.
- Cooked eggs can be put away in the freezer, this increases their shelf life and can be used for up to 6 months.
- Fish can be stocked in the freezer for up to 7 months in a container that is filled with ample water to cover the fish entirely.
When saving up on your food, make sure that the place where you keep them and the containers you use are clean. Hygiene is also an important part of increasing the storage life of foods. Poor hygiene can have a negative impact and encourage the growth of germs.
Follow these tips to help maximize the timeline of your groceries. This will also help you save money by not having to throw out what has gone bad due to improper storage.
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