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Making food last longer - Extending the shelf life of food products

Making food last longer - 19 tips

Making food last longer is always a topic in our everyday life. Today, about 1/3 of the food produced is thrown away. By extending the shelf life of food, we automatically throw away less. Now I'll show you the best tips to make your food last longer and thus keep it fresh longer. Plus, I'll show you some things to look out for on your next grocery shopping trip. And here we go!
Here is another short Table of contents for the article:

Substitute for cling film

When you have a big meal or a sustainable party If you're organizing a party, there's always food left over at the end. The food is then often given to the guests, which in itself is a great thing to save food from waste and keep it fresh for some time. However, unfortunately, plastic is often used to wrap the food. There are so many better alternatives than cling film!

1. container without plastic

Container without plastic - make food last longer

Of course, a typical sandwich box or other plastic container is still more environmentally friendly than cling film. It makes much more sense to do without plastic right from the start and use e.g. such a container without plastic to use. The lunch boxes are made of stainless steel and very easy to close.



2. beeswax wipes

Beeswax wipes - make food last longer

If a lunch box doesn't do it for you, try these Beeswax cloth instead of cling film! In addition to beeswax, many beeswax wipes also consist of hemp fibers, organic cotton, tree resin and jojoba oil. You can reuse the beeswax cloths super easy! Rinse, dry and they are ready for use again!

Making food last longer in the home

Here I would like to give you a few tips on how you can make food last longer in the household:

3. tea towel and bread box

You can use a tea towel to make bread and other pastries last longer. A bread box is even better for this purpose. In a bread box you also have more space.

4. potato boxes

With the help of a potato crate you can store fruit and potatoes at low temperatures (between 4 and 12 degrees). Line the crate with paper and place it in the dark. It is best not to stack the fruit directly on top of each other, but to store them in several boxes on top of each other.

5, Use the refrigerator properly

Many foods spoil if you do not know what belongs in the refrigerator or freezer. That's why it's important to store them properly and be able to keep food longer. This Tips help with this:

  1. Some vegetables keep moist for a particularly long time in damp cloths. These include root vegetables in particular, such as radishes and kohlrabi
  2. Always remove the leaves from carrots and other root vegetables. The leaves remove moisture from the vegetables, which is why they shrivel faster
  3. Exotic fruits like mango and bananas have no place in the refrigerator. Because the temperature is too cool, they quickly get brown spots and spoil. Storage at room temperature makes the fruit last longer
  4. The vegetables cucumbers, zucchini and peppers need higher temperatures around 10-15 degrees to keep longer. In the refrigerator, only the top shelf is suitable for this purpose. In the top compartment the temperature is about 9 degrees

6. freeze food without plastic

Contrary to the myth that frozen fruits and vegetables are not healthy, frozen fruits and vegetables still have many vitamins. In fact, freezing kills fewer vitamins than storing food in the refrigerator. Feel free to read the article Freeze food without plastic by.

7. buy the right fruits and vegetables

Fruit - Making food last longer - Extending shelf life

The fresher the food is when you buy it, the longer it will keep. That's logical! Therefore, pay attention to the following four points when choosing your food to avoid nasty surprises.
When shopping, make sure that the skin of fruits and vegetables is not wrinkled. Also, wilted or limp leaves are not a good sign.
2. also check the cuts, because the lighter they are, the fresher the fruits and vegetables are.
3. when buying, also make sure to avoid unnecessary packaging. This is not only good for the environment - due to fluctuations in the temperature of storage, condensation often forms inside the packaging, which causes mold to form more quickly and significantly shortens the shelf life
4. with regional goods you have better chances that it will last for a long time, because they have shorter transport routes. In addition, through regional purchases natural resources saved

Refresh food

No matter how good you are at not wasting food. Sooner or later it happens to everyone that food is not eaten in time. Here are a few tips to make food edible after all.

8. refresh hard bread and similar pastries.

For bread, rolls and Co, which have become hard in the meantime, there is a great tip: steam! Make the pastry a little moist on all sides and then put it directly on the toaster or in the already preheated oven. This way, the pastry will quickly become softer and edible again. However, if the bread is already hard as a rock, this trick is useless. There is another possibility: fill half a centimeter of water into a saucepan. Take a small plate and place the hard bread in the cooking pot so that it rests on the plate but does not come into contact with water. Turn on the stove and heat the water until it steams. Then you have to let the bread stand in the steam on a very low setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the bread air out briefly. Now it should be edible again and can be kept fresh for some time.

9. save lettuce

Still leftovers from a lettuce, which are already a few days old? Put the leaves in warm water (for about 5-10 minutes) and they are already "fit" again 🙂 The leaves should probably then be consumed as soon as possible.

