“Stay Home, Save Lives” might just be one of the safest way to avoid catching, as well as preventing the transfer of the Coronavirus. With many businesses closing their doors, stocking up on essential foods and supplies for the entire family to last long enough has become a priority. Many have turned to “how-tos” and “tips and tricks” to preserve their perishable produce during this time. We have gathered a few tips and tricks to help you store your foods. So, make some space in your refrigerator and freezer.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits are one of the easiest things to store. They can be stored up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge, or chopped and stored in freezer bags or airtight containers in the freezer for up to a year.
Vegetables, on the other hand, are trickier to store and depends on the type of veggie. Leafy greens last longer in the fridge when it is rinsed and stored in a paper towel. Most vegetables need to be blanched before they are frozen to prevent freezer burn. Frozen vegetables will be fine for up to one year. Freezing is not recommended for artichokes, eggplant, lettuce greens, potatoes (other than mashed), radishes, sprouts, and sweet potatoes.
Tips – When possible, buy fruits and vegetables unripen, which gives you longer fresh storage time. Keep your fruits and vegetables separate – certain fruits and vegetables produce a gas called ethylene, which accelerates the ripening process of other fruits and vegetables that happen to be nearby.
Fresh meat can be stored in plastic wrap or tightly sealed containers in the fridge for 2-3 days. Marinated poultry can store in the refrigerator for two days, while beef, veal, pork, lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days.
The best time to freeze meat is while it is fresh. Fresh meat can be wrapped in freezer paper, then sealed in Ziploc bags and freeze for months. The less time meat is frozen, the better it will retain its quality and integrity. But generally speaking, you can store meat in the freezer for up to a year.
Tips – The best way to thaw meat is to remove from the freezer and place in the fridge a day ahead, or to place in a bowl of cold water the day of use. Note, large pieces of meat like a frozen turkey, pork shoulder, etc. may take several days to thaw in the fridge. Don’t thaw meat in the microwave, and never re-freeze meats!
For more details on storing your produce, check out these helpful sites:
The Spruce Eats