If you’re like most of us during this unprecedented time of staying at home, your grocery shopping and cooking habits have changed. No more stopping for dinner supplies on the way home, last-minute meal planning, or grabbing a spur of the moment takeout meal. We’ve had to limit our excursions to supermarkets or compile a well thought out list for a grocery delivery service. Now our refrigerators and freezers are filled, and we don’t want to wash our fresh fruits and vegetables.
When we’re free to go out into the world, we might find that some of the habits we picked up during our forced time at home will stay with us. We’re cooking, baking, and sharing recipes more than ever, and efficient meal planning and shopping could become a new timesaver. Here are some of the ideas that we would like to share that might work for you.
We should keep fruit fresh by storing it in the crisper section of your fridge. Also, plastic bages with tiny vent holes that release moisture keep fruit fresher.
Fruits like avocados, guava, kiwi, mangoes, melons should ripen on your counter, and once ripe; they can be in the refrigerator.
Freeze fruit if you find you have too much to eat right away. Frozen fruit is perfect for adding to smoothies, yogurt, muffins, hot cereal, or syrups for pancakes and waffles. Most fruit will be beautiful for up to a year.
Selecting and Storing Vegetables – don’t buy processed vegetables. For example, select whole broccoli over cut florets, which will not last as long. Also, stems, we can use for stir-fries and soups. For salads, a mix of greens like iceberg, spinach, endive, some of which can also use as cooking ingredients. Rinse and air dry leafy greens, wrap in paper towels and store them where they won’t crush.
For onions, store with the skin on and wrapping them in plastic to keep air out. Wrap cucumbers and place in plastic bags in the vegetable compartment. Keep broccoli in a tightly closed bag as it releases ethylene gas, which causes other vegetables to ripen too quickly. You can cook some vegetables or meats before freezing them, wrap tightly to keep away the air, which will damage the food.
Preserved Food -fermentation, a long-practiced form of preservation in many countries, uses saltwater brine and a culture of good bacteria, creating foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. These foods provide health benefits as well as preservation.
There’s also dehydration, salt curing, freezing, and cold storage in a dark area for vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, and cabbage. Immersing foods like herbs and fruit in alcohol can create extracts (for cocktails and flavoring).
Keeping It Simple -OK, shopping, preserving, and cooking might not be for everyone. At my home, our meals tend to be a piece of fish, vegetables, and some marinated vegetables. We are trying to eat pretty healthily right now with enough for one dinner. Then we do not have to think about leftovers and other things.”
Turning Food Into a Hobby – we can use Instagram, YouTube, and other social sites show a renewed interest in food that may continue when healthy life resumes.