While it is so easy to simply dine out at hawker centres for $4 a meal, one could easily tire of eating out all the time. Some of us lament that it is a challenge to meal-prep and cook for a couple because we end up cooking more than we are able to finish. After all, eating leftovers for a few consecutive days can get really old, real fast!
That is why prolonging the shelf life of our fresh produce can help in ensuring that we prepare the right proportion of ingredients for each meal. We would be able to save cost and reduce waste at the same time!
Understanding how your fridge works
Take some time to read through the product catalogue and find out how your fridge model works. As technology advances, each refrigerator compartments have been fine-tuned with airflow circulation patterns to optimise the shelf life of your food as it is being stored. This helps your produce stay cool for longer and help extend its shelf life.
Cut & Freeze Fresh Produce
If you find that you aren’t able to use fresh fruits and vegetables before they are about to go bad, chop them down and freeze them! Placing them into stasher bags, for example, will help portion out what you need for each meal too.
We love to freeze fruits at its ripest, so that it can be used for smoothies or even icy popsicles on a hot day. Non-leafy vegetables such as bell peppers, green beans and broccoli can be similarly frozen. Just remember to give it a quick 2-minute blanch in boiling water and plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps maintain the texture of your produce.
Wrap and Store Leafy Greens
Wrapping leafy greens up in paper towels absorb excess moisture. Place them into plastic bags and store them into the vegetable compartment in your refrigerator. If you feel that it needs a good wash before storage, be sure to lay them out to dry or use a salad spinner. As long as they are dry before you store them in the fridge, you’re good to go!
Store your fresh produce separately
Although most produce tends to keep well in the refrigerator, produce like potatoes, onions and garlic are best left at room temperature. It is good to understand what kind of produce releases ethylene gas, which speeds up the rate of ripening, so that you can keep it separate from those that are sensitive to it. Some produce also do better with air circulation rather than being bagged in plastic bags. To make it easier, we have a chart here to help you out.
What are some of your tips and tricks in prolonging the shelf life of fresh produce? Share with us by commenting on our Instagram page! We love to hear from you.