Boost your food's shelf life
Teri Gault shows off her technique for testing an egg's freshness.
There’s nothing more frustrating — and expensive — than stocking your fridge and finding that before you know it, everything’s gone bad.
Luckily, Teri Gault, founder and CEO of TheGroceryGame.com, provided us with simple tricks that will ensure your produce, dairy and meat stay fresh for longer.
Buy whole spices, such as cumin seeds and black pepper, and grind them yourself. Whole spices last longer than ground ones — three to five years — and taste fresher, too.
Gault suggested freezing fresh herbs, such as rosemary and basil in a resealable plastic bag. Frozen herbs will last one to three months. Extra tip: Take the air out of the bag before freezing.
Take lettuce out of its plastic bag and take the twisty tie off. Keep the head wrapped in a dish towel in the produce drawer (so it doesn’t get too cold). It should last up to two weeks. Extra tip: Wash the leaves as you use them, not when you put the lettuce away.
Make sure they’re dry before storing them in an air-free plastic bag in the fridge’s produce drawer. Gault said she also likes to pull individual grapes off their stem and place them in the freezer, turning them into a cold, refreshing snack.
Milk lasts twice as long in glass than it does in a carton or plastic bottle because glass is not permeable, Gault said. Store it in a glass pitcher with a top.
Many supermarkets will sell fruit that’s a bit too ripe for a lower cost. Gault suggested buying, washing and freezing ripe fruit, and then using it to make breads, cakes or smoothies later.
Gault advised against keeping eggs in a door tray, because that’s not the coldest place in the fridge. Instead, she said, keep them in a carton toward the back of the fridge — the coldest part — and they’ll be good for three to five weeks. Added tip: To determine an egg’s freshness, place it in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats it’s not.
If you’re afraid your tomatoes are on the verge of going bad, throw them into boiling water (peeled or unpeeled) and, once cooked, put them into ice-cube trays. You can use them later for sauce or as baby food.
Fish that sits in its own juices smells and tastes fishy. To keep fish fresher in the fridge, dry it off, wrap it in paper towels, put it in a resealable plastic bag and change the towels every 12 hours. Fish treated this way will stay fresh for up to five days, Gault said.
Gault's freezing facts:
Ground meat will last for three to four months in the freezer. Steak, cutlets and other kinds of meat will last about six months.
The trick for freezing bread is to make sure the package has no holes and is tied tightly at the top.
Fried foods, such as mozzarella sticks, won’t lose their crispness in the freezer the way they will in the fridge.