10. root vegetables crisp again

With water you can also get root vegetables such as carrots crisp again. Just put the vegetables in cold water for a few hours and voilà - they're ready to use again. 🙂

11. new creative dishes from "old" foods

You can still make super so-called "leftover food" from already somewhat older food. You can also invite friends, acquaintances or family to also bring older food to be able to reuse them in a common meal.

Making food last longer through drying

Preserving and drying food for longer
Do you want to dry food in the most environmentally friendly way possible? Good methods are the warmth of the sun and the dry heating air in living rooms or the oven. You can use the sun, for example, with a self-built drying box. If you do not want to build your own box, you can of course also use a Buy dehydrators. For herbs, grapes, banana slices, mushrooms, and many other vegetables and fruits, it doesn't even have to be particularly warm outside to dry them out. On the contrary, it is important that you do not dry them directly in the sun, otherwise too many vitamins are lost.

12. drying vegetables

Most vegetables can be dried quite easily when cut into slices. But for potatoes, unfortunately, this process does not work so well. Since potatoes can form the protective skin again, they can still be useful if the drying process takes too long. However, there is also a chance for potatoes.

13. drying potatoes

Potatoes, as has just been mentioned, unlike other vegetables, can be poorly dried outside. For this you need the oven. In the oven, the potatoes are dried so quickly that the formation of a new protective cover has not yet begun.

14. drying fruit

A popular way to make food last longer is to dry fruit. Dried fruit is super delicious and serves as a great, healthy snack in between meals. Instead of buying dried fruit at the supermarket (usually wrapped in plastic), you can easily dry it at home. do it yourself! For this you need however as said such a dehydrator. The drying of fruit takes about 12 hours. The thinner they are cut, the shorter the drying time.

15. drying herbs

Dried herbs are great for teas, soups, but can also be used for a bath, for example. Maybe you like dried herbs on bread as a snack for in between? Collect the herbs best on dry days, after the dew has already disappeared. The herbs will last longer if they are not too chopped. For drying the herbs there are the following options:

  1. You hang them to dry in an airy and shady place
  2. You dry them in a dehydrator. During this process, make sure that the temperature of the dehydrator remains below 40 degrees, otherwise too many vitamins will be destroyed.
  3. You can also spread them on a sieve

Tip: Dried herbs look quite similar. You should therefore label them in good time.

Preserve food in oil

Making food last longer - tips prolong shelf life

Oil is another great way to preserve food and keep it fresh longer. Here you can learn how to preserve herbs and vegetables in oil. Olive oil is especially suitable for preserving food in oil.

16. preserving herbs in oil

Fresh self collected Herbs are super healthy! To not have to do without the herbs in the winter, it is worthwhile to go collect before the cold season. Then they can be put in oil. This way, the herbs will keep throughout the winter. To store herbs in oil, simply follow these steps:

  1. Chop the herbs
  2. Fill the herbs in layers in canning jars. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and oil over each layer. Between the layers should not form air
  3. The layer at the very top should be formed from one centimeter of oil
  4. Keep the closed jar in the refrigerator

17. preserve vegetables in oil

Vegetables, after being cooked or dried, can be stored in jars for several months. The only thing you need is the oil.

Preserving food in salt solution

To keep food longer, you can also preserve it preserved in a salt solution.

18. preserving herbs in salt

Herbs, which are stored in salt, should be stored in the refrigerator. They will then keep for up to a year. And this is how you do it:

  1. Remove all the stems, which are hard and cut the herbs into small pieces
  2. Put the herbs in a clean Canning jar and mix it with sea salt. Make sure that all the herbs are covered with the salt, otherwise they will not keep
  3. Close the jar and store it in the refrigerator

If at some point the herbs are no longer covered with salt, simply add a little salt.

19. preserving vegetables in salt

To pickle a kilogram of vegetables in salt, you need the following things:

  • A canning jar
  • 1 liter water
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons salt (coarse)
  • vinegar or lemon juice (a dash)

After you have cut the vegetables lengthwise, layer the strips in a jar. Boil a decoction of water, vinegar or lemon juice and salt and let it cool. Pour the broth over the vegetables so that they are completely coated with liquid. Finally, make sure they are properly sealed before storing the jars in the cool and dark.

Make food last longer? No problem!

With these tips, you've learned how to make food last longer, in an environmentally friendly way and in the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle. In the past, I just packed all the vegetables in the fridge and didn't worry too much about the shelf life of food. Fortunately, that has changed in the meantime. The tricks can also help you to significantly reduce food waste!

Do you have more cool tips, suggestions or questions about the topic? Then I'm happy about your comment under this post!

Kind regards,

Tabea CareElite

PS: Want to learn more about food waste and how to avoid it? Then take a look at the article Food waste - facts, effects and tips on. Have fun reading!

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Hey, I'm Tabea. A few years ago I became aware of the plastic and waste problem on our planet and since then I've been trying to actively work towards making our planet cleaner again. It's a long way to the goal, but I believe that even with the small everyday things you can change the world for the better. :)

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