How to stop your fruit and veg rotting

By Imogen Blake for Mail Online

With just a few simple tricks, you can keep your food fresher for longer. Photo / Getty Images
With just a few simple tricks, you can keep your food fresher for longer. Photo / Getty Images

Most of us don't even think twice when we unload our groceries and pile them into the fridge or pantry - but we probably should.

With just a few simple tricks, you can keep your food fresher for longer and stop it going off too quickly - which could save you money in the long run.

From keeping lettuce crisp by storing it in a jar, to keeping onions in brown paper bags, these ingenious hacks are the best way to store your food at home.

Keep onions in paper bags

Keep onions and shallots inside paper bags so they don't sprout or go mouldy. Photo / Getty Images
Keep onions and shallots inside paper bags so they don't sprout or go mouldy. Photo / Getty Images

Onion likes dark, cool places which are also well-ventilated. Keep yours from sprouting roots and going mouldy without the expense of buying storage boxes with just a few paper bags.

Holepunch or stab a few holes into as many bags as you're going to use, and then keep different types of onion, such as white and red, separate, says This Yummy Life.

Label the bags so you know what's inside.

If you're tempted to swap paper for plastic, don't: storing them in plastic bags will make them go off even quicker.

Put lettuce in a jar

Keep your lettuce leaves in a mason jar for maximum crisp and dryness. Photo / Getty Images
Keep your lettuce leaves in a mason jar for maximum crisp and dryness. Photo / Getty Images

There are several tricks circulating the Internet about how to keep lettuce leaves crisp and dry.

Some say keeping a couple of paper towels on top before wrapping a bowl of leaves in clingfilm will keep them fresh, while others recommend putting them in a freezer bag.

But a new method doing the rounds suggests putting your leaves into an airtight mason jar.

This Grandma Is Fun tested all three techniques - and found that storing them in a jar kept them freshest for longest.

Store onion with avocado

There is a debate as to whether or not keeping the brown pit inside a sliced avocado actually stops it from browning any faster.

But The Kitchn says there's another way: keeping a fresh slice of onion next to a cut avocado instead.

The sulphur that the onion releases stops the avocado from oxidising and therefore turning brown, it's claimed.

It also works for guacamole, allegedly.

Keep peanut butter upside down

Last month, a new hack swept the web, which claims to prevent jars of natural peanut butter from splitting, leaving a layer of oil on top.

Save yourself the trouble of stirring it every time - not to mention money if you tend to throw your jars out when this happens - by simply keeping the jar upside down.

It will keep the oil inside the mixture from separating, says Pure Wow.

Chop off pineapple tops

Cut the greenery off your pineapple before storing it upside down. Photo / Getty Images
Cut the greenery off your pineapple before storing it upside down. Photo / Getty Images

Cut the leafy tops off your pineapple and store it upside down.

This helps redistribute the sugars that sink to the bottom during shipping and keeps it fresh for longer.

Rub cheese with oil

Rubbing your block of cheese in oil, and then storing in an airtight freezer bag will keep it from hardening. Photo / Getty Images
Rubbing your block of cheese in oil, and then storing in an airtight freezer bag will keep it from hardening. Photo / Getty Images

Hate the way your block of cheddar hardens after the packet's been opened?

Instead, unwrap the cheese as soon as you've bought it, rub it in oil, and then store in an airtight freezer bag, says WikiHow.

That way it won't harden and you won't have to buy a new packet and waste food.

Freeze egg yolks separately

Using a recipe that requires the egg white but not the yolk, or vice versa?

Instead of chucking the other part away, save yourself time by freezing it instead, advises Fabulous Farm Girl.

They're then ready for cooking as soon as you want them.

Eventually, you can build up a store of frozen whites and yolks - meaning you won't have to change your meal plan off if you suddenly find you're out of fresh eggs.

Freeze tomato puree

Recipes often only call for a tablespoon of tomato puree at most - but most tubes need to be used up within a couple of weeks once opened.

Save yourself the expense of buying another packet by freezing leftover paste in your ice cube tray, says Cooking Light.

It can then be added to a hot saucepan from frozen when you next need it.

Keep sugar soft with marshmallows

Keep a marshmallow inside your jar of brown sugar, as the moisture of the sweet stops it from drying out. Photo / Getty Images
Keep a marshmallow inside your jar of brown sugar, as the moisture of the sweet stops it from drying out. Photo / Getty Images

Fed up with brown sugar going hard after a packet's been opened?

Keep it soft by storing it in an airtight jar, and popping a marshmallow in with it, says Food 52.

The moisture in the marshmallow will stop the sugar from drying out and going hard.

A terracotta disc works well too.

Freeze herbs

Freeze leftover herbs in ice cube trays to retain their freshness. Photo / Getty Images
Freeze leftover herbs in ice cube trays to retain their freshness. Photo / Getty Images

Freeze leftover herbs in ice cube trays to retain their freshness.

Just place the chopped herbs in an ice cube tray, fill with water and place them in the freezer.

When you're ready to use, just pop as many cubes as you need into your cooking and the water will evaporate, leaving you with fresh herbs every time.

You can also freeze them mixed into olive oil or butter to save even more time.

Tape ends of bananas

If you've bought a bunch, it's hard to eat all of them before a few turn brown.

But Box Your Lunch say that if you tape the banana stumps, then this will keep them yellow and ripe for longer.

Wrap celery and carrots in foil

Store fresh, raw, peeled carrots in a plastic bag - with as much oxygen squeezed out as possible - or aluminum foil in the fridge.

If they're stored like this with limited oxygen, they will last up to two weeks.

It works for celery too - ethylene, a natural vapour that causes celery to ripen, will escape from the vegetable, keeping it fresher.

Store apples with potatoes

Put a couple of apples in with your potatoes in a ventilated bag as the same gases from the apple will keep the potatoes from sprouting. Photo / Getty Images
Put a couple of apples in with your potatoes in a ventilated bag as the same gases from the apple will keep the potatoes from sprouting. Photo / Getty Images

The same vapour will spoil other fruits much faster than apples, so keep the fruit out of the fruit bowl.

Instead, store it in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Save a couple to put in with your potatoes in a ventilated bag as the same gases from the apple will keep the potatoes from sprouting.

Bananas should also be kept away from other fruits, as they cause them to ripen much more quickly than they would otherwise.

Put spring onions in a water bottle

To stop spring onions turning brown prematurely, chop them up into small pieces ready for use and freeze them in an empty water bottle.
To stop spring onions turning brown prematurely, chop them up into small pieces ready for use and freeze them in an empty water bottle.

To stop spring onions turning brown prematurely, chop them up into small pieces ready for use and freeze them in an empty water bottle.

When you need them for a stir fry, stew or anything else, shake out what you need and return the rest to the freezer.

Pour leftover wine into ice cube tray

Wine doesn't last forever - especially after you've opened a bottle.

To make the most of a bottle, freeze leftover liquid into an ice cube tray to use for cooking, says DIY Home Sweet Home.

When you next come to cook with a recipe that needs a slosh of wine, simply drop a cube or two in the pan and it will melt instantly.

Bunch asparagus

If you've been keeping asparagus in the fridge, there's a novel method you wouldn't have thought to try.

Wrap damp paper towels around the bases of your asparagus or put them upright in a glass with about an inch of water so that they look like a bouquet.

This keeps them hydrated and slows down wilting.

- Daily Mail

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