Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Kitchen Organisation Tips

If you follow us on Facebook, you will have seen our "Tip of the Day". We thought it may be quite good to put it together a bit more here for easy reference. No more juggling in the kitchen, let's start with the difference between "Use By" and "Best Before". Use by is for things like milk and eggs that go off and should be thrown away after that date. Best Before is much more open ended. It really depends on how it is stored and how long it's been open, for instance cereals and pasta. So here's to reducing food waste by storing things in the most appropriate place. 

The biggest guide is where shops store the item themselves. If you pick it up from a fridge, put it into your fridge. If it's on a shelf, pop it in the cupboard. However, you will find a few things need to be put in the fridge once opened, such as mayonnaise or jam. 
The next step is where to put everything in your fridge:
Top - Ready to Eat, butter, cheese, yogurts, cooked meats, etc
Middle - Raw foods, meat, fish, etc
Bottom - Leafy Vegetables and fruit like cherries and pineapples, down in the salad draw
Don't put bread in the fridge it doesn't like it and there really is no point in putting eggs in either. Just think when you next want to bake a cake, room temperature eggs are best!

Freeze meats and fish when you get back from the shops, then just take out what you need the night before. This way you will always have fresh food and no waste when you realise something has gone past it's best in the fridge.
Overcooked? No problem, it doesn't mean you have to overeat or throw it out. Simply cool and pop it in the freezer. Don't forget to write what it is on top and when you put it in. This is generally a lot better than putting it in the fridge thinking you will eat it tomorrow as most don't and then it ends up in the bin anyway.

In the dark 
Root vegetables including onions, carrots, potatoes and garlic like it dark, it helps prevent sprouting. Keep them dry and cool but they don't need to go in the fridge.

Fruit Bowls
Stoned fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines will all keep ripening just like melons, mangoes and tomatoes. As do pears and apple. If you get through them quickly put them in a fruit bowl, we tend to put half of them out and the rest in the fridge. Watch out for apples though as they give off gases that can cause over foods to deteriorate, so if you can store them separately or just eat them quickly.

This is basically all your tins, pulses, cereals etc. Keep it neat is our only tip with this then you won't find that you actually have 20 cans of chopped tomatoes lurking at the back. This really is your store food, but that doesn't mean you don't eat it. An overstocked cupboard isn't efficient at all as the chances are you are buying things on impulse still not need - ooooo pureed chestnuts, they look good... (our own admission!)