Making your Food Last Longer

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Making your Food Last Longer

As mentioned in my previous post Keeping Healthy During Lockdown,  HEALTH is defined by the World Health Organisation as:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

A lot of the advice given in this article is relevant for maintaining a strong immune system and keeping healthy, however, trips to the grocery store should be kept to a minimum and obviously we need to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, here are some tips on how you can make your food last longer:

Buy Foods with a Long Shelf-life

It is important to nourish your body with foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and fibre.  So the aim is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables daily (5 fruit and vegetable portions per day) plus whole-grains and legumes to provide more B vitamins and fibre.

Vegetables


Butternut

Gemsquash

Carrots

Cabbage

Onion

Beetroot

Sweet potato

Corn on the cob

Fruit


Apples

Pears

Pineapple

Citrus fruits

Bananas

Whole-grains


Brown rice

Barley

Rolled oats

Whole-wheat pasta

Whole-wheat couscous

Whole-wheat crackers

Popcorn

Quinoa

Legumes, Nuts & Seeds


Chickpeas

Beans

Lentils

Raw nuts

Seeds

Use your 5 Senses

Most of the time, expiry dates are there to protect the retailer or producer.  Some foods are still fresh and edible after the expiry date.  Don’t throw it away just because of the date on the package, assess the food first.  Use your 5 senses – does it smell foul? Is it the wrong colour? Does it feel slimy?  Does it make a popping sound when you open the container?  Does it taste sour if it is not normally sour?  If it is still as crunchy and bright as it should be and there is no bad bruising or wilting, then it should be safe!

  • Over-ripe bananas?  Check out our super quick and easy protein crumpet recipe!
  • If your vegetables go wilted or soft, you can make a stew / curry / casserole / soup with them

FIFO Method

The FIFO method (First-in-First-Out) is what food industries (should) practice to avoid food wastage.  Food products that are brought in first are used before the newer food products.

Use up foods that have a shorter shelf-life first. Plan your meals around using foods that have a short shelf life such as mushrooms, baby marrow, lettuce, berries etc. first, then once those are used up, go onto the foods with a longer shelf life.

Storage

  • You can chop and freeze fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. When freezing herbs, chop them up into ice-cube trays and top up with olive oil.  Each time you cook, you can pop one out and add it to your dish.
  • Don’t store bread in the fridge. It will go stale even quicker than if left at room temperature.  On that note… if you do have stale bread, why not turn them into croutons to make your next salad or soup more exciting!  Simply dice up the bread and place on a baking tray.  Drizzle with melted butter or olive oil and brush with some fresh rosemary or sprinkle some dried herbs over the bread cubes.  Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 180°C (shaking them around half-way).
  • Along with bread, store bananas, melons, citrus fruits, onions, garlic in a cool, dry place (not inside the fridge).
  • Once dry goods (such as whole-grains) have been opened, store them in an air-tight container.
  • All other fresh foods should be kept in the fridge – particularly eggs, dairy products and other vegetables and fruit not mentioned.
  • Left-over food? You can freeze it in family-size portions or individual meal portions.  Remember that you cannot re-freeze after thawing the frozen food.  Other option – you can keep the left-overs in the fridge for up to 3 days – just reheat it at a high temperature before you eat it.
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