An average Aussie household bin contains up to 40% avoidable food waste. That amount is pretty staggering, particularly when we learn that the idea of “avoidable” waste means we literally bought and even prepped that food with the best intentions of eating it, but we didn’t.
With panic buying, and isolation ramping up, there’s more we can all be doing to cut down on food waste and helping space out those trips to the shops. One area is looking at how to keep our fresh produce fresher for longer. Here’s 9 hacks to keep your food fresher for longer.
1. ☕️ Protect your caffeine
Coffee can be a temperamental friend. Beans archenemies are air, light, heat and moisture. Once you’ve opened the packet, beans should be stored in an airtight opaque container in a dary and cool location like the pantry.
The National Coffee Association USA says you CAN freeze your beans, but the container must be truly airtight or the coffee will get freezer burn or begin to taste like whatever else if your freezer.
2. 🍇 Wash your berries in vinegar
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries—so tasty, yet so expensive. Stop them from spoiling fast with a vinegar hack.
Mix up one cup of white vinegar with five cups of water, soaking the berries for 5 minutes. Let them dry on paper towels and soak their plastic container in the vinegar too. An extra square of paper towel in the bottom of the container will also prolong their shelf life.
3. 🌿 Treat your herbs like flowers
A bouquet of flowers looks so lovely on the windowsill. You should be treating your herbs the same way. Use what you need, putting the rest in a glass of water on your windowsill, so they’ll last much longer.
Don’t need them for awhile? Chop them finely, placing them into an empty ice cube tray then pouring either melted butter or olive oil over the top. Pop into the freezer and you’ll have herbs for months—easily melted into a hot pan when needed.
4. 🍄 Store mushrooms in brown paper bags
Still keeping your mushrooms in those plastic produce bags? Slime city! Keeping them in a brown paper bag keeps them clean and dry. Gently rub the skin with a dry towel to wipe off any excess dirt.
5. 🥑 Keep your avocados perfect
There is nothing as disappointing as slicing into a gorgeous avocado, only to have it rock-hard and un-smashable. This is only matched by opening an overly soft avocado to find a brown, mushy mess.
Keep your avocados on the bench until they feel ripe (when the skin has darkened to a mossy brown and you can slightly press the skin), before popping them in the fridge to stop them ripening further. Once you’ve sliced into it, keep the stone in the remaining half and squeeze on a smidge of lemon juice.
6. 🍅 Keep your tomatoes warm
Putting tomatoes in the refrigerator depletes their flavour. They’re also not big fans of the cold, so keeping them on your bench or windowsill to let the ripen will give you the sweetest and juiciest tomatoes for your salad or tofu scramble.
7. 🥝 Soft fruit on the bench
Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, core fruit like apples, pears and even kiwifruit all should be kept on the bench until they ripen. Placing them in the fridge will interrupt their ripening process (like with tomatoes) and can end up affecting how they taste, their colour and texture.
8. 🧊 Check your fridge
The ideal temperature for your fridge is 3-4 degrees celsius, but quite a lot of use seem to have them warmer than this. This range is optimum for keeping food chilled, but not frozen.
Like a supermarket shelf stacker, you should also rotate your food items in your fridge. Psychologically, moving the oldest items to the front of the fridge makes you more likely to use them–and cuts down on the likelihood of something being left to go mouldy at the back of the fridge
9. 🥚 Make an eggcellent choice
According to Australian Eggs many of us have been storing our eggs wrong. To give them the best chance at longevity, we should be storing them in their cartons in the fridge. The carton helps reduce water loss and prevents the flavours of other foods being absorbed through the egg shell.
It’s also a good idea to think about how you’re using your eggs based on their freshness. Fresh new eggs are ideal for poaching and frying. Eggs that are older are better suited in baked cakes, quiches, frittatas, hard boiling and scrambling.