The vegetables went brown before you could use them… again. Sound familiar? A reasonable percentage of food in Nigeria goes uneaten due to spoilage, bruises, or blemishes. Use these tips to stop food from going bad.
Store produce the right way (What to refrigerate and what not to)
Refrigerate: Apples, apricots, broccoli, plums, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and lettuce.
Leave out on the counter: Peaches, avocados, nectarines, bananas, watermelon (whole), tomatoes.
Keep in a cool, dark place: Potatoes, onions, and garlic. Stash separately in the kitchen cabinet or pantry so they don’t absorb one another’s odors.
Keep items in plain sight
Keep foods that spoil relatively fast, such as dairy products or soft fruit, in the front of your fridge or on the counter so you are more likely to grab them. If there are cans of unexpired soup in your cupboard that you know you won’t use in time, donate them to a local food pantry.
Freeze your wine
If you don’t get around to finishing a bottle, freeze the extra in an ice-cube tray. You can add a cube or two of red to your favorite marinara sauce for more body, or toss some white into shrimp scampi or other light pasta sauces.
Become a grocery store regular
It sounds counter intuitive to shop more often, but by making frequent trips to the supermarket you can buy smaller quantities and prevent spoilage. If you don’t want to add another errand to your to-do list, consider ordering online.
Multitask your ingredients
As you plan weekly meals, try to come up with several uses for produce and bulk items. For instance, you can enjoy bell peppers as a snack, stuffed with ground turkey, or in an egg-white omelet.
Give leftovers new life
As tempting as it may be to dump leftovers on night two or three, challenge yourself to get creative. Use extra meatballs and sauce to make personal pizzas with veggies. Toss leftover rice and pasta into soup. Add veggie scraps when making chicken stock—or throw all your produce odds and ends together for a stir-fry.
By Damilola Faustino
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