27 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last As Long As Possible
If you love cooking but are tortured by the cruel, limited shelf life of fresh foods, these tips are for you.
1. Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.
Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between onion. Plus it makes a freaky wall art installation!
2. Freeze green onions in a plastic bottle.
Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they’ll get freezer burn.
3. Get an ethylene gas absorber for the fridge.
A set of 3 costs $16. These little pods absorb the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer. Here’s a handy list of ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive foods.
4. Store delicate herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubberband, and refrigerate.
This is the best way to keep delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.
5. Treat oily herbs differently.
Oily herbs like thyme can be tied loosely together with string and hung in the open air.
6. If you use a lot of fresh herbs…
Invest in an Herb Savor. Supposedly, it’ll make your herbs last up to three weeks.
7. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.
Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.
8. Spray leftover guacamole with cooking spray before putting it back in the fridge.
There are a number of ways to keep avocado green, and oil is one of them. You should also keep the pit in the guacamole.
9. Don’t store onions with potatoes.
They’ll spoil faster. In a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.
10. Store potatoes with apples to keep them from sprouting.
11. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.
It’s not just an old wives’ tale.
12. Add a dab of butter to the cut side of cheese to keep it from drying out.
13. More cheese rules:
Wrap in cheese paper or wax paper (NOT plastic wrap) and then place in a plastic baggie. Keep in the warmest part of the fridge (vegetable or cheese drawer).
14. Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil.
The herbs will infuse the oil while freezing, and the ice cubes are very handy for cooking: just pop one out and use as the base of a dish. Works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. Dill, basil, and mint should always be used fresh.
15. Follow these rules on where to place items within your fridge:
16. Store asparagus like cut flowers.
Sort of. Cut the stems, place in water, throw a plastic bag over ’em and refrigerate. They’ll stay crisp for a week or longer, and you can use this trick on cilantro and parsley as well. See here for more details.
17. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.
They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual, which is especially helpful if you eat organic bananas. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.
18. This trick using a paper towel will keep your salad lettuce fresh all week long.
The paper towel will absorb the moisture. Get more info here.
Also, you might want to invest in a salad spinner. It’ll get rid of moisture, which is the culprit of wilting leaves.
19. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.
It’ll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.
20. Mason jars are your friend.
They provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar.
21. Clean your fridge.
Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind a nice gang of mold ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge — it’ll make everything last a little longer.
22. How to store tomatoes:
Don’t store tomatoes in plastic bags! The trapped ethylene will make them ripen faster.
Unripe tomatoes should be kept stem side down, in a paper bag or single layer in a cardboard box in a cool area until they turn red in color. To ripen faster, store with fruit. The gases emitted will help ripen the tomatoes.
Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, on the counter away from sunlight, in a single layer, not touching one another, stem side up.
Overly ripe tomatoes should be put in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before eating them.
23. Reuse plastic bottles to close up your plastic bags.
Make sure your produce is absolutely dry before putting the cap on.
24. Keep ginger in the freezer.
It grates much more easily, and the peel grates up so fine that you don’t actually need to peel it. Plus it lasts way longer.
25. Roast nuts as soon as you get home from the store, then store them in the freezer.
Nuts that are roasted have more flavor, keep longer, and can always be used in recipes that call for nuts, roasted or otherwise. Spread them in a single layer on a sheet pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.
26. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not a plastic bag.
A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause them to mildew. Put them in a paper bag in the fridge or in a cool, dry place.
27. Follow this handy guide on what to store on the counter, and what to put away in the fridge:
And even though you try to look behind your plate, your habits, your condition or your entire lifestyle, how can you be entirely sure that what you’re doing is right? It’s hard to know what’s right with today’s specialists, headlines and tips often coming in great contradiction.
Food documentaries could be a good place to start understanding better what’s hiding in the food from your plate. Either you’re looking to broaden your knowledge about food, become more food aware, or on the contrary, you’re interested to start your food education, and you couldn’t care less about food, I bet there is a tiny piece of information in every documentary that will be of help at some moment in your life.
Here are 6 documentaries about food that could change the way you envision food and your habits regarding it:
1. Got the Facts on Milk – The Milk Documentary
The Milk Documentary intends to turn upside down the common myth that milk is good for your health. Ever since you were a kid, you knew that milk is essential for your bones, for calcium, and for proteins. At an early age, milk is a common breakfast, especially for children, who also receive it at school.
Fact is that research has shown that everything you know about milk is wrong and that milk is responsible for diseases like diabetes, arthritis, asthma and even weight gain and acne. According to the movie, the misconceptions about milk are due to the milk industry, who promote dairy because of its “huge health benefits”.
