Today's feature on food storage is an extension to the last week's article as food storage has no end and with the lockdown phase, a lot many people wish to stock up food grains and vegetables properly so that there is no wastage. Properly storing food is also essential to restore and retain all the necessary food nutrients in food products. Hence, taking over to what we started last week, here are some expert tips to store food properly.
Bread and Bakery Products
They are best stored fresh on the kitchen bench or in the pantry but for longer use, you can also refrigerate them. Use your bread leftover as bread crumbs.
Rice and Wholegrains
To maximize the shelf life of rice, it should be stored in a cool dry area; after opening the package, uncooked rice should be stored in a sealed airtight container. If you are running out of stock on rice, you can try making cauliflower rice. Wholegrains should be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. It should be kept away from heat and moisture. If you have low access to whole grains, you can use rice as a substitute for grains.
Lentils and Legumes
Dried lentils can be stored in an airtight container in the cupboard or in a cool dry place for up to one year. If you do not have any option, for the time being, you can use tinned lentils or legumes. Just make sure you drain the lentils after opening the tin and wash them thoroughly before use.
Grapes, Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate
- Grapes - store them unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Fresh grapes usually keep well for about 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge; you can also freeze grapes for future snacking or use in cooking or in salads.
- Pomegranate- The best way to store pomegranates is to store them in the refrigerator. While whole pomegranates can be kept on the counter, they can be stored longer in the refrigerator. Once removed from their protective skin, pomegranate seeds should be refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Papaya - Refrigerate ripe papayas in a plastic bag up to 1 week. To speed ripening, place in a brown paper bag at room temperature. Once the papaya ripens, refrigerate immediately, up to 3 days.
- Pineapple- Cut pineapple should be stored in the airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Uncut pineapple can be stored in the fridge. They taste delicious in smoothies and in infused water. You can also buy the tinned pineapple but make sure u drain the juice.
Milk and milk products
- Pasteurize milk and store them in the fridge. Unless you bought tetra packs and they are sealed. If you are running low on milk, try using milkmaid, powdered milk or try making some homemade milk like almond milk, oats milk etc.
- Store yoghurt and milk in the refrigerator. White cheese / soft cheese like paneer or fetta cheese stay fresh longer when kept in a container filled with water once they are opened. Yellow or hard cheese should be wrapped with a wax paper.
- If you run out of cream you can substitute it with hung curd or you can also make cashew cream at home using cashews and water and herbs.
Most greens can be kept longer in the refrigerator. Remove the rubber band at the base and store them in a bag. If you have excess greens and they are at the brink of going off, remove fresh ones and make a vegetable stock, you can also serve them as a side dish or use them in your salads.
- Capsicum: should be stored in the fridge for long term use. Try and cover it to make sure they are crisp.
- Tomatoes: when unripe, it should be store in a box for them to ripen. Ripened tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for longer use. For the time being during quarantine, you can use tinned tomatoes or chop overripe tomatoes and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for future use.
- Cucumbers: They are best stored at room temperatures. Excess cucumbers can be used in making pickles like gherkins using vinegar and salt.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a great substitute for baking for vegans, the puree can be used in making coffee like lattes or it can also be used for baking a base. Try to store pumpkin in a cool, dry place.
- Bottle Gourd or any other gourds: Place any gourd in the freeze bag in the refrigerator. If you have chopped bottle gourd it should be placed in a utensil covered and then refrigerated.
Fresh unopened coconut can be stored at the room temperature for up to 3-4 months. The grated, fresh coconut should be put in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to six months. If you have excess coconut try making coconut laddoos, add it to vegetables and salads or made into chutneys.
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