Did you know that 40% of all food produced in America is wasted? And as bad as this is for the environment, it's also bad for our wallets! No one buys food with the intent to throw it out, but sometimes food goes bad before we can get to it. As I buy new produce I've been taking the time to learn how to best store my food for longevity before putting it away in my fridge. This has helped me create way less food waste and save money too. I am putting this together as a series so that as I learn more ways to properly store food I can keep adding to this, but this is my initial list!
1. Avocados: we all know avocados are tough to keep fresh once they've been opened. But at the same time, how many people are going to singlehandedly eat a whole avocado in one sitting? Now normally I would just eat avocados that had gone a little brown, but they still weren't good for more than a day. Until I ran an experiment and discovered the perfect way to store them! Place your avocado half in the smallest possible container it can fit in and fill the bottom with a layer of lemon juice. Be sure to add the avocado pit into the container as well. Doing this I've found my avocados can stay fresh for 2-3 days!
2. Carrots: Kyle loves to buy a giant bag of carrots to snack on throughout the day. But we are only two people so oftentimes we can't eat all of the carrots before they start to go bad. Until I learned that carrots are actually best stored submerged in water. Now they have lasted for weeks and still look great. I just cut and peeled them and used an old peanut butter jar to store them all in, and then filled with water. I've also seen people chop them up and store them in mason jars as well.
3. Tofu: a few weeks ago I discovered that I actually like tofu! We bought some from our local Korean grocery store and on the package it said it had to be eaten within 3-5 days. Now that isn't a lot of time for two people to consume a huge package of tofu. After opening the package we stored the blocks in a container filled with water and it kept them fresh for about a week which gave us plenty of time to enjoy them!
4. Asparagus: This one was a little more time intensive than the others, although not by much. To properly store any leftover asparagus you need to blanch and freeze it. I thought this would be a lot more complicated from the sounds of it but it was very simple. All you do is bring a pot of salted water to a boil, place the asparagus inside and let boil for 2-4 minutes. When done, you place the asparagus into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Then dry it off and it's ready to freeze!
5. Celery: This is one of my least favorite vegetables. While I like celery when it's in recipes like soups, or my mom's famous clam chowder, it's not something I would ever eat raw on it's own. Kyle is the same way so the first time we bought celery for a recipe it ended up going bad really quickly. Then my mom told me you could chop it up and freeze it, genius! Now anytime we do have to buy celery fresh I make sure to chop it all up at once and it goes straight into the freezer.
What other food storage techniques have you learned? Or are there any fruits and vegetables you would like to see in part 2 of this new series? Comment below!
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.