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Seven tips to make perishables last longer


Bell peppers - I am I.A.M. Bell peppers must always be stored in plastic bags on refrigerator shelves. Source: I am I.A.M./Flickr

One of the biggest issues with buying in bulk is storage. Whenever we go to buy healthy, a lot of the produce ends up in the dust bin, because of improper storage. To ensure all that effort and money doesn’t go to waste, here are a few tips that will help keep perishables fresh and safe for consumption far longer than they currently stay in your fridge.

For storing butter, the back of your fridge is the coolest place. Chucking the stick of butter in the refrigerator door is surely convenient but the door faces the maximum temperature fluctuation which could end up turning your butter rancid.

Fresh herbs like basil, coriander parsley and good old curry leaves must be stored wrapped in moist newspaper. They’ll stay fresh far longer and will not wilt and dry in the fridge.

Made stir fry but chopped up too much of spring onions or have a couple of sprigs left over? Chop it all and store them in an empty bottle with the lid on – plastic or glass will do nicely.

Pizza_Santi VillamarínNever refrigerate pizza open, the bread and cheese will dry and harden. Source: Santi Villamarín/Flickr

Pizza left over from the previous night’s binge party shouldn’t go in the fridge with the carton. Separate the slices and keep them in a plastic bag, the bread will not resemble cardboard the next morning. Also, heat the slices on the stove after thawing, not in the microwave. Use a skillet or nonstick pan with a lid for this, it will trap the heat as the slices are heating up and help re-melt the cheese without making it all soggy.

The best place to store milk is the middle shelf, right at the back. That’s the coldest part of your fridge and isn’t prone to temperature fluctuation like the door which could lead to spoilage.

Boiled chicken for salad and have the broth left over? Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and leave it in the freezer for days on end. You can thaw and re-use it when making curries or soups, for a flavour-rich, thick consistency.

Veggies like capsicums, bell peppers and beets need not go in the crisper compartment of your fridge. Simply wrap them up in a plastic bag, pepeprs and capsicums will stay for a week while beets will keep for up to two weeks.

Ginger must always be stored unwrapped in the refrigerator shelf, only if it is uncut. Once you’ve cut it, make sure to pack it in a newspaper and then a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator drawer for up to 2 weeks.