Easy Eats: Food Packaging Hacks
We’re always looking for ways to make our eating habits healthier, more convenient, and more affordable. Mastering the art of food packing is a great way to keep your diet healthy, your ingredients fresh, and your life efficient. Here are a few tips for storing food items, whether you’re on the go or packing your freezer.
Apples On the Go: You know how they always get brown when you slice them? You can always squeeze a little lemon over the slices to prevent browning, but here’s a better tip. Cut your apple into slices, then put the pieces back together and secure them with a rubber band. No oxidation, and no lemon film.
Avocados and Guacamole: The key to keeping half an avocado fresh is the same as keeping guacamole from getting a brown film. Store it with the pit! Some say the pit blocks the enzymes that make the fruit of the avocado susceptible to browning. Others just say that it’s a myth. Well, I’ve been doing it for years and I have no complaints! The jury’s still out on exactly why this works, but it does. If you’re storing guacamole for a long period of time, leave the pit in, be sure to use fresh lime juice, and press saran wrap into it. Surefire way to stay bright and green every time.
Frozen Ground Beef/Turkey: If you’re into buying in bulk, but you only cook for a few at a time, you can save some time and energy in the way you freeze your meats. Rather than throwing the whole 4 pounds of ground beef into the freezer, Styrofoam and all, separate the beef into single serving segments and transfer it to a freezer bag. You can use one freezer bag, and just leave a gap between the meat until it’s all frozen. This way you can easily break the servings apart without defrosting the whole thing. Just make sure the chunks of meat aren’t stacked upon on another.
Decorative Cupcakes: Looking to take a pretty little cupcake to your coworker at the office, but not sure how to keep it so pretty during the commute? Grab a plastic container, such as a large Ziploc, and use it upside down. Place the cupcake on the lid and seal the container over the top, and Voila!
Pesto and Sauces: The problem with unique or ethnic sauces and condiments is that they always seem to go bad before you can use the whole jar. Before this happens, line an ice tray with plastic wrap, pushing it into the cube holes. Then fill each segment with your sauce and freeze! You can pop the frozen sauce cubes out and either store them individually, or roll them up in the plastic and store in a freezer bag.
Salad Dressing To Go: Ziploc bag, anyone? Make your salad in your carrying container, and then put your dressing in a small snack size bag. At work, simply snip a little corner off the end of the bag, and squeeze the dressing over your salad. Clean and simple!
Herbs: Chop up your fresh herbs to servable sizes. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet to freeze them. Once frozen, store them in a used water bottle in the freezer, and then sprinkle them over your cooking as needed!
Cookies and Brownies: If you’re making a large batch of cookies or brownies, they will start to get hard after a day or two. In order to keep them soft and decadent, store them with a slice of bread. The moisture will leave the bread and help keep the cookies soft.