Stocking up on fresh food can be discouraging with the hot Naija weather and unreliable power supply. We recently wrote about local soups that keep well and those that do not. The reason is that no one likes to see their hard-earned money go to waste when their fresh produce goes bad. Yet, it’s not very cost effective to shop piecemeal. Also, the inconvenience can become a hindrance to eating healthy on a regular basis. So, beyond our previous article, here are a few tips to help you make your produce stay fresh for longer periods.
Store fresh vegetables like ugu, water leaf, or ewedu, in tightly sealed plastic bags with a bit of air trapped in before refrigerating. Dry vegetables can be wrapped in newspaper and left on a shelf or countertop.
Bananas and plantains
Leave bananas and plantains out to ripen naturally instead of refrigerating. Wrap the head of the bunch with a nylon/plastic bag to keep the suckers from over-ripening quickly.
Keep firm tomatoes out on a countertop. Unspoiled but punctured ones should be chopped up or blended and boiled, and frozen to whip up quick meals.
Keep other fruits in separate baskets to prevent them from over-ripening. Ripe fruits should also be separated from unripe or less ripened fruits to prevent uneven ripening and spoilage.
Onions, garlic, and ginger
These should be kept together in an open rack or basket. Alternatively, they can be stored in perforated bags, mesh bags, or even old pantyhose.
Eggs are better left out in a crate and unwashed of their bloom, in a cool and dry place. If by any chance, they’ve been washed, they should be refrigerated and quickly consumed.
There’s a wide range of options for preserving food including drying, canning, and smoking. But if you like your produce as close to its original state as possible, we hope you find these tips helpful.
Please share your best preservation tips with us.