The Best Way To Store Your Food

Written by Kajsa IngelssonApril 4, 2020

Chances are that you are buying a bit more food than usual these days. Weather you are panic buying or just being smart and stocking up for the week (quarantine 2020 life), the results are going to be the same; a lot of food and produce that you need to store at home!

Here’s the thing, food waste is unsustainable and expensive. Of course you want to save money, time and keep your food healthy and fresh! There’s a few different rules for different foods and type of storage…

Fear not, cause Mjau is here to the rescue with a lil Food Storage Guide!

Knowing how your food items will best thrive is an important part of excelling in the kitchen. Organizing your foods (in the fridge and out) is important, too. That way, you can better see what you have and cut down on food waste. When it comes to the fridge, the first tip is to bring food that needs to get used up to the front and planning your meals around those items first.

Let’s start with the fridge!

Fridge rules to get familiar with:

  • Make sure your fridge is keeping things cold enough.
  • Avoid overcrowding your fridge. This will create warmth pockets that could potentially spoil food quicker.
  • Take advantage of the extra humidity in those crisper drawers. Keep leafy greens and other produce that’ll benefit from the extra moisture. If there’s a dial on the drawer, set it to the high-humidity setting and watch your veggies thrive.
  • Once open, make sure things are clean or transfer to a clean and dry airtight container or other method of storage.

Keeping these rules in mind, here are ways to store specific food items in your fridge to help them last better and longer;

Trim beets and carrot tops, cutting the greens off to about a ½ inch from the top. Your goal is to keep the moisture in the root, so the carrots stay plump and juicy.

Immerse the bottoms of asparagus and soft herbs like parsley and cilantro in water like a bouquet of flowers! I treat them exactly the way I treat flowers and trim the ends of first. A mason jar or a high and heavy glass works well for this purpose.

Wash whole lettuce leaves and spin them dry in a lettuce spinner or let them dry on a kitchen towel. Store them in an airtight container between layers of paper towel or simply wrapped in a clean kitchen towel. They’ll keep for about a week like that if they started in good condition. Cut or tear them just before using in a salad.

Loosely wrap bush-like herbs like thyme or rosemary in a slightly damp paper/kitchen towel and store inside a resealable bag.

Go thru your berries and dispose of (I actually mean eat) soft and mushy berries before storing the rest in an airtight container.

Whole grain flour and nuts go rancid over time, so best to store these in the fridge.

Foods that do not need to be refrigerated:

All nut butters can be safely stored in the pantry or on the counter.

Hearty fruits like citrus, apples, pears, and tomatoes can all be stored on the counter and are foods that don’t need to be refrigerated. However, if you plan on letting a week go by before chomping down on them, it’s better to place them inside the cool box. Make sure that you take out the tomatoes a good day before you’ll eat them since they lose their flavour in the fridge. Other vegetables like onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and basil are all best to store outside of the fridge. In fact, potatoes (of all types) are best stored in a dark place in the pantry.

All types of bread will be okay on the counter. They won’t last as long as in the fridge, so only keep them out if you plan to eat them soon.

As long as your condiments don’t have dairy in them (and this is why they shouldn’t) they are fine to keep on the counter. This includes ketchup, mustard, vinaigrettes, soy sauce, and peanut sauce.

If you bought too much produce and you won’t be able to use it before it goes bad, there’s a solution: freeze it!

Frozen food allows you to get the nutritional quality of fresh produce year-round, and they last (almost) forever.

There’s a few tricks when it comes to the freezer game:

Blanche fresh veggies before freezing. Fresh veggies tend to freeze better when they are blanched in boiling water first. It helps minimize the degradation of the product and increases the amount of time you can leave it in the freezer.

You don’t need to blanch all vegetables before sticking them in the freezer, but veggies that are best for blanching and freezing include green beans, broccoli, onions, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, corn (off the cob), zucchini, squash, and dark leafy greens.

How to do it? Give them a dunk in boiling water—about two mins—followed an ice bath. Pat dry, cool and then they can be frozen. Blanched produce will last up to a year!

When freezing fresh fruit – use a baking sheet! Wash and dry, then slice. It’s very important to make sure everything is dried before freezing to prevent extra ice crystals from forming. To prevent things from sticking together, line the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, you can crowd them up in a freezer bag or sealed container for more space optimal storage 💛 The best fruits to freeze are berries and stone fruit like cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines.

Frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs. Remember though they will be limp when defrosted. That means they are great used in recipes, but they don’t work well for garnishes! Simply strip the leaves off the stems and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer. As soon as they are frozen, place them in a freezer bag. Label and date. Since the leaves froze separately, you will be able to remove the amount you need.

Soup can last about three months in the freezer—so this is a good item to freeze after making a big batch! Freeze in individual servings and make sure it’s already cold before you put it in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing bread? Slice first! The slices can go right into the toaster when ready to use. You do not need to let it defrost, so it’s a great hack for easy breakfasts!

If you made a big batch of cooked rice, but you cannot eat it all, freeze it for later to extend its shelf life. Make sure to let the rice cool and pop in the freezer within two hours.

Here’s some foods that doesn’t dig the freezing cold love:

High-moisture veggies like raw potatoes, celery, or lettuce don’t freeze well at all. Salads won’t hold up either, as they will get mushy and cannot be defrosted.

There you got it my friends! If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and in need of more help, check out my guide to healthy grocery shopping, how to decode food labels to know if they are gmo or why not your optimal guide for choosing your protein powder?

Stay vibrant, healthy and glowing from the inside out my 🍯🐝