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Extend the shelf life of your perishables



No one likes to throw out food. It’s such a waste of money, misjudgment of what our needs are (been eating out instead?) and an insult to people less fortunate than us who can’t afford to eat well. Here are some tips to help keep what you do buy.

Lemons and limes stay fresh up to four times longer when refrigerated. All is not lost if you have a dried out one though, soak it in water overnight in your fridge and it will rehydrate through its peel.

Carrots The leafy tops absorb all of the available moisture from the carrot so always remove them before storing. Wrap topped carrots in a damp paper towel, followed by a layer of foil and store in your fridge. This method also works with other crops including parsnips, radishes and rutabagas.

Onions should be stored in a cool, dark place with lots of airflow to prevent sprouting or rotting. One of the best things to do is putting them in panty hose with a knot tied between each one for air­­­flow and space. Put partially cut onions in the freezer and they will keep for up to six months. Freeze them in diced one-cup portions and speed up future dinner prep!

Bananas should be stored in isolation because tomatoes and apples emit ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening process of other produce (so great if you want to ripen an avocado). Prevent bananas from over-ripening for 2 to 3 days by placing them individually in the fridge. This tip works because the stem of the banana is where most of the gas is released.

Berries Mold can grow on them overnight. A solution: ‘thermotherapy’ - the process simply involves swishing berries in their plastic basket in a pot of hot water. The hot water kills off mold spores and keeps them fresh longer. Heat water to 125 degrees and immerse for 30 seconds. After bathing the berries spread them out on a towel to allow them to breathe and dry, then freeze them for future use.

Keeping tomatoes in cold temperatures rids them of flavor and transforms their texture in just a matter of days. Instead, put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel at room temperature away from direct sunlight with the stems at the top to prevent bruising and rotting.

The best way to extend the life of leafy greens is to wrap unwashed leaves in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture, then put in plastic bags and into your fridge. Easily refresh them by giving them in an ice bath – submerge in a large bowl of water to revive them for a minute or two.

When storing corn, the husks on but cut away the shank (this part of the grain is a magnet for worms). Put your corn in a plastic bag and place it in your refrigerator’s crisper. The corn will remain at its freshest for two days, at which time it will start to dry out.

Stone fruits should be bought firm, but stored at room temperature once home. Don’t put them in the fridge before they’ve ripened, as chilling them before that will result in fruit that is flavourless.

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