How long your groceries last depends on how well you store them. If you find yourself constantly throwing out food that has gone bad overnight, it could be because you are not properly storing them.
Blame it on convenience, family habits that aren’t normal, or personal preference. Whatever the reason, there’s a good chance you’re wasting your food (and money) by storing these food items wrong. Let’s look at the 7 top items that you might be storing incorrectly.
1. Berries Don’t Belong In Plastic
Berry are among the most perilous foods. One minute, they’re juicy and delicious. The next minute, they’re shapeless and moldy.
You can be held responsible ThatAvoid plastic packaging. Extend your berries’ freshness up to a week (that’s a century in berry years) by storing them in sealed mason jars.
I can attest to this being a game-changer.
2. Cold-pressed and infused oils need to be cold
Many people, myself included, store oil where it’s easily accessible—by the sink, stove, in a nearby cupboard. Oil can become rancid from heat and light over time.
Refrigeration can be a convenient way to extend shelf life for certain oils. For others, it’s necessary. High-fat oils such as coconut, palm, and oil can withstand cold or dry storage.
Cold-pressed oils such as olive, sunflower, canola and canola are however more delicate. These oils should be kept in the refrigerator. They might thicken or get cloudy when cold, but they’ll return to normal at room temperature within 20-30 minutes.
Infused oil should be AlwaysKeep it refrigerated. This is because cold temperatures slow down the growth of microbes in oil.
3. Avocados should always be on the counter
Avocados can become overripe if they are not properly viewed. It can be tempting to put avocados in the fridge to slow down their ripening.
But doing so will freeze the avocado’s ripening process. The avocado will stay where it was during its ripening period before you put them in the fridge.
This is great when you have avocados at peak ripeness that you don’t plan on eating that day. Keeping them cool will extend the fruits’ life for another day or two until you get to them.
But, if you place a not-yet-ripe avocado on the counter, it will result in a hard, unpalatable avocado paperweight. Let them do what they want on the counter.
4. Bread’s Spot Depends On Your Lifestyle (I Vote Fridge)
The verdict is still out on whether bread should be kept in the fridge or on the counter. Both can have valid arguments. By slowing down the growth of mold, refrigeration keeps your loaf fresher for longer.
However, bread kept in the refrigerator tends to dry out. This is especially noticeable if the bread is not cooked for sandwiches.
The taste of toasted bread from the fridge and the counter is the same. Though, you’ll need to cook the latter a few seconds longer.
If you are planning to go through a full loaf of bread in half a day, keep it in your bread box. You can keep your bread in the fridge if it is going to be used for longer than one week.
5. Nuts Must Go in the Fridge
Nuts contain high levels of unsaturated fats, similar to cold-pressed oils. This makes them less stable, and more susceptible to spoilage from heat and light.
Rancid nuts are disgusting no matter how you slice them. These tasty snacks should be kept in the refrigerator. The fridge protects nuts and seeds from heat and light.
This will make your nuts taste fresher, more flavorful and less bitter.
6. Keep your hot sauce hot
It’s common to store most of our condiments like ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing in the fridge. Hot sauce should be the same if all condiments are kept in the fridge.
Wrong—hot sauce is chock full of vinegar, which prevents it from spoiling on the shelf. Hot sauce might change color over time, but that doesn’t mean it’s spoiling.
With age, garlic and chili peppers become darker. Their flavors become more complex and the spice level rises with age. Keeping hot sauce in the fridge can dampen the peppers’ effect, resulting in a milder sauce.
7. Peanut Butter belongs in the Fridge
Peanut butter is a combination of two food items that are already on this list: oil, and nuts. It’s unsurprising, then, that this creamy (or crunchy) spread lasts the longest in the fridge.
To its credit, “normal” peanut butter, which contains sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil, does okay on the shelf. It contains stabilizers, which prevent peanut oil and butter separating for six month. “Natural” peanut butter, however, does not contain these stabilizers. It contains just two ingredients–peanuts and salt.
Natural peanut butter should be refrigerated for this reason. Peanut butter that is refrigerated keeps its texture and flavor longer.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have the PB next to the J in the fridge.
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