Make fresh food last longer

We’re all guilty of wasting food from time to time. These fresh food storage hacks will help you to reduce your waste and save money on groceries.

fresh salad on a kitchen work surface

Salad

Avoid wilting and help your salad survive longer by transferring leaves to a bowl, putting a couple of sheets of kitchen paper over the top and then sealing with cling film. This will stop the leaves from getting damp and should prolong their life by a few days.

There seems to be a sweet spot of about 3 hours in which an avocado is perfectly ripe before it starts going bad. How can you tell at what stage your avocado is at? First, you should do it by the firmness of the avocado – if it feels mushy, it’s already gone, but if it feels really firm, it’s probably under-ripe. If it seems about right, you can take out the stalk and see what colour it is underneath. If it’s nice and green, it’s probably ready to eat! Any brown is a bad sign.

fresh vegetables on a kitchen work surface

Vegetables

Use spring onions but find you throw them out quite frequently? Chop them up when they’re fresh and freeze inside an empty water bottle. Keep them in the freezer and just pour out what you need, when you need them.

Treat asparagus and herbs a bit like flowers and they’ll stay fresh for longer. Store them upright in a glass or mason-jar with an inch of water to keep them hydrated, or wrap damp paper towels around the bases.

Another way you can use herbs in your cooking is by chopping them up and freezing them with a little water in an ice cube tray. Use as many ‘herb cubes’ as needed for your recipe!

Finally, you can extend the freshness of carrots and celery but two whole weeks with a little preparation. Just wrap raw, peeled carrots in aluminium foil and store in the fridge.

fresh fruit in fruit baskets on kitchen work surface

Fruit

If you’re storing berries don’t wash them first, as the dampness encourages bacteria growth.

Keep bananas separate from other fruits and vegetables, they give off ethylene gas that acts like a ripening hormone on other produce, which will ripen them quicker but also make them spoil faster.

Apples, pears, mangoes and melons will continue to ripen if left out on a countertop but grapes, lemons, limes, oranges and berries won’t last long outside of the cold of the fridge.

Fruits with stones like nectarines and mangoes should ripen in a fruit bowl and then be moved to the fridge once soft enough to eat to help preserve them.