As a person with dairy allergy, creator of the movie Shira Lane discovered the link between several diseases and milk. Research on the effects of dairy on health evolved and on her journey of finding the answers to her questions she traveled a 4600 mile road. During this road she exposes the opinions and arguments of both nutritionists, dietitians, doctors, and also average Americans who believed, like most of you, that milk is good.
Another interesting fact is the controversy that the movie has caused while being promoted at festivals and to audiences. And honestly, it’s perfectly natural to stir up people, because it’s difficult to accept that something you knew all your life is wrong. The film is available on DVD, but watching the trailer is enough to get you convinced.
2. The Truth about Food
The Truth about Food is a six episode documentary covering all the aspects that food has on your body, effects tested and monitored on 500 volunteers.
Divided in six episodes: How to be healthy, How to be sexy, How to feed your kids, How to be slim, How to stay young and beautiful, How to be the best, the movie is highly educational and revealing for viewers of all ages.
If you’re not sure on certain aspects regarding food, its influence on health and beauty, then this documentary could be the thing for you. Surprisingly, you’ll find some busted myths and learn some healthy eating tips, because the movie also gives solutions on what you can do to improve or completely change your lifestyle.
And it’s not just headlines and talks from specialists. It’s facts, facts proven on normal people just like you.
3. Food, Inc
How much do you know about the food you’re buying? How it’s made, where does it come from, but more important, are you aware about the effects it has on your health?
Food, Inc is a revealing documentary that analyzes the American food industry, showing not only the process of making the food, but also its effects on your body, on the environment and the economy.
The way in which it exposes the industry is not at all beneficial, so it might shock you, if you weren’t interested in food at all, or you might just find some new information, if you were more or less into becoming aware of your food choices. Personally, I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Don’t expect for the documentary to bring forward some ground breaking theories, but do expect to be more conscious about what you’re buying after watching the movie.
Its extensive view, the different aspects in which food is analyzed and its educational nature makes the movie worthwhile of beginning your food education with, either you’re a person working on improving your lifestyle or an adult living a unhealthy life but ready to make a change.
4. Food Matters
The fact that you are what you eat is no secret. Exploring the effects and the benefits of the food on the human body, this movie abounds in educational ideas that everyone should at least be aware of.
While uncovering some myths on nutrition and healing, the doctors and specialists from Food Matters reveal alternatives of healing diseases, alternatives that are basically found in your plate.
The popular belief that there is a pill for everything is highly contradicted, the solution proposed instead being a lifestyle change that can reduce diseases.
And even though not all of you believe in taking supplements and eating plants, the movie is worth watching at least for checking the other side of the story and find out some bad eating habits that you’re unconsciously doing on a daily basis.
5. Food Stamped
Sooner or later, some people decide they want to eat and live healthy. Unfortunately not all of those people can afford to buy anything that is thought to be healthy, because as you know, the organic or bio label means more cash. Can you eat well on a tight budget?
That’s the question that Shira, nutrition educator, and her husband Yoav Potash try to answer in the inspirational documentary Food Stamped. The couple reveals their journey on trying to eat healthy on a food stamped budget, journey involving meeting people facing the same problem and sharing the same views.
Struggling with the problem of quitting different ingredients from food because of money but discovering different recipes, they face the situation with humor and realism.
None of you will believe a scientist telling you what or what not to eat, but the sight of normal people trying to dwell and make the best choices concerning food is enough to just make you want to have a look. At least you can find out what dishes you can cook for 1$, right?
6. Processed People
Leading health and nutrition experts analyze what’s wrong with what we eat and and just like in Food Matters, they try to give solutions to the unhealthy lifestyle of the modern American.
Divided into 8 chapters, Processed People goes beneath the propaganda and the lies in the food system, with hard-hitting discussions on why are we so fat, what happens if we don’t de-process ourselves and what is health.
If you’re into interviews with health experts, than the movie could be the thing for you.
It doesn’t matter what country you live in, you’ve undoubtedly encountered your share of American junk foods. But if you live outside of the states, you’re very likely getting flavors of these treats that Americans can’t buy at home. And the more you travel, the more strange flavors of salty and sweet snacks you’ll run into.
Fanta comes in more than 90 flavors worldwide and most countries only sell 5 or so varieties. Some flavor highlights include Blueberry (Indonesia), Cantaloupe (Egypt), Honeydew (Taiwan), Lactic White Grape (Taiwan—that’s it to the left), Lychee (Cambodia), Melon Cream (Japan), Orange Mint (China), Passion Fruit (Portugal and Tanzania), Sour Cherry (Estonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), Tamarind (Mexico), Toffee (Taiwan), and Watermelon (Greece). The company also sells a variety of blended flavors, including Passion Fruit and Lemon in France and Apple and Pear in Iran.
