Going to the market and buying food is just half the task.
Properly storing the food items is as important as buying the right ingredients. But many people still make the mistake of storing these items in the wrong place.
If you do not store food correctly, it will lose its shelf life and a good part of its nutritional value.
Eating or cooking with damaged products will not give you any health benefits and can even make you sick. Moreover, no matter how you use such products, they will not give you the desired taste and you may not even want to eat the prepared food. It all ends up to be a big waste of your time and money!
Here are 10 edible items you are storing in the wrong place.
Whether for baking or for making snacks, flour is an important ingredient and it is often on the grocery list.
But many people let flour go to waste, just because they do not store it properly. Often flour comes in paper packaging, and people leave the flour in it and put it in the cabinet. But this can reduce the shelf life.
For white flour, you can extend its shelf life by storing it in an airtight container in a cool place.
For whole wheat and nut flours, you must keep the container in the refrigerator or freezer. Never store whole wheat or nut flour at room temperature, as the high oil content will make it go rancid.
Also, it’s best to use the flour within a few months of buying it.
Bread is a staple breakfast item in many households. Whether you are buying white bread, wheat bread or multigrain bread, if you are storing it in the refrigerator, then you are doing it wrong.
Wheat flour that is used to make bread is packed full of granules of starch and, as the starch gets exposed to moisture, it breaks down and causes the bread to dry out quickly. Dry bread also becomes stale easily.
Always keep your bread in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Put your bread in a breadbox on the counter, and set it cut-side down on the wooden board to keep it from drying out quickly.
Those who live in an area with high humidity should buy fresh bread as needed and avoid storing it for next day.
When it comes to buying potatoes, most of us end up buying them in huge amounts. Potatoes can be used to prepare an endless number of dishes and, most importantly, both adults and children enjoy them.
But if you do not store potatoes in the correct manner, they will start sprouting or go bad quickly.
Avoid storing potatoes in the refrigerator, as it will make them sweet and gritty in nature. Never store potatoes near direct sunlight or hot spots like underneath the sink or above the oven, as it can stimulate the growth of a toxin that can be harmful to your health.
You must also keep smaller-size potatoes away from apples and pears, as the fruits may take on the tuber’s earthy flavor.
It’s best to store potatoes in a cool, dark place like a root cellar or pantry. If you’ve washed them, always allow the potatoes to dry thoroughly before storing them.
Fresh basil has a nice aroma, which is why people love using this herb in their cooking. When fresh basil is available, many of us buy more than we need and keep it in the refrigerator.
However, the cold temperature of the refrigerator damages the sensitive basil leaves and they’ll turn dark in a day or two.
It’s best to store fresh basil in a humid and cool place. You can wrap the stems in a damp paper towel and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Store it in the temperature-controlled crisper drawer or the refrigerator door, which are slightly cooler than the other areas of the refrigerator.
You can also trim the stems, put them in a jar of water and leave it on the counter or a sunny windowsill.
Almonds, cashews, walnuts and other types of nuts make a healthy snack and have become a must when you go grocery shopping.
Nuts can be expensive and if you do not store them properly, you will have to throw them in the garbage. It’s like just throwing your money away.
When you get home from the store, put the nuts into a resealable bag or an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. Cool, dry conditions can help nuts last for a year or more.
Never store nuts at room temperature. The natural oil in them becomes rancid faster at room temperature and they develop a sharp and bitter taste.
Also, avoid keeping nuts near heat, which can cause the natural oil to spoil more quickly.
6. Garlic, Onions and Shallots
Garlic as well as other alliums like onions and shallots are regularly used in cooking. But many of us do not store them properly and end up throwing away more than we actually eat.
You must store garlic, onions and shallots in a warm, dry place like your countertop. Keep them in mesh bags or baskets for better ventilation.
Never keep them in the refrigerator, as exposure to cold and moisture will initiate rotting and rooting.
Plus, you must not put garlic and onions near ripening fruits. The strong sulfur compounds in them can taint other ripe produce.
7. Coffee Beans and Grounds
Many us start our day with a cup of coffee and, in fact, need a few more cups during the day to keep going.
To enjoy a good cup of coffee, it’s important to store coffee beans and grounds properly or else you’ll end up making a really bad cup of coffee that your taste buds will not like.
You must store coffee (whole beans or grounds) in an opaque, airtight container and keep it away from any sources of heat to retain its freshness and full flavor.
Never store coffee beans or grounds in the freezer or refrigerator, especially if you use it daily. Taking coffee in and out of the freezer on a daily basis leads to fluctuating temperatures, which can affect the flavor.
Also, being hygroscopic in nature, coffee beans can easily absorb moisture from the surrounding area, and this can affect the aroma and flavor of both coffee beans and grounds. An airtight container will ensure it remains free of moisture.
Good wine is a prized possession. Many of us indulge in our favorite wine only on special occasions. But if your wine bottle is not stored properly, you will never be able to enjoy the original taste of your favorite wine.
If your wine bottle has a cork, you must store the bottle on its side to keep the cork moist. When the cork is not moist, air will easily enter the bottle and the wine will soon spoil.
Your wine rack should be placed in a cool spot where there is no direct sunlight. Putting wine on top of the hot fridge is also something that you should avoid doing.
Avoid leaving wine in the refrigerator for a long time, as it can dry out the cork. Once a wine bottle is opened, put the cork back in and try to use it up within a few days.
Condiments like ketchup and mustard are used extensively in many households.
Condiments should not be kept on the counter or in the pantry for too long. This can cause them to start losing their flavor.
After opening a condiment bottle, put it in the refrigerator to increase the shelf life. The cool temperature helps maintain the flavor and freshness of condiments for months.
Your medicines must be stored properly or they will be of no use. Storing medication in the wrong place can be immensely bad for your health, too.
Even though it’s called a medicine cabinet, you should not keep medications in the cabinet in the bathroom. That steamy shower or the vanity lights above the cabinet will not be doing your medicine any good. Heat, cold, moisture and light can damage medicine and make it less effective.
Store your medicines in a dresser drawer or a cool, dark spot in a kitchen cabinet.