Food preservation is all the rage these days. Many of us have become conscious of food waste both in terms of the environmental impact it causes and the hit to our own wallets from buying food that’s just going to get thrown away. Luckily there are lots of different ways of preserving food and making it last that little bit longer. In this article, we go through some key foods and learn how to extend their shelf life with some handy food preservation tips.
How to keep bananas fresh
Bananas make a tasty and nutritious snack, but they’re not so nice when they turn brown and over-ripe. Here are a few ways to keep them fresher for longer:
- Leave them in a bunch rather than separating out.
- Remove the outer plastic bag if they came in one.
- Hang them up to avoid bruising and replicate how they’re stored in nature.
- If you don’t have anywhere to hang them, place in a bowl – the curved edge matches the curve of the banana and reduces bruising.
- Keep at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate after.
- Store them next to other unripe fruit.
How to keep lettuce fresh
Got tasty lettuce and looking forward to healthy meals for the next few days? Here’s how to keep salad fresh:
- Wash the lettuce after buying it (even if it’s been prewashed).
- Remove any damaged leaves.
- Dry thoroughly with a paper towel (use a salad spinner if you have one).
- Put in storage container wrapped in a dry paper towel.
- Store in the lowest drawer of your fridge.
- Check the lettuce every 48 hours.
- Replace the paper towel whenever it seems to be getting damp.
- Remove any leaves that go bad.
How to keep strawberries fresh
What about strawberries? These are tasty in everything from cakes to cereal, but what's the secret of how to keep fruit fresh?
- After bringing them home from the store wash in vinegar to remove any bacteria.
- Rinse thoroughly with water.
- Dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel.
- Cut off the stems.
- Place in an airtight container.
- Check regularly and immediately remove any strawberries that are going off.
Of course, these are only three different food items, but you can start to build up a picture of the key principles when it comes to food preservation: removing bacteria, storing at the right temperature, and avoiding co-storage with things that are going off. Whatever food you want to stay fresh, following these tips is a good first step!