As soon as you get home from the nearby grocery store, you should unload your food items and store each one of them properly in order to keep your foods fresh and make them last longer.
1. Say goodbye to carrot tops
Vegetables with their leaves attached are mostly more appealing than the naked ones in your grocery shopping bag. However, what you probably don’t know is that those greens sap moisture from the roots and cause them to quickly dry out and soften.
Unless you want to use your veggies within a day or two, you should remove the greens as soon as you unpack them. Just snap and twist, and they’ll come off.
You can save the leaves for vegetable stock, soups, salads, and smoothies, by storing them the same way as herbs or mixed greens for 2 to 3 days.
2. Make a herb bouquet
Plastic containers of basil, rosemary, mint and thyme you picked up at the grocery store might seem like perfect storage boxes, while it’s not necessarily the case. The first thing to do when you get home with fresh herbs is to separate them into hardy and tender categories.
Herbs with soft, pliable leaves (like mint, basil, and cilantro) should be stored like a bouquet of flowers. Trim their stems, put them in a bottom-full glass of water, cover them loosely with a plastic bag, and then you can place them in the fridge, except for basil which should be kept at room temperature. Do not wash the leaves until ready to use them.
Hardy herbs (like rosemary and sage) can stay refrigerated in their plastic boxes, however, they’ll last longer if you wash them, pat them dry, wrap them in paper towels and store them in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge.
3. Stock your fridge like the supermarket
Even with a tiny refrigerator, you can still use some smart grocery tricks. You should put the newer items, like yogurt or eggs, under or behind the older one, so you can easily reach for nearer to expiring foods first while cooking.
Tip: Make frittata! It’s a perfect way to use small quantities of leftover produce, like the half-empty bag of spinach you bought last week.
4. Open up the snacks
You probably know this nutritionists’ trick for easy and healthy snacking, where you wash and cut fruits and vegetables and store them in the refrigerator. Well, you do it with big bags of salty snacks as well.
Unload nuts, popcorn, and trail mix into zip-top bags as soon as they get home from the grocery store, then tuck the bags into places where you know you’ll need them later, such as purses, glove compartments, desks and gym bags.
5. Get the flour out of the bag
Alternative flours are becoming more popular with home bakers (whether they’re following a gluten-free diet or not). Varieties made with brown rice, whole wheat, and even green bananas can be a healthier choice than traditional refined white flour, but they’re likely to spoil more quickly due to oil content, which oxidizes when exposed to air.
It is recommended by experts to store all flours in glass or airtight containers in order to prevent pests. Almost all whole grain flours will last for 1 to 3 months at room temperature or 2 to 6 months in the freezer.
6. Deal with the bags
It’s obviously a good idea to put raw meat, poultry, and fish in a separate plastic bag from your other groceries when you’re at the store (because leaking juices!). Although it may be tempting to reuse those bags at home, just don’t! You should get rid of them in order to stay away from the large amounts of bacteria and to avoid cross-contamination.
Researchers suggest running reusable cloth bags through the washer or hand-washing with detergent to minimize and wipe out the bacteria.