While storing fruits, vegetables and spices we are not always aware how long these important culinary ingredients can remain fresh. To increase the shelf life of foods and spices, we should follow the right storage strategy.
Refrigerating fruits and vegetables
To preserve the taste and freshness of fruits and vegetables we usually stash them in the refrigerator. However, this simple rule of storage is not applicable to all types of fruits and vegetables. Your refrigerator is not the ideal place to store the tropical fruits and vegetables. If you want to preserve the freshness and appearance of bananas, mangoes and avocados, don’t keep them in the refrigerator. Tropical fruits and vegetables usually do not have a long shelf life. You should try to replenish their supply within two to three days after you bring these fruits and veggies home.
Do not store all fruits and vegetables together. Fruits such as peaches, apricots, pears and nectarines emit natural gases that tend to ripen other fruits and vegetables. While storing your fruits and vegetables, keep these fruits separate from other vegetables and fruits.
Storing leafy vegetables
If stored improperly, leafy vegetables could perish easily. You should rinse the leaves, drain the water and wrap them with a kitchen paper. Store the leafy vegetables in a shallow container and chill them.
Using aluminum foil
We often use aluminum foil to drape fruits and vegetables. However, wrapping citrus fruit slices, cabbages and tomatoes with aluminum foil could adversely affect their flavor.
We often believe that spices can last for a long period. However, even the dried herbs and spices have their specific shelf life, beyond which they lose their natural flavor. Always store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dry and dark spot, away from heat and sunlight. Paprika and cayenne pepper, despite their long shelf life, are susceptible to flour beetle and meal moth attack. To prevent bug attack store your red colored spices n the refrigerator. With proper storage method, dried herbs such as oregano, basil and parsley can last up to three years. Whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorn might last up to five years. You can preserve ground spices for two to three years.