1. DON’T refrigerate your tomatoes
Seriously. You’ll kill their flavour, and their juicy texture doesn’t survive so well in the cold either. To make the most of your tomatoes, keep them on a counter to allow them to ripen them to their full potential. FYI, other veggies that shouldn’t live in the fridge include potatoes and onions, although they should be stored in a cool dark place rather than within the sun’s reach.
2. Don’t separate bananas before eating
You may think you’re being super productive packaging your ‘nanas into day-to-day portions, but actually the trick to stop them going brown is to keep them together as long as possible. Wrap the stems of the bananas in clingfilm when you first buy them, and only snap one off when you’re ready to eat it. This should give you 3-5 extra days of perfectly ripe banana joy.
3. Put an apple in your bag of potatoes
Sprouted potatoes are at the top of nobody’s to-eat list. It turns out the best way to prevent them turning into a reject from the cast list of Alien is to keep an apple in the bag – apples produce ethylene gas, which keeps potatoes fresher and firmer, and ready for jacket-and-mash duties for a few more weeks.
4. But keep apples away from other fruits and veggies
Ethylene gas may be good for potatoes, but it’s bad for almost everything else. Keep apples out of the fruit bowl (and in a plastic bag in the fridge) and you should suddenly find that your other purchases keep much better.
5. Wash berries in vinegar
Because fate is cruel, berries are both a) pretty much the most expensive fruit and b) the quickest to go mouldy by a mile. You can extend their life by giving them a bath in 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water before you put them in the fridge – this kills the mold spores and bacteria that turn them fuzzy. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly before storing.
6. Put paper towels in the salad drawer
Lining your crisper with a few sheets of kitchen roll absorbs the condensation that the veggies generate as they chill. Excess moisture can make your fresh foods wilt and much faster, so the paper keeps them fresher for longer, AND it keeps your fridge cleaner without any extra effort, because no one deserves to spend their hard-earned Sunday wiping up cucumber gunk.
7. Wrap celery in foil
In the plastic wrapper you get from the supermarket, celery will last a week or two at most – annoying if you only use a couple of stalks at a time. Swap the original packaging for a sheet of aluminium foil – it lets the gas that spoils your celery escape, rather than trapping it like plastic, so the celery stays crisp long enough for plenty more hummus-dipping adventures.
8. Treat herbs like a bouquet
Buying fresh herbs in a bag and keeping them in there is a surefire route to grassy mush town. Instead, use what you need on the day, and then store the rest of the bunch in a glass of water on the windowsill. If you’re enough of a successful adult to have dinner guests, you could even put a couple of different varieties of them on the table in place of flowers and let everyone garnish their meals themselves. You fancy biatch you.
9. And when they’re on the turn, freeze them in olive oil
When the method above has run its course, you can finely chop the herbs, add them to an empty ice cube tray, and then pour olive oil over the top. Freeze until set, and they’ll last for months – to use, just add to a hot pan until the oil cooks down.
10. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag
Proper greengrocers use these bad boys for a reason – paper bags keep mushrooms much more efficiently than the usual plastic tubs. Moisture is a slime sentence for mushrooms, so storing them this way keeps them clean and dry (and if you leave them too long and find they get too dry, you can give them a quick rinse in the sink and they’ll plump right back up).