Keep chips, crackers, dry foods crisp: Unless you live in a very dry climate, crisp foods (i.e. crackers, chips, cereal, ice cream cones, etc.) get stale quickly. The solution is to store these foods in the refrigerator and freezer rather than the pantry.
I also put fresh bread directly into the freezer and it stays perfectly fresh for an indefinite amount of time: Open the package of bread and separate slices that are stuck together; don’t wrap the bag up tightly as you want