Greetings from the sunny UAE, SuperForest!
Following SuperForester April’s fabulous post on avoiding neglecting your fresh produce by keeping a tally of what you’ve got on the front of your fridge (such a beautifully simple idea Miss A!) I was doing a little online digging for some more bright ideas, and came across this tasty article by Lisa Schmeiser from sfgate.com which collates some simple and handy tips for getting the most from your fridge. A couple of my favourites:
TIP #1: Play Tetris with your freezer. This is where years of video gaming pay off, because you can use every inch of your freezer to store leftovers you’re sick of. Keep around some freezer-safe bags in different sizes (the quart and gallon ones are MVPs), some freezer paper and a Sharpie so you can properly store and label your foods.
Mark Bittman recommends the following guidelines for what can be frozen without coming out the worse for wear: fresh noodles; flour; grains and nuts; whole coffee beans; soup stock; stock-making material (chicken parts, vegetable peels); bread dough and bread crumbs; biscuit and cookie dough; tomatoes and tomato sauce; fruits; vegetables; egg whites; wine; citrus juice.
And label, label, label. There’s no point in saving anything if you don’t know what it is. For you crafty types, check out these downloadable freezer labels that let you circle the date the food went into the clink.
TIP #4: Emulate the grocery store: Oldest items in the front, newest in the back. This is simple rearranging — but it keeps you from having three half-finished boxes of water crackers going at a time, or using up one jar of marinara right as the other one expires.
TIP #9: Shop like you live, not like you think you should live. Yes, we should all buy in bulk because it’s cheaper on a per-ounce basis … but what’s the point if you can’t eat your way through 32 ounces of yogurt and it goes funky? Yes, we should eat the high-fiber, low-sugar cereal, but if that’s what’s going stale while the instant oatmeal gets hoovered up … just admit you’re not going to be eating Morning Twig Mix for a while.
Ms Schmeiser also mentions something I’ve not even considered before: how our ubiquitous iphone apps (well, not for me, since I’m still essentially analogue;) can assist in making our choices greener! Whilst you want to use food that’s still good, even if it’s lost the first blush of youth, we have to be safe. And I don’t know about you, but I’m just not so brave as my Dad with the old “have a sniff, have a taste” strategy when it comes to dairy or protein. So you could tape a food shelf life chart to your fridge (What’s Cooking America has a user friendly one here) or download one of the new iphone apps (like this one from Still Tasty) so you’ve got the info at your fingertips!
Have you ever used apps like this? Do they help? Any other tips you’d share?