Natural Ways to Keep Food Fresh

Natural Ways to Keep Food Fresh

Research points to the many benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed foods in order to help maintain a healthy diet, the down side to this is that these foods are generally free of preservatives, consequently they spoil faster. There are, however many natural ways to keep food fresh, whether it be fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, grains, eggs, bread, milk or even cheeses. Most of these methods are normal, common sense things, but there are some that might be surprising to many, all are natural, and they all help with food preservation. Here are some useful tips to help you enjoy the freshest of foods:

Pay close attention to expiration dates when shopping; buy food packages with the latest date printed on it.

Keeping your refrigerator between 38 and 40 degrees F will keep foods the freshest.

There is more temperature fluctuation in the refrigerator door, don’t store highly perishable foods there, especially milk.

Dry vegetables and fruits before storing, and do not store them in plastic bags, which trap the ethylene gas that causes produce to ripen faster.

Meats

In order to remain at the peak of freshness, meat products require plenty of air circulation around them in the refrigerator.

Meat should be kept in its original wrapping in the refrigerator if you will be using it within two days.

Smoked meats like bacon or ham should be wrapped in a vinegar-soaked cloth.

Meat should be wrapped in foil or freezer paper before being placed in the freezer.

Dairy Products

Make sure to put milk back in refrigerator immediately after using.

Always store milk in its original container.

Never store milk in the door; it is where the temperature fluctuates the most.

Before storing ice cream place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface, this will keep it fresher longer.

Store ice cream in the main part of the freezer, not in the freezer door.

Always wrap cheese in plastic or waxed paper before storing it in the deli drawer.

The best way to store eggs is with the pointed side down.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Produce releases ethylene gas as it ripens, while this is perfectly natural it does cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen faster. Some produce is more sensitive to ethylene than others, conversely some fruits and vegetables produce more ethylene than others.

Among the more sensitive are green beans, lettuce, watermelon, carrots, apples, eggplant, broccoli, cucumbers and potatoes.

The high-ethylene producers include pears, cantaloupe, apricots, tomatoes, bananas, plums, avocados, peaches, kiwis, mangoes, papayas and nectarines.

Avoid storing any of the high producers with the more sensitive fruits and vegetables.

Always store bananas on the counter, do not refrigerate them.

Make sure you wash and dry all produce before storing.

Never store produce in plastic bags.

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries should be stored in the plastic container they came in, keep them in the rear of the refrigerator.

Baked Products

If you will not use bread within a week, first slice it and then freeze it, from there you can remove slices as you need them.

Fresh bread should be stored in a dark, cool and dry pantry.

To keep pound cake and banana bread fresher always cut slices from the middle, after you take a slice push the two ends together so that you still have a loaf, this way there are no cut ends to go stale!

Store cake with half an apple in the container, it will stay moist substantially longer.

Store cookies in an airtight container or jar with a slice of bread, this will help keep them softer.

A great way to help keep food fresh is a revolutionary breakthrough in food preservation called eggstrafresh®. It is scientifically proven to retain moisture and dramatically reduce oxidation, which actually increases the shelf life of fruits, vegetables and almost all foods, both in the refrigerator and in the pantry. Additionally, eggstrafresh® will improve the flavor, taste, natural color and texture of all of your fresh foods. To learn more about this exciting new, maintenance free innovation visit http://www.eggstrafresh.com.

Mark Gold has more than 27 years of experience in the Food and Beverage Industry. He has written numerous articles on foods and food preservation.

Article from articlesbase.com

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Natural Ways to Keep Food Fresh Longer

Natural Ways to Keep Food Fresh Longer

If you are interested in health and diet, you have probably read all the research which points to the benefits of fresh, unprocessed foods. Eating healthier nearly always means opting for fresh fruits, whole grains and unprocessed meats and fish. Unfortunately, choosing foods without preservatives does have a down side – food spoils faster. That is no reason to go back to eating over-processed foods full of chemical preservatives, though. Long before our dependence on chemical preservatives, our mothers knew the secrets to keeping food fresh longer naturally. Here are some tips to help you keep fresh fruits, grains, vegetables, meat and fish fresh longer – the natural way.

General Tips

1. Keep your refrigerator at the right temperature. It should be kept between 38 and 40 F. to keep your foods as fresh as possible without freezing them.

2. Keep your eye on expiration dates when you shop.

3. Do not store highly perishable foods in the refrigerator or freezer door. They are more prone to temperature fluctuation.

4. Moisture promotes rotting and mold. Wipe vegetables and fruits dry before storing and avoid storing in plastic bags.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables and fruits give off a gas called ethylene as they ripen. The ethylene sets off a chain reaction that causes the release of more ethylene, causing the food to ripen further. When fruits and vegetables are exposed to ethylene, they ripen faster. Some fruits and vegetables give off more ethylene than others – and some of them are more sensitive to ethylene than others.

1. Ethylene producers include apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.

2. Fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to the effects of ethylene include: apples, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, lettuces and other greens, potatoes, summer squash, and watermelons.

3. To keep fresh fruits and vegetables fresh longer, do not store any of the former group n the same drawers as those in the latter group.

4. Store fruits and vegetables in the warmest part of your fridge to preserve flavor.

5. Remove produce from plastic bags before storing. The bags trap the ethylene close to the fruit so that it ripens faster.

