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How to make your food last longer

There’s nothing worse than buying nice fresh food and having to throw it away because it’s already mouldy before you get the chance to cook or eat it? That’s why we’ve collected some interesting tips to help prolong the life of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Separate certain fruits from certain vegetables.

Your fruit bowl starts to look like a school science project just a few days after you filled it? That’s because some fruits release ethylene which causes other fruits and vegetables to ripen and can cause them to become soft or mealy. To prevent this, keep ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables separate from varieties that emit the gas. Fruits which produce ethylene are, for example, apricots, apples, avocados, bananas, kiwis, peaches, plums and tomatoes.

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Strawberries and vinegar: A good solution.

The secret to prolonging the life of your strawberries is surprisingly simple – vinegar! It destroys bacteria and mould spores, helping the berries last longer.

Wash your berries in a bowl with three cups of water mixed with one cup of white vinegar. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water. Then place the berries in a salad spinner lined with three layers of paper towels and spin gently for 15 seconds or until your berries are completely dry. Then store them in a sealable container lined with paper towels.

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Keep your avocados from browning.

To keep avocados from going brown, the most common piece of advice is to leave the pit in the one avocado half and use the other half first. However, while the parts of flesh that are in contact with the pit stay fresh, the rest of the avocado browns easily. This is because the pit prevents air from reaching part of the flesh. To prevent this half from browning brush your avocado’s flesh with lemon juice. The citric acid in the lemon juice will slow the browning process. Store it then in an airtight container for extra protection.

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Keep your hot red spices cold.

Spices don’t spoil over time, but they lose their strength and colour. The good thing is, when stored properly, spices retain their potency longer than you might think. Store red spices, such as paprika and red pepper, in the refrigerator. They will hold their colour and keep their flavour longer.

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Store asparagus like cut flowers.

This might seem strange at first, but asparagus stalks are like flower stems: they need to be kept upright and moist to stay fresh. So, when you bring your asparagus home, trim half an inch from the ends of the stalks. A mason jar glass is usually just the right size for a bunch of asparagus. Fill the glass with water, put the asparagus in it and store your ‘‘asparagus flower’’ upright in the fridge. Don’t forget to cover with a plastic bag and drape it over the asparagus tips and jar, because without the bag, the stalks will adopt the flavour of other foods stored in your fridge.

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