10 tips for prolonging the life of cooking products
Unlike the 3000-year-old (and still edible) honey archaeologists found in the pyramids a couple of years ago, most food doesn’t last forever. Luckily, though, your pasta, oils, grain and other products can and will stay good a long time if you treat them well. And don’t worry, you don’t have to store them in an ancient tomb, either.
Here are 10 tips from the Wowzr team to help you make the most out of your food products, and keep them for weeks or even months longer than usual.
1. Keep your sugar fresh
Sugar - whether it’s white, brown, in cubes, or granulated - will
probably be sold to you in a paper bag. Once you have it in your kitchen, transfer it to an airtight container that protects it from moisture right away.
It will last you for a year or more, if stored right. We keep our sugar in Flat Stacks because they keep the air and damp out. Even better, as we use the sugar we can compress the container to save on storage space.
2. Rice in your salt shakers
Salt is a preservative, so you don’t need to do much to keep it fresh. But there’s a handy tip if you live somewhere humid or you find your salt clumping together in your salt shakers.
Sprinkle a few grains of (uncooked) brown rice in with the salt in the shaker and it will absorb any moisture that creeps in. You can shake the salt to your heart’s content, and it won’t get blocked up at all.
3. Pasta in airtight containers to avoid insects
No matter how much we vacuum, clean, dust and disinfect, we all share our living spaces with a range of creepy crawlies. Unfortunately, some of these critters have a taste for Italian food - pasta in particular. Weevils, which can also be found in flour, can get into your pasta and munch on it at their leisure.
Foil their dastardly plans to eat you out of house and home by transferring the dry pasta into sealed jars or airtight containers - our Flat Stacks are perfect for this, too. That way there’ll be no nasty surprises (or extra protein) the next time you make your favourite pasta bake.
Tip: Kept well, dry pasta can last 1-2 years after its “best before” date.
4. Freeze your egg yolks, folks
Eggs, a staple in many homes, can also be kept for long periods of time, if you freeze them. First, separate the yolks from the whites (throw the whites away), add some sugar and salt and whisk. You can now pour the mixture into a freezer safe bag and seal it up.
You can keep them for up to a year like this and you’ll have scrambled eggs at the ready, all you need to do is defrost and cook them up.
5. Bread in the freezer, not the fridge
Do we have bread? Sometimes we load up on things we don’t need at the supermarket. When you have too much of something like bread, it can be a pain because it dries out quickly. Avoid binging on sandwiches that you don’t really want by freezing, rather than refrigerating, your bread.
It’s a great way of keeping your loaves fresh and mould free, without losing any flavour or moisture.
Tip: French bread will last for up to a year, packaged bread loaves for up to 6 months.
6. Oil stored away from heat and light
Oil is another kitchen essential that can last you a long time, but store it incorrectly and you can damage it. Store it in a cool, dry place - away from strong smells and flavours and it will last a lot longer.
If you store oil correctly, it stays good for up to 5 years.
7. Store wheat flour in the fridge
If you love baking as much as we do, you’ll probably have a selection of different flours and grains. Although it’s easy to store, not everything's the same.
While you can keep most flour in airtight jars in your cupboards, wheat flour is a little different and will last up to twice as long if you keep it dry and cold in your fridge (it lasts 4-6 months in your cupboard).
8. Unopened milk? Put it in the freezer
Going away on holiday and still have an unopened 3 litre bottle of milk? We’ve all been there. Don’t worry, you won’t have to down it in one.
Our top tip is that you’re absolutely fine to freeze it and it will keep well until you get back. Once it’s defrosted make sure to shake well before serving.
Tip: don’t freeze it for much longer than 3 months.
9.Keep your spice nice
We’re prone to buying large quantities of foodstuffs in the supermarket - especially staples like spices, rice, pasta and so on, because it’s usually more economical. While that’s certainly true, it’s actually far better to buy smaller amounts of herbs and spices.
Dried spices and herbs lose their flavours over time, so you can keep your meals fresh and tasty if you don’t buy them in bulk.
10. Keep your grains twice as long by storing the in the fridge
Farmers might keep their grains in giant sacks in the barn, but you don’t have to. In fact, best practice is to keep your grains in sealed containers in the fridge.
Your grains will last up to twice as long that way (about 6 months), but you can also store grains in the freezer for up to a year if you need to.
Why not check out Flat Stacksthe original collasible silicone containers in the Wowzr store? We love them because they keep a whole range of food products fresh and good to eat for longer.