6.Wash produce and then dry well before storing. Moisture speeds rotting.

Meats and Eggs

1. Keep fresh meats refrigerated between 38-40 F.

2. Keep meat in original wrapping in refrigerator if you will be using it within two days.

3. Wrap meat in foil or freezer paper before freezing.

4. Make sure that there is plenty of air circulation around meat products in your refrigerator.

5. Store eggs pointed side down.

6. Wrap smoked meats like ham or bacon in a vinegar-soaked cloth.

7. Cool cooked meats quickly and completely before placing them in refrigerator.

Bread and Cereal Products

1. Store fresh bread in a cool, dark, dry place like a cupboard or breadbox.

2. Close the waxed paper inner bag of breakfast cereals tightly to preserve freshness. Better yet, transfer the cereal into a zipper lock plastic bag and put it back in the box.

3. Freeze bread that will not be used within a week. If you freeze artisan breads pre-sliced, you can just take a slice when you need it.

4. Keep soft cookies soft by storing them in a cookie jar or airtight container with a slice of bread.

5. Cut slices from loaf cakes like banana bread and pound cake from the middle instead of the end. After slicing, push the two ends together to reform the ‘loaf’. You don’t leave a cut end to get stale that way.

6. To keep cake moist, store it with half an apple in the container.

Dairy Products and Cheese

1. Store milk in its original container.

2. Do not store milk in the door where temperature is warmer.

3. Put milk back in refrigerator immediately after using.

4. Wrap cheese in waxed paper or plastic, then store in deli drawer.

5. Do not store ice cream in the freezer door. Keep it in the main part of the freezer.

6. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the surface of the ice cream before storing. It will keep fresh longer.

Miscellaneous

1. Store coffee in an airtight, opaque container to preserver flavor and freshness.

2. Buy coffee in whole bean form and grind enough for one pot at a time.

3. If you buy more coffee than you can use in 3-4 days, store in an airtight container in the freezer/

4. Store avocadoes unbagged in the refrigerator.

5. Store bananas on the counter, unbagged.

6. Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) should be stored in their plastic container or a resealable plastic bag in the back of the refrigerator.

7. Wrap lettuce in damp paper towels and store in a plastic bag.

Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics and products concerning food storage such as Green Bags.

Article from articlesbase.com

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So What if you Have an Organised Kitchen? ? Part 2

So What if you Have an Organised Kitchen? ? Part 2

Nowadays, many kitchen models boasts of spaciousness: spacious cabinets, spacious cupboards, inexhaustible drawers. We just can’t get enough of space. And yet, what we didn’t know is that we have all the space we need in our kitchens if we only knew how to maximise them.

Here’s part two of things you can do towards a kitchen you won’t lose your way in.

1. Keep them Contained!

Admit it, the first thing that comes to mind: Tupperware. Although of course, there are now lots of sorts of resealable food containers in the market today, stackable, watertight, and airtight, and in a wide variety of colours to complement your kitchen.

Obviously, your pantry is where foodstuffs are kept, so your main goal is to store them in such a way that they last longer. But keeping them from spoiling is one thing; making them accessible is another. Often, we store foods so well that we eventually forget them, and only remember when they’ve expired and inedible already. This of course defeats the purpose of storing foods in the first place.

Store each item then so that it is easily visible and reachable. Group them together whenever possible (you can enlist your kids’ help on this one), and have their labels, especially for canned goods, up front so that they’re easily read. Finally, discard foods that have passed their expiration dates or are more than a year old.

2. Use Jars, Bottles, Nooks in Walls, Ceilings to Your Advantage.

Store gravy packets, seasoning packets, etc. in a small, clear plastic or glass containers for easy access.

Line up boxes with their sides facing front. If possible, store the most often used items at eye level. Store heavy items, such as boxes of ‘long life’ juice, milk, and cordials on a lower shelf.

Choose a lower shelf for paper storage, cling wraps, foil etc. If you have school-age children who take their lunch to school, create an area in your kitchen for lunch making. Stock it with lunch boxes and/or brown bags, plastic wraps/bags, thermos containers, drink bottles and small food containers. For after school and weekends, create a snack shelf of parent-approved treats for children.

If you have extra wall space, consider storage hanging hooks, a notice board, and other helpful organising items.

Purchase handy space saving products such as stacking containers, and sturdy baskets for onions, garlic, and potatoes.

Organise spices which you use most often in the front row. If you have a shallow drawer near your stove, consider laying all of your small spice jars in there. Place them label side up so it is easy to view them all at once. Most dried spices lose their flavour in six months.

Any miscellaneous items can be stored labelled shoeboxes and use them to store items such as biscuit cutters, candles, appliance accessories, matches, batteries, and smaller items. Square containers take up less space and fit more efficiently on shelves than round ones. Place hooks inside a cabinet door to small utensils on. This will help to clear drawer space.

Anything that is still in good condition and can be sold, auctioned, or given away. If you feel that you have appliances that are in ‘as new’ condition and too good to throw out, consider OzFreeOnline.com. Log on and check out their free classified section where you can advertise anything you no longer have use for. Feeling generous then donate all the stuff you are no longer using by giving them to the salvos.org.au, or auctioning them off at OzFreeOnline.com

Barbara Thorp recommends Ozfreeonline Classifieds, online ads posting site and more!

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