Meat-eaters try plant-based food for the first time

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Whether you’re on a budget or you’re on a mission to reduce food waste, storing food well will definitely help. From wilted lettuce to mouldy bread, there are some genius tricks you can use to preserve your food for much longer than what’s listed on the item, and here are 18 of them.

Hang bananas on a hook and well away from other produce

You can keep bananas yellow for as many as 10 days by keeping them on a hook and storing them away from other fruit. Gary Ellis, Director at CE Safety said: “Bananas emitting ethylene gas is what turns them brown, so in theory to keep them ripe, you should prevent the gas from travelling down and around the fruit.”

When stored around other fruits that also release a lot of ethylene, it’ll speed up the ripening process and your bananas will turn brown quicker.

To preserve them even longer, wrap a bit of clingfilm around the individual stalks to trap the ethylene near the top of the banana. Read more here.

Cut holes in the bread bag and store it in the fridge

By cutting a few holes in the bread bag and storing it in the fridge, it’s been proven to extend the lifespan by as many as three weeks.

Frakking Creations on Youtube explained: “When you make small cuts into the bag, the bread will slowly dry out, so you can adjust how many holes you cut to prevent the bread from drying out too much, not enough to mould and by doing this, the bread lasts longer than what you would normally expect.”

The hack works because the cold temperature of the fridge reduces the moisture, which slows the chance of mould growing – but you need to find the right balance of aeration. Read more, here.

Wrap hard cheese in clingfilm

Take your hard cheese out of waxed cheese paper and instead, wrap it up in clingfilm and store it in the back of the fridge to keep it mould and sweat-free for longer.

Sarah Taylor, food hygiene expert at High Speed Training told “Because of this low moisture content, hard cheeses are better wrapped in clingfilm rather than in waxed cheese paper (or baking parchment), as the paper will allow the air through, and the cheese will dry out.”

Find out more, here.

Store cucumbers in a bit of water with some bicarbonate of soda

Stop cucumbers from going mushy by storing them in an airtight container with a bit of water and some bicarbonate of soda.

Alice Beer, Consumer Expert on This Morning explained: “Bicarbonate of soda alkalises the mould on the outside of the skin.”

If, not, always remove the plastic film and place them in an airtight container on top of a dry paper towel. Click here to find out more.

Keep potatoes in a dry, dark place – not in the fridge!

Always store potatoes in a dry, dark, and humid space, like a drawer or cupboard, to keep them fresher for longer, and avoid the fridge at all costs.

Mike from Kitchen Tips Online said: “Cold temperatures cause the starch in the potato to turn to sugar and it breaks down the potato’s cellular structure.” Read more, here.

Squeeze some lemon juice over avocado flesh and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge

To preserve an avocado for as many as 12 days, it’s all about timing.

Perfectly time just when you put it in the fridge and with the half you haven’t used, you can stop oxidising too quickly by adding some lemon juice to the flesh side of it. For full steps and guidance, click here.

Separate grapes and store them in water in an airtight container

Separate grapes from the stem and store them in water in an airtight container.

According to a TikTok hack, this can keep grapes firm for as much as one month.

For grapes that have gone mushy, pop them in the freezer or blend them up into a smoothie.

To read more about this, as well as why you should never wash grapes as soon as you buy them without planning on eating them immediately, click here.

Keep bell peppers in an airtight container

Keep bell peppers fresh and firm for five weeks by storing them in the fridge inside an airtight container.

This will help reduce the moisture and stop it from deteriorating from the outside in.

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Store onions in a cool, dark, and dry place

Onions like cool, dry, well-ventilated spaces so always aim to store these in a cupboard or an open space.

Steer clear from the fridge, as this can send them mushy as they absorb moisture pretty quickly.

Also, keep them well away from potatoes, as the ethylene gas they emit can spoil onions quickly. Read more.

Move strawberries to an airtight container with a paper towel

Strawberries tend to go pretty mushy quite quickly when left in the supermarket container they come in.

To prevent this and extend their shelf life by as many as three weeks, remove them from the original packaging and place them in an airtight container on top of a paper towel to absorb any moisture.

Find out more, here.

Keep tomatoes in the fridge

To make tomatoes last longer, always store them in the fridge and away from certain fruits and vegetables that release ethylene gas.

Sophie Nahmad, Chef at Gousto explained: “As a rule of thumb, bananas, apples, mangos, and avocados should all be kept away from tomatoes to stop over-ripening.” Read more, here.

Store carrots in an open ziplock bag in the crisper drawer

An experiment carried out by Mike from Kitchen Tips Online found that by storing carrots in an open Ziploc bag in the crisper drawer of a fridge, it kept the carrots “firm and sweet-tasting as they had been two weeks prior.” Read more, here.

Wrap celery in tinfoil to keep it crunchy for up to four weeks

Wrap your celery tightly in aluminium foil and store it in the coldest part of your fridge to preserve it well after its listed shelf life.

The foil works to protect the celery from ethylene gas released by other fruits and vegetables. Click here to find out more.

Keep lettuce fresh for up to 30 days by wrapping it up in tinfoil

There’s nothing worse than opening a fridge to wilted and limp lettuce.
However, DIY hack expert Armen Adamjan found that wrapping it up in aluminium foil can preserve lettuce for up to one month. Find out more, here.

Freeze milk in an ice cube tray to keep it fresh for as long as six months

Food photographer and TikToker Jess Moses found that by pouring milk into an ice cube tray and freezing it before it goes bad, it can keep milk fresh for as long as six months.

Dispense the ice cube tray into a sandwich bag once frozen to make more.

Jess said: “This milk hack is going to change your life.”

“It’s as easy as that. You freeze it before it goes bad if you’re not going to finish it in time!”

Find out more about the trick, here.

Keep herbs in a jar of fresh water, like flowers

You can keep herbs fresh for weeks by removing them from the plastic supermarket wrapping and putting them in a jar of fresh water, just like you’d do for flowers.

And to keep them even longer, place a ziplock bag over the top of them.

By doing this, Consumer expert Alice Beer said: “you control the environment, control the moisture, you control the oxidation and they will last for a month.” Read more, here.

Wrap cream cheese in tin foil and store an airtight container in the centre of the fridge

To keep cream cheese fresh for longer, it’s key to keep it free from as much extra moisture as possible.

It’s been found that wrapping the cheese in tin foil and keeping it in an airtight container in the middle of the fridge, not the door, is where it should be kept to preserve it longer.

You should also be careful not to use utensils contaminated with other foods to spread it. This will prevent third-party bacteria from festering. Find out more, here.

Soak old vegetables in water overnight to revive them

You can use this hack for vegetables with reduced labels too, but by soaking slightly witling vegetables in water overnight, it’s said to bring them back to life again. Find out more about the tip, here.

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