Japan has their own special line of Fanta drinks called Fanta FuruFuru Shakers that include “carbon acid” that releases a floating jelly substance when shaken before drinking. That’s it in the image at left, by Flickr user HK-DMZ.
2. & 3. Potato Chips
Potato chip lovers looking to spice up their lives should consider traveling around the world to enjoy all the flavors Lay’s has to offer. In Canada alone there are at least ten flavors not available in the states, including Ketchup, Roast Chicken, Smokey Bacon, Spicy Curry, Pizza, Poutine, and Wasabi. You can read a review of the Wasabi and Spicy Curry flavors seen at left on Flickr user Smaku’s page. Over in the UK, Lay’s are sold under the Walkers brand with their own special flavors including Prawn Cocktail, Pickled Onion, Greek Kebab, and Marmite.
Other notable Lay’s flavors include Blueberry (from China, as displayed by Flickr user zieak above), Crab & Red Caviar (Russia), Cucumber & Goat Cheese (Belgium), Finger Licking Braised Pork (China), Garlic Soft Shelled Crab (China), Jamon (a prosciutto-styled ham from Spain), Kiwi (China), Lasagna (throughout South America), Magic Masala (throughout South Asia), Mexican Peppers & Cream (The Netherlands), Mushroom & Sour Cream (Russia), Nori Seaweed (Thailand and Vietnam), Soy Sauce (Japan), Spicy Chili Squid (Thailand), Teriyaki (Japan), Thai Sweet Chili (Germany and The Netherlands), and Tzatziki (Greece and parts of South America).
The fruit-flavored Lay’s are probably the ones that surprise American food sensibilities the most, but Lay’s isn’t the only company selling them. Pringles also has a unique flavor list available throughout Asia, including Blueberry, Grilled Shrimp, Hazelnut, Lemon, Seaweed, and Soft-Shelled Crab.
If you can’t imagine blueberry potato chips, what about wasabi-flavored KitKats? While the UK sells Mint bars, Australia sells a Cookie Dough variety, and Poland has a Cappuccino flavor, the majority of different-flavored KitKats come exclusively from Japan, as demonstrated by the delightful Godzilla robot in Flickr user Kelvin255′s image. Flavors sold exclusively in the Land of the Rising Sun include Aloe Vera, Apple, Azuki (a red bean paste), Banana, Beet, Black Tea, Blueberry, Bubblegum (complete with blue chocolate), Cantaloupe, Cheese, Cucumber, Fruit Parfait, Ginger Ale, Green Tea, Kiwi, Melon, Miso, Pepper, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Rose, Soybean, Sweet Potato, Wasabi, Wine, Yakimorokoshi (grilled corn), Yogurt, and more.
If you prefer chocolate cookies over chocolate candy bars, then you might consider snacking on some Oreos with flavored fillings such as China’s Green tea (seen in Flickr user Ken.Larmon’s image at left) or strawberry varieties or the Dulce de Leche filling from Chile. Even the pickiest readers who are freaked out by the rest of this list would probably enjoy these sweet treats.
Much has been made of Japan’s strange flavors of Pepsi as well, but the truth is that most of these varieties, including the Ice Cucumber flavor seen at left as pictured by Flickr user tenaciousme, were only limited edition. With so many delightfully strange permanent flavors of the cola, the limited editions are only a blip on the radar.
A few permanent Pepsi flavors you might want to try while traveling include Russia’s Pepsi Ice Cream (said to taste like a Pepsi float), the Pepsi Cappuccino (a coffee-flavored cola from Russia), Italy’s Pepsi Max Twist Mojito (Pepsi with a twist of citrus and mint), Japan’s Pepsi White (cola with a yogurt flavor, as seen above in the image by Flickr user Rami), Vietnam’s Pepsi Blue (a fruity, pineapple soda), and South East Asia’s Pepsi Ice (Pepsi with a minty touch).
Of course, if you prefer something lighter, Sprite is always a good choice, whether you prefer Sprite on Fire from China (a spicy version of the soda, as photographed by Flickr user sinosplice) or Sprite Ice from Canada (blue in color and featuring a mint flavor).
For some refreshment sans carbonation, Nestea has you covered, and their international flavors are just as varied as the other brands on this list. Over in Brazil you can enjoy Passion Fruit Nestea, while Croatians prefer their blend of wild berries and cranberries. Hungarians enjoy black currant flavors while Lebanon likes variety in their Fruit Cocktail version. Perhaps the one that sounds most refreshing on a hot day though is Ukraine’s watermelon flavor.
Have any of you well-traveled Flossers experienced any of the flavors here? Or any other strange varieties that I didn’t include? How were they?
Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/96356#ixzz25gwxIj6n
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