When it comes to fresh food, temperature, ethylene gas, and airflow are the most important things to keep in mind. Some foods are best stored in cold temperatures, while others thrive at room temperature. Different foods need to be stored in different ways, and these three elements play a big role in keeping them fresh. Ethylene gas is something that is naturally released by some fruits that quickens the ripening process. It is also known as the “Ripening Hormone”. Apples, bananas, melons, and peaches are ethylene producers. Hence, to help these fruits stay fresh for longer, you need to control the production of ethylene gas. Cling wrap is one of the most efficient ways to preserve the freshness of foods because of its ability to contain ethylene gas.
Here are some tips you can use to keep your food fresh:
Keep Bananas Fresh With Cling Wrap
Bananas don’t normally stay fresh for a long time. In a few days, you will see them turn brown and soft, and probably inedible. This is because in the open air they produce high amounts of ethylene gas fast. In order to prevent this, you can wrap the top stem with cling wrap. It will help the banana to stay fresh for much longer, and it will prevent causing other fruits to ripen too quickly as well.
Keep Potatoes in a Dry Place
Potatoes tend to sprout if they are in a place with access to moisture. Sprouting results in a loss of nutrient value. Hence, it’s best to store them in a dry place, at room temperature. Cooler temperatures can turn the starch into sugar, causing them to spoil faster. It is also important to store them away from any fruits that produce ethylene gas, like apples, bananas, etc.
Wash Strawberries in Water and Vinegar
Vinegar has the power to keep strawberries fresh while destroying any harmful bacteria present in them. All you need to do is soak the strawberries with equal amounts of water and vinegar for 5 minutes, and then rinse them with water. After that, you can dry them with a paper towel and leave them in a bowl. The strawberries should stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Tomatoes and Cucumbers
Cucumbers need to stay dry and they need air circulation. Like potatoes, they should be stored away from any ethylene gas-producing fruit. Both cucumbers and tomatoes are high in water content, hence they are sensitive to cold temperatures. They tend to wilt and decay if the temperatures are too cold.
Tomatoes should never be stored in the fridge. The best way to store them is with their stem facing down, on paper towels. Cucumbers on the other hand should be stored in a fridge where the temperature is not too cold. If you have used only half a cucumber, you can wrap the other half with cling wrap on the sliced side.
Don’t wash Bell Peppers Immediately
Bell peppers will normally last between 1-2 weeks in the fridge. However, if you wash them immediately and put them in the fridge they will become soft and slimy and lose their crispness. Hence, it is best to wash them right before using them.
Bonus Tip! Keep Cheese Fresh with Parchment Paper
All of us have faced that problem where our cheese becomes too hard once opened and stored in the fridge. You can prevent this with the use of parchment paper! Just wrap the cheese with a piece of parchment paper and put it in a partly sealed plastic bag. This will ensure that your cheese stays soft for a longer time.
Trying to keep our fruits and vegetables fresh can become a game of strategy. There are so many things to consider, from temperature to ethylene gas. If you are the type of person who hates wasting food, these tips will surely help you make the most of everything in your kitchen.