These 21 tricks will help keep food fresh longer

It happens to everyone. You're feeling inspired at the grocery store and stock up on fruits and vegetables and other fresh ingredients, fully intending to cook a week's worth of healthy, gourmet meals. And then, sapped of energy at the end of each long workday, you just can't be bothered and order delivery. The next thing you know, all those lovely ingredients are lining the bottom of your garbage bin because they've all gone bad.

Well, it doesn't have to be that way. These 21 handy tricks will help you keep those key ingredients around for longer. So now, when you have the time and the inspiration, everything you need to whip up a healthy, homemade meal will be right at hand!

1. Onions

Tie a knot between every onion with a pair of nylon stockings. The onions will last for months because they're in fresh air and not squashed against each other. 

 2. Potatoes and apples 

Store potatoes with a few apples to keep the potatoes from sprouting.

3. Berries

When you buy fresh berries, soak them in a bowl with water and vinegar (ratio 9:1) and then drain them in a sieve and let dry. This kills off any microorganisms and makes the berries last longer. 

4. Honey

A tightly sealed glass jar stored in a cool area will provide honey with a long shelf life. Actually, the sweet nectar is considered one of the longest lasting foods in the world.

5. Milk

Milk can be frozen and then defrosted before use. This helps it last up to three months.

6. Eggs

Eggs can also be frozen. Simply crack them into an ice cube tray with a little salt or sugar (this prevents them from becoming grainy) and use as needed.

7. Sauce

Leftover sauce is another good candidate for freezing. Place in a storage bag in the freezer. After an hour, the sauce should be solid enough (but not too solid) so that you can use the back of a knife to separate it into individual portions. 

8. Herbs

Keep freshly picked herbs at hand by freezing them in a little olive oil. Then they last for ages!

9. Bananas

Wrap banana stems in cling wrap and they'll brown much more slowly. 

10. Celery and broccoli

These vegetables last much longer and remain crunchy if stored in the fridge wrapped in aluminium foil.

11. Vegetables

If you're not going to get around to using your veggies while they're still fresh, blanching them before freezing will ensure that they remain crisp.

12. Lettuce

Lettuce lasts longer when wrapped in a paper towel because the extra moisture won't cause it to wilt — instead it's soaked up by the paper towel. 

13. Apples

Apples generally last for a longer time than other fruits. But did you know that in the fridge, they can last up to six months? Just be sure to leave a bit of space between apples.

14. Carrots

Carrots will last forever if stored in the dark in sand.

15. Ground beef

With the same method as used for sauce, you can freeze and portion left over ground beef. Or just freeze in sandwich bag size portions and roll flat. The meat will thaw out much more quickly when you're suddenly in the mood for a juicy burger!

16. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese lasts twice as long when it's stored upside down! 

17. Instead of Tupperware 

Instead of plastic containers, store your food in glass jars. It lasts much longer.

18. Cheese

Store your cheese in special, grease-proof paper. It lasts longer and won't sweat.

19. Pineapple

Remove the crown and stand the pineapple on its head. It'll make the pineapple enjoyable for longer.

20. Spring onions

Leave spring onions to grow by placing them in water. When you need them, they'll be fresh and crisp. You can even grow completely new onions from the bulbs. 

21. Cake

Cake will last much longer when protected by pieces of white bread. This removes the moisture from the surrounding air and at the same time prevents the cake from drying out where it's been cut. Just use some toothpicks to hold the bread in place.

Now that you know how, you can make your food last so much longer. So there's no excuse. Fresh ingredients at the ready, let's get cooking!

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