10 Genius Hacks to Keep Your Healthy Food Fresh Longer
1. Put paper towels in the salad drawer
Lining your crisper with a few sheets of paper towel absorbs the condensation that the veggies generate as they chill. Excess moisture can make your fresh foods wilt much faster, so the paper keeps them fresher for longer, and it keeps your fridge cleaner without any extra effort, because no one deserves to spend their hard-earned Sunday wiping up cucumber gunk.
2. Don’t separate bananas before eating
You may think you’re being super productive packaging your bananas into day-to-day portions, but actually the trick to stop them going brown is to keep them together as long as possible.
Wrap the stems of the bananas in plastic wrap when you first buy them, and only snap one off when you’re ready to eat it. This should give you three to five extra days of perfectly ripe banana joy.
3. Put an apple in your bag of potatoes
Sprouted potatoes are at the top of nobody’s to-eat list. Keep an apple in the bag — apples produce ethylene gas, which keeps potatoes fresher and firmer, and ready for jacket-and-mash duties for a few more weeks.
4. But keep apples away from other fruits and veggies
Ethylene gas may be good for potatoes, but it’s bad for almost everything else. Keep apples out of the fruit bowl (and in a plastic bag in the fridge) and you should suddenly find that your other purchases keep much better.
5. Wash berries in vinegar
Because fate is cruel, berries are both (1) pretty much the most expensive fruit and (2) the quickest to go moldy by a mile. You can extend their life by giving them a bath in 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water before you put them in the fridge — this kills the mold spores and bacteria that turn them fuzzy. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly before storing.
6. Don’t refrigerate your tomatoes
Seriously. You’ll kill their flavor, and their juicy texture doesn’t survive so well in the cold either. To make the most of your tomatoes, keep them on a counter to allow them to ripen them to their full potential.
FYI, other veggies that shouldn’t live in the fridge include potatoes and onions, although they should be stored in a cool, dark place rather than within the sun’s reach.
7. Wrap celery in foil
In the plastic wrapper you get from the supermarket, celery will last a week or two at most – annoying if you only use a couple of stalks at a time. Swap the original packaging for a sheet of aluminum foil — it lets the gas that spoils your celery escape, rather than trapping it like plastic, so the celery stays crisp long enough for plenty more hummus-dipping adventures.
8. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag
Proper grocers use these bad boys for a reason — paper bags keep mushrooms much more efficiently than the usual plastic tubs. Moisture is a slime sentence for mushrooms, so storing them this way keeps them clean and dry (and if you leave them too long and find they get too dry, you can give them a quick rinse in the sink and they’ll plump right back up).
9. Keep raisins airtight
Raisin take years to go off properly, but going dry and rubbery takes them just a few weeks if you don’t store them right. Putting your raisins in an airtight jar or tub will keep them fat, moist, and perfect for sprinkling over porridge.
If they do shrivel up, soaking them in hot water for an hour or two will help, but as always, prevention is better than cure.
10. Ice your greens
You’re too good for limp lettuce and you know it. Re-hydrate and refresh your leaves by separating them and tossing them into a sink full of iced water for anywhere from five to 30 mins, depending on how sad they’re looking.
Voila – your dinner salad no longer earns itself a spot on Dimly Lit Meals for One.