We Gathered the Best Food Storage Tips and Ways to Reduce Food Waste (aka Resourceful Recipes!). These simple tips and tricks can help your make your groceries last longer.
Finding ways to reduce food waste is on everyone’s mind these days!
Not long ago, I sent a poll to the followers and readers on my email list.
You all rocked it, sharing your best food storage tips! We are all in this together and you all certainly came through with some great ideas! PIN FOR LATER
BEST FOOD STORAGE TIPS
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Now, let’s get to those best food storage tips! Here we go…
WAYS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE
(Food Saving Tips!)
How to extend the life of produce and cheese:
- Celery can be revived in a glass of water. But, to keep a bunch of celery fresh for at least a month, wrap it tightly in foil.
- To keep bananas fresher, longer, cover the crown of a bunch of bananas in plastic wrap to slow the release of ethylene gas.
- Wrap cheese in parchment paper in the produce drawer for maximum shelf life. You can also freeze cheese slices between parchment paper or shredded cheese (sealed) for up to 3 months! Spruce eats has more great tips for freezing cheese here.
- Store dairy products at the back of the fridge so they keep at the right temperature! Never on the side door of the fridge or up front.
- Store asparagus standing up in a glass or jar with about an inch or two of water, making sure all the ends are sitting in the water. This allows the asparagus to soak up the water from the container, keeping the stalks fresh and firm.
- Keep berries and grapes fresh with vinegar solution (Thank you Nicole!)
- 4 cups water to 1 cup distilled vinegar. Soak fruit/berries for 2-3 minutes.
What to do with leftovers or food that is about to go bad/spoil :
Have some fruit and/or veggies starting to turn bad?
- Freeze fruit to use in your smoothies! Freeze the veggies and use in smoothies, soups, or veggie broth.
- Bananas that have turned brown: peel them and place in a freezer bag. Can be used later for smoothies or for gluten free pancakes.
- Avocado – Did you know you could also freeze avocado? Simply use a small cookie scoop to spoon the flesh into an ice tray or other container for choice. Freeze then thaw for instant guacamole making. 🙂 Food storage done right!!
- Blanch sliced vegetables right before they turn bad. Bring salted water to a boil . Place sliced vegetables in boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes, or until tender, but not overcooked. Then place in an ice bath, immediately, until cooled. Place on a paper towel then wrap in wax paper and store in the freezer bag.
- Save/preserve fresh herbs you won’t be able to use before they expire by freezing them in water or fat or make pesto! See this post for preserving herbs
- How to keep bags of mixed salad and spinach fresh (Thanks Laurie!) When you buy bags of mixed salad, after opening and taking out what you’ll be using, place a few clean paper towels in the bag to help soak up any moisture to keep it from making the rest of the salad turn bad.
Does rice freeze well? What about other grains and cauliflower rice?
Yes yes, yes to all!
It is best to freeze the rice and quinoa as soon as possible after cooking. Pack the rice into a microwavable container, flat, as soon as it is cooked. When the rice has cooled, then seal it up and place in the freezer. You can use frozen rice/grains straight from the freezer — no need to thaw in the fridge! first. Just reheat rice in microwave or stove top.
Cauliflower rice also freezes well, check out this post for how to prepare and freeze riced vegetables.
The best way to freeze Riced Cauliflower is to make sure that it is completely cool first. Then all you have to do is put it into Ziplock (without air) or casserole dish (spread out flat) for about 3-4 months.
What to do with the ENDS and tops of vegetables :
- Save the ends of celery, asparagus, carrots, etc. along with the leftover bones from chicken in a big freezer bag to store in the freezer to use later in making soup or veggie broth!
- Beet tops and cauliflower leaves can be used like you would any other greens, and are great in curries and pasta sauces.
- Carrot tops make great pesto.
RESOURCEFUL RECIPES and EASY MEAL PREP TIPS!
- Don’t throw away citrus! Use it to make a MARINADE for fish or chicken like this one!
- Veggie Broth from all those vegetable scraps. I made this recipe with leeks, onion, asparagus, carrot, celery, garlic and a blend of herbs (tarragon, bay leaf, rosemary, and oregano.
- Easy Banana Pancakes (with leftovers) from our reader Rebecca!
- Recipe: Smash 2 bananas and mix with 1 egg and 1 cup LSA or ground almonds/flaxseed (can add gluten free oats and cinnamon or anything else in the refrigerator that needs using up). Mix into batter and fry on a hot pan with coconut oil or oil of your choice.
Other Gluten Free RESOURCEFUL RECIPES
- Leftover Rice and Banana Waffles
- Everything but the Kitchen sink soup
- Potato skin (peel) fries
- Herb Salt Blend
- Pesto (3 ways)
- Smashed Beans on toast
- Lentil Chili
- Quinoa Banana Bread
- No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Bites
Meal planning tips and ideas from readers (and me)!
Sarah – We meal plan based on what fresh produce we have in the fridge. Also, we make enough dinner to ensure we have leftovers for lunch – one less meal to think about!
Jenn – On Sunday, I bake two whole chickens. The family enjoys a lovely chicken dinner, then I remove all the meat to use throughout the week in salads, soups, etc. I keep all the bones and turn them into bone broth that I keep in the freezer for making homemade soups and sauces
Laura – My Life Saving Pantry Recipe is to make a large batch of any whole grain ( Brown Rice, Quinoa, Bulgar etc) and cook a batch of dried beans in the instant pot.
Cat – We have tons of stuff in the freezer. Crunchy chickpeas to top salads. Frozen nuts of all kinds. Froze 2 bunches of chopped chard and one bunch of collards. Can add to smoothies or soups.
And on a final note, our reader Jessica had a great idea to reduce anxiety and insecurity about food at the grocery store (for employees and customers)!
We could put together a number of healthful recipes based primarily or entirely on shelf-stable foods that are not currently in high-demand. That being said, give me your ideas! I listed a few of mine in this plant based (shelf stable) meal plan using protein powders, flaxseed, quinoa, canned peas, etc. And I think the recipe right here (Pea soup) is a great example! Using canned peas, artichoke, and coconut milk. YES!
Alright my friends! Thanks so much for your amazing tips! If you have any more, be sure to comment or email me. Stay safe, healthy, and nourished.