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More Tips on Storing Food

Store it Right

Get tips to help you store food, freeze food, and save money on groceries.

Store It Right

Proper storage will save you lots of money, ensure food safety and keep foods tasting great.  Follow these tips for keeping fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits longer.

In The Refrigerator:

  • The coldest part of your refrigerator is the lowest—the crisper drawer.  Most vegetables should be stored there, usually in plastic bags.

  • Don’t wash vegetables before refrigerating them.  Water can remove that natural protective layer that keeps vegetables fresh.

  • Don’t refrigerate garlic, shallots, whole uncut winter squash or potatoes.  Instead store in a cool, dry place with minimal light.

  • Leafy vegetables with stems intact, the way arugula is often sold, should be stored with wet paper towels wrapped around the stems, in plastic bags or wrap.

  • Whole heads of lettuce will generally keep longer than loose leafy greens.

  • Tomatoes or avocados should be ripened on your kitchen counter until they are very ripe, and then eaten as soon as possible.

  • Peppers and mushrooms last longer in paper bags in the crisper.

  • Since fruit is often sold unripe, it is often good to let fruit ripen at room temperature.  You can speed up the ripening process by placing the fruit in a brown paper bag, turning the bag every day.  Adding an apple to the bag will further hasten ripening.

  • Bananas can be stored at room temperature until very ripe.  Then the banana should be refrigerated.  The skin will turn black, but the banana itself will be fine for a few days.

  • Most ripe fruits should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or a sealed container.


In The Freezer:

  • Freezing works well for many foods, but the following don’t freeze well: soft cheeses, cooked pasta, fried foods, hard-boiled eggs, garlic, mayonnaise and milk-based sauces.

  • Foods must be stored in tightly sealed containers or wrapping.

  • Be sure to write the date that you froze any food on the wrapping or on freezer tape.

  • To freeze raw vegetables, plunge briefly into boiling water to set the color, then quickly plunge  them into ice water to stop cooking.  Dry the vegetables well, pack them in freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as you can, and seal tightly.

  • Herbs (other than basil) freeze well, but they should then be used as ingredients in a recipe, not as a garnish.

  • To freeze herbs, wash them, pat or spin them dry and arrange them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Freeze them, then transfer them into labeled, sealed containers.  You can use the herbs straight out of the freezer.

Get the Most from Bulk Bins

Buying food from bulk bins can mean big savings.  Food sold in bulk is often cheaper than food sold in small portions, especially if you go for grains, rice, dried beans, nuts, seeds and pasta.  You can also buy exactly the portion you need, which is perfect when you only want a little of something, like a few tablespoons of pine nuts to make pesto or a new grain you want to try.  When stored in a cool, dry place, most grains can last up to a year.  In the freezer, they can last up to two years.  Whole grains can last up to a year.  In the freezer, they can last up to two years.  Whole grains containing oil can become rancid and must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and will last for up to six months.  These grains include barley, brown rice, bulgur, kasha, whole-grain cornmeal, wheat germ and whole-wheat flour.

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1 - 10 of 13 Comments Previous  1 2  Next 
JoyHere said: Posted: 9/5/2014 11:44 AM
What is the chemical reaction? I froze an entire head of garlic and defrosted it. All the cloves turned black.
 
Gojanie said: Posted: 11/23/2013 8:27 PM
What is the shelf life of BC decorating cupcake icing that comes in the aerosol can?
 
Karen_at_Betty_Crocker said: Posted: 2/12/2013 3:15 PM
Many of you asked about freezing brownies, bars and cookies. You can freeze baked brownies, bars and cookies tightly wrapped for up to one year. Cooky dough can also be frozen for up to one year.
 
holymolly said: Posted: 12/21/2012 11:37 AM
Is it safe to use augratin potato mix with exp.date 2 2011
 
jerryg04 said: Posted: 8/25/2012 7:57 AM
can you make bisquick biscuits and freeze them raw.And pull them out later to bake.And do you have to let them thaw out first.
 
RJGramie52 said: Posted: 7/24/2012 9:19 PM
I made a blueberry cobbler; should I put the leftover in the fridge or will the cobbler be alright left out and covered?
 
inst10 said: Posted: 4/16/2012 5:39 PM
I just wondered how long you could keep egg salad refrigerated before it spoils?
 
g-kids said: Posted: 2/20/2012 10:29 AM
i have a sandwich recipe using sliced acocado. how do i store the avocado for using the following days.
 
spreynolds said: Posted: 12/13/2011 2:01 PM
On the recipe cards...it would be helpful to know the best storage and freezing applications for all the holiday cookies I've been making.
 
3 Generations said: Posted: 11/15/2011 7:43 AM
Can your brownie and bars be frozen and for how long.
 
1 - 10 of 13 Comments Previous  1 2  Next 
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