No one likes throwing out food that’s gone bad before its time. Whether you’re frustrated by moldy bread or dealing with stale coffee, keeping food fresh can sometimes be a real struggle. Knowing how to properly store your food can help reduce waste and keep your grocery bills down.
Here are a few of the best ways to keep your food from going stale.
You can keep chips crunchy by throwing them in the freezer.
If you’ve hosted a party and found yourself left with a giant, half-eaten bag of chips, you can actually keep them edible by storing them in the freezer.
Lifehacker reported that this storage tip works on everything from potato chips to tortilla chips. Food experts don’t know exactly why this works, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the hack on Twitter and Reddit.
Keep your raisins in top condition by storing then in an airtight jar.
If you’re a baker or like to whip up your own trail mix, chances are you have a partially filled container of raisins in your pantry.
Though these dried fruits won’t actually go bad for years, they can get dry and rubbery if they’re not stored properly. Protect your stash by keeping raisins in an airtight glass jar or tub to prevent them shriveling even further, The Spruce Eats recommended.
Need to resuscitate some dry raisins? Soak them in a bowl of warm water until they plump up again.
Store crackers in an airtight bag to help them keep their crunch.
The appeal of crackers is in their crunchiness, so it’s crucial to store them correctly if you don’t want to end up with chewy snacks.
According to Leaf TV, the best way to store crackers is in an airtight container or bag in cool and dry place. If left unopened, crackers should stay good for about three months. After opening, you have around two weeks to enjoy them.
If you don’t manage to keep your crackers in good condition, you can actually re-crisp them in the oven. Cook’s Illustrated advised that spreading crackers or chips in an even layer on a baking sheet and baking them at 225 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes should get them nice and crunchy again.
You can keep bread fresh by slicing or freezing it, but beware of moldy pieces.
Have you ever noticed that the loaf of handcrafted, organic bread that you buy at your local artisan bakery doesn’t last half as long as a packaged loaf from the grocery store?
Fresh bakery bread doesn’t often contain the same preservatives as the mass-produced kind, it’s more likely to spoil quickly or get moldy.
Keep your loaf looking and tasting great by separating the portion you plan on eating within a day or two and keep it in its original packaging in a cool, dry place. Place the rest in the freezer. Bread shouldn’t be stored in the fridge as it will dry out.
As Science Insider warned that there’s actually no such thing as the “clean part” of moldy bread as mould spores can invisibly spread throughout food. Munch at your own risk.
The best way to keep cake fresh depends on a few different factors.
Whether you have leftover birthday cake or want to bake a cake ahead of time for a celebration, the best way to keep that delicious dessert from getting stale and crumbly is to store it correctly.
For un-frosted cake layers, Southern Living recommended that you wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap, place the layers into a resealable plastic bag, and store them on the kitchen counter for up to five days. If you need to save them for longer, you’re better off placing it in the freezer.
Frosted cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to five days. You should cover frosted cakes to prevent contaminants like dust and pet hair from getting into the frosting. If your frosted cake has been cut, cover the cut area in more frosting or press plastic wrap against the area to keep the cake moist.
Still Tasty advised that cakes will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for four-six months. If you’re stowing a cake in the freezer, try to leave it unfrosted if possible.
Crispy cookies and soft cookies should be stored different to keep them tender and tasty.
If you’re a crispy cookie person, you should store your treats in a breathable container such as a glass cookie jar or plastic container that isn’t completely sealed. Craftsy advised that this will allow moisture to evaporate and keep the cookies at their crunchiest.
To store soft cookies,place them in an airtight container in layers separated by sheets of parchment paper. The parchment paper will prevent sticking and the airtight container will keep the cookies moist and tender.
If you want to add a few days to the life of your soft cookies, toss a piece of regular sandwich bread or an apple slice into the container. The cookies will absorb the moisture from these items and stay soft longer.
Nuts can be expensive, so keep them edible by storing right.
Never throw out a pricey container of cashews or pine nuts again. According to Good Housekeeping, nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.
However, as nuts contain a high percentage of oil, they’re liable to become rancid if stored in the open for longer than a month. Toss the container in the refrigerator after 30 days to keep your nuts fresh for up to six months.
If you want to freshen up older nuts, Good Housekeeping recommended toasting them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or microwaving them on high for about a minute.
The best way to keep coffee fresh is to store it away from heat and moisture.
The internet is teeming with methods for keeping ground and whole coffee beans from going stale, but the best way might also be the easiest.
As coffee expert Scott McMartin told Real Simple, the best way to store coffee is to keep it in an opaque, airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture.
What about freezing coffee to keep it fresh? This method is a good option if you want to keep whole beans at their best for up to a month. However, McMartin cautioned that you shouldn’t take the coffee container out of the freezer to use small portions, as this causes the temperature of the coffee to fluctuate and will leave you with a dull-tasting beverage. Freezing your beans is only appropriate if you’re looking to store them long-term.
There are a few specific rules to follow when it comes to storing tea.
According to the American Specialty Tea Alliance, there are a few main rules when it comes to storing loose leaf tea.
Tea should be kept in an airtight container away from heat, light, strong odours, and moisture. You should also try to store your loose leaf tea in bulk simply because it reduces the amount of oxygen in the container.
A good rule of thumb is that green, yellow, and white teas will degrade faster than more oxidized teas like oolongs and blacks. Additionally, the more broken up the eaves are, the faster your tea will go stale.
Flour can actually go bad and even attract pests if you don’t store it properly.
Simply throwing a clip on a bag of flour and sticking it in the cupboard is far from the best way to store this pantry staple. Stale flour makes for lacklustre baked goods and can even attract insects.
According to The Spruce Eats, refined flours (that includes bread, cake, and self-rising flour) should be placed in a plastic or glass container with a sealing lid. It can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to six months. If you want to store your flour for up to several years, you should place it in the freezer.
If you’re looking to store whole-grain or specialty flours, you should place the flour in an airtight container and transfer it directly to the freezer or refrigerator. The high levels of natural oils in whole-grain flours will cause them to go rancid if left at room temperature.
If you want to be extra sure that nothing nasty is hiding in your flour when you bring it home from the store, place it in the freezer for 48 hours to kill any insect eggs.
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