It has happened to the best of us! You've done your grocery shopping and as you store your new purchases in the refrigerator, you notice leftover purchases such as perished vegetables and fruits, which you have to throw away. The guilt of wasting food follows. With a little bit of planning, this situation can be avoided.
Using fresh ingredients while cooking and making sure that your food stays fresh is very crucial to good health. Food that we consume should be fresh, quick-to-make and delicious. Whether you’re a novice at cooking or can chop vegetables like a chef, it can never hurt to have effective cookery hacks on hand.
Importance of fresh food
Using and consuming fresh food is something that we ought to strive for. Let’s understand the necessity to ensure freshness of produce.
• Health: Fresh produce retains a lot more nutrient value compared to stale foods and processed foods – making it the number one reason to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. The focus on importance of fresh food is primarily due to this reason.
• Flavour, taste, and aroma: Nothing gives more flavour to your dish than fresh ingredients. With time, stale vegetables and fruits, as well as preserved food lose their taste, while those that are fresh provide an authentic taste.
• Money saver: Storing your food well and cutting back on wastages can help save tremendous amounts of money!
Tips to ensure fruits and vegetables stay fresh for longer and to make everyday cooking easier!
Explore these practical tips and keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer:
1. Practice food timing: : Certain fruits and vegetables last longer than others do, so when the week begins, use produce that has a shorter shelf life and leave the others for the end of the week. E.g. bananas, apples, strawberries and mushrooms don’t last as long as tomatoes, potatoes and brinjals.
2. Quick fixes: Make apples last longer in the fridge, by putting a wet paper towel on top of them. Bananas should also be stored in the fridge; don't be alarmed to find black skins, the fruit inside will be fresh! Berries are delicate; avoid stacking them on top of each other, given that they tend to bruise and spoil easily. What’s more, fruits give out ethylene gas that accelerates the ripening process in other fruits and vegetables around them. So, always remember to keep vegetables and fruits separately.
3. Make your paalak, methi, dhaniya last longer: Line your container with paper towels, put the greens in and cover with another paper towel. The paper towel will absorb all the extra moisture from the greens, and keep them from wilting.
4. Store your spices well: Store condiments and spices in tightly sealed, glass containers, in a cool, dark and dry place. Care for your spices and they will ensure that your food has the best flavour each time you sit down to eat! Choose Tata Sampann spice blends that are individually packaged in separate sachets to ensure freshness.
5. Use fresh herbs quickly: To keep your coriander, mint, and basil from rotting in the fridge, add them to some oil and make herb-infused oil.
6. Mushrooms: Stored in plastic wrap, they keep well in the fridge. It's vital to keep them sealed at all times, so ideally store in a zip-lock bag.
Bear in mind the fact that if you want your food to stay longer in the refrigerator, it is necessary to keep your refrigerator clean – no molds and bacteria should grow. These contaminate your fresh produce and cause them to spoil even when stored in the fridge. Do not overcrowd the fridge; overcrowding causes the produce to ripen quickly and start decaying.
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