With people across the country confined to their homes in a bid to slow the coronavirus as it sweeps the nation, many are looking for ways to make food stocks last longer to reduce their trips to the supermarket.
Brits are currently only allowed out of their homes to exercise once a day or visit shops for essential goods.
Thankfully there are plenty of hacks to keep fresh produce fresher for longer, from wrapping bananas in clingfilm to storing asparagus like flowers in jars of water.
Here, Femail reveals the handy hacks to cut down on waste and help your food and veg last.
WRAP YOUR BANANAS IN CLINGFILM
Sunripe fresh, a food market in Canada, revealed the best way to keep bananas fresh is to wrap the stems in clingfilm. It works for individual bananas or bunches
Sunripe fresh, a food market in Canada, revealed the best way to keep bananas fresh is to wrap the stems in clingfilm. It works for individual bananas or bunches.
Others also suggest peeling bananas and freezing them, then adding them to smoothies and recipes.
FREEZE MILK IN ICE CUBE BAGS
A mother-of-three shared a clever hack for ensuring she always has enough milk for her tea and coffee – freezing it into ice cube bags.
Donna Theresa, 46, from Worthing, wanted to use what she had at home without popping to the shops, saying she found it difficult to find food items she needed as many were out of stock due to people stockpiling.
Donna posted the tip on Facebook’s Feed Your Family on a Budget page – and it’s gained over 834 likes and hundreds of comments from users praising her smart idea.
Donna Theresa, 46, from Worthing, wanted to use what she had at home without popping to the shops, saying she found it difficult to find food items she needed as many were out of stock due to people stockpiling. Pictured: milk frozen into ice cube bags
HOW TO FREEZE YOUR FRESH FRUIT AND VEG
This Instagram user made sure she was prepped with frozen lettuce, onion and cabbage
Make your fresh fruit and veg go further and minimise food waste with these expert freezing tips from food waste expert and Oddbox co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe:
The majority of vegetables can be frozen, but most will need to be blanched before you do so. This means boiling them quickly for a few minutes before cooling them down straight away in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. This helps neutralise the bacteria present, which in turn delays the spoilage process.
It’s a good idea to chop up all your veg beforehand, and (if you are able to) freeze them flat on a tray so that they don’t clump together in a chunk of ice, after which you can pop them in freezer packs. If you are limited for space, chop them up and freeze them in small batches instead.
Water-dense vegetables don’t freeze well because water expands and shrinks during the freezing process, so these vegetables will become water-logged and often lose their structure upon defrosting.
If your fruit has any bruises or gashes, carve these away as these can cause your fruit to spoil quicker. Cut into small bite-sized pieces for ease, and try to pat dry/remove as much moisture from your fruit beforehand.
Only freeze fresh fruit and veg, when it’s still at its prime, and wrap your produce well to avoid freezer-burn. Remove as much air from the packs as possible beforehand.
Don’t forget to label as you can – this helps you keep track so that you know when to use up your produce.
Chop/slice your onions before freezing the pieces on a tray (no need to blanch).
These are particularly good in stews, soups, risottos, sauces etc. Anything where the onion doesn’t have to retain its shape too much (e.g. in a salad) is ideal. Lasts up to three months.
This can include vegetables such as spinach, kale and chard. Blanching your vegetables will allow them to be stored up to three months, whereas freezing them fresh will mean they deteriorate quicker.
Note that with leafy greens, you won’t have to boil them for very long in the blanching process.
If freezing fresh, these leafy greens are great in juices. If freezing blanched, you can throw them in soups as well as into your favourite stir-fries.
BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER
Cut into bite-sized pieces. Blanch, drain, and freeze in small packs.
These are great for when you’re craving some veg on the side of your meal, as well as boiled up and tossed into pasta, noodle, and rice dishes. Lasts between nine and 10 months.
POTATOES AND OTHER ROOT VEG
Cut, blanch and dry thoroughly. Freeze in small batches. The mighty potato will be perfect throw into the majority of your usual favourites, as well as easily boiled and turned into mash.
Other starches work well in pies and casseroles, as well as roasted until crispy. Lasts between 10 – 12 months.
It’s best to peel your apples before freezing (apple crisps are a great way to use them up!) as apple skins are particularly prone to small bruises and marks which can lead to spoilage.
Core and cut into bite-sized chunks and freeze in packs. They work great for the apple sauce base of your usual pies, crumbles, strudels. Lasts between nine and 10 months.
It’s best not to wash your berries before freezing otherwise they tend to trap moisture and clump together. If you do, leave to dry and take the extra step of patting them down before popping into the freezer.
These are delicious whizzed up into smoothies, as well as baked into muffins. Lasts between six and nine months.
Peel, chop into bite-sized chunks, and freeze. Great for milkshakes, ice cream, and banana pie. Lasts between two and three months.
Remove any softened grapes, wash and dry thoroughly before freezing. They’re the perfect healthy sweet treat – affordable and delicious. Lasts between six and eight months.
For more information about Oddbox visit www.oddbox.co.uk
California-based influencer Bethany Ugarte took to Instagram to share her tips for freezing an avocado.
She recommends putting the popular toast topper in the freezer while ripe, and removing it when ready.
To defrost, run it under hot water for a few seconds and leave on the side for 30 minutes, and it’ll be good as new.
California-based influencer Bethany Ugarte took to Instagram last week to share her tips for freezing an avocado
PUT CHEESE IN BAKING PAPER
Many cheesemongers use cheesepaper to keep their product fresher for longer.
Usually this is easy to get your hands on online or from specialist shops, but in these trying times, baking paper can work just as well.
The experts at Kitchn suggest ditching the plastic wrap cheese comes, explaining: ‘Cheese is a living, breathing thing, and closing it off to air is just about the worst thing you can do to it. Plus, plastic wrap has a taste, and it takes just a day for that flavour to start making its way into the face of the cheese.’
They suggest instead wrapping it in baking paper before placing it back in a loose plastic bag to maintain a longer lasting flavour.
MASON JARS FOR VEGGIE STICKS
Influencer Kat Springer, who goes by the account theorganisedhousewife shared her favourite snack hack on Instagram recently. She wrote: ‘If you are like me and enjoy snacking through the day, you’ll love this tip for storing veggie sticks so they stay fresh and crunchy all week long’
Influencer Kat Springer, who goes by the account theorganisedhousewife, shared her favourite snack hack on Instagram recently.
She wrote: ‘If you are like me and enjoy snacking through the day, you’ll love this tip for storing veggie sticks so they stay fresh and crunchy all week long.
‘Chop up your carrots and celery, store them in an airtight glass jar filled with water, and enjoy! Change the water every three days to keep them fresh.’
WASH YOUR BERRIES WITH VINEGAR
Laura Fuentes, who blogs as Momables , recommends mixing one cup of vinegar with eight cups of water as the acid in the vinegar kills of spores in the fruit.
Many food blogs recommend a mix of vinegar and water to wash berries as soon as you get them.
Laura Fuentes, who blogs as Momables, recommends mixing one cup of vinegar with eight cups of water as the acid in the vinegar kills off spores in the fruit.
She says to place the berries in a large bowl to mix them with vinegar and water before draining them and drying them on a paper towel, and then storing them on a paper towel inside an airtight container leaving the lid slightly open to avoid moisture build up.
STORE KITCHEN ROLL WITH YOUR VEG
Using kitchen rolls is a great way to keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge fresh and crispy
Kitchen roll is a great way to keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge fresh and crispy.
Some suggest putting a sheet of kitchen roll in the bottom of a pack of mushrooms to soak up excess moisture and stop them spoiling.
This also works for leafy greens, which can be stored in ziplock bags with a paper towel inside.
STORE COTTAGE CHEESE AND YOGHURT UPSIDE DOWN
Flipping cottage cheese, youghurt and sour cream upside down when storing creates a vacuum effect that stifles the growth of bacteria that can cause the food to spoil.
Flipping cottage cheese, yoghurt and sour cream upside down in the fridge creates a vacuum effect that stifles the growth of bacteria that can cause the food to spoil.
Just make sure that the lid’s on securely!
PUT FRESH HERBS IN OLIVE OIL
A great tip to make your fresh herbs last longer is to freeze them before they go to waste.
Jamie Oliver recommends chopping them, popping them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of oil, and whacking them in the freezer. That way you can then use them whenever you need a bit of extra flavour.
STORE VEGETABLES LIKE THEY’RE FLOWERS
Home organiser Emily, who shares top tips via Making Homes A Heaven on Instagram, shared a picture of her home made water garden on Instagram. The picture revealed celery, asparagus and spring onions all in glasses of water, which she says keeps them fresher for longer
Home organiser Emily, who shares top tips via Making Homes A Heaven on Instagram, shared a picture of her homemade water garden on Instagram.
The picture revealed celery, asparagus and spring onions all in glasses of water, which she says keeps them fresher for longer.
She explained: ‘Many fresh foods are plants and need water to stay fresh… I’m regrowing my celery, keeping my asparagus from going soft and always have green onions as they grow.’