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April 09, 2018

Healthy Cooking Tips (Part 2): Food Storage Basics

In our recent Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning post, we set you up with some tips to get started on the right foot with cooking healthy meals at home. Now that you have all the supplies you need, let's make sure all those healthy goodies last as long as possible!

Food Storage Tips and Tricks

Keeping a fridge continuously stocked with fresh and healthy foods can be challenging at first. You will most likely need to plan a few extra trips to the grocery store each month to load up, and keep an eye on items that need to be used quickly.

Here are some tips for keeping your food fresh for longer:

This veggie is made mostly of water, so chop off the ends and store them upright in a sturdy jar of water in the refrigerator. Your celery will last twice as long, and even longer if you refill the water when it gets low.

Fresh Herbs
These also need some water to stay fresh, so store them the same way as celery. The water will need to be refreshed a little more frequently. Designate a special area of your fridge for these items so that they don't get knocked over.

It is best to keep mushrooms in the container they come in, covered in the same perforated plastic wrap (reseal after each use) in the refrigerator. If buying loose mushrooms, refrigerate in a paper bag (not plastic).

Keep these on the counter until they ripen, then store them in the fridge once they begin to give with a gentle squeeze. If only using one half of the avocado, sprinkle the other half with True Lemon before wrapping tightly with plastic wrap to keep it from going brown.

Always store in the fridge to keep them crispy, but if only using half (or slicing ahead of time), sprinkle with True Lemon to prevent browning.

Ever have carrots get rubbery? Us too. Slice off the ends and place carrots in a shallow container, then fill to cover with cold water. Be sure to allow room for them to expand. Place in the fridge overnight and they'll be perky again by morning.

Wash ahead of time and line container or bag with paper towels before putting the lettuce back inside. No more soggy leaves!

Nuts and seeds
Remove any nuts or seeds from the original plastic bags, and store in a glass container or jar in the cupboard. Not only will this help keep any curious critters away, but it will make them easier to see the contents and pour.

Full heads of garlic can be stored on the counter, but one easy trick to make cooking a breeze is to place a bunch of peeled bulbs in the food processor and pulse until chopped. Place in a small container with about a tablespoon of olive oil and store in the refrigerator. It will always be ready to go!

If you've stocked up on good grass-fed meats, keep some of it in the freezer. If planning to cook the next day, place the entire package of meat on a plate and leave it in the fridge overnight. It will be (safely) defrosted by dinnertime. Remember to never defrost and re-freeze. 

Whether vegetarian or not, tofu is great to have on hand for a quick egg scramble in the morning or to add to an easy stir fry. You'll notice that the package you open is filled with water, and this is the best way to store any leftover tofu you aren't going to use. Place tofu in a sealable container and cover with water. Drain and replace with fresh water every couple of days.


Looking for more creative ways to keep your food fresh for longer? Check out these food storage hacks.

In our next post, well go over how to use up all of your leftovers and build deliciously healthy meals. Stay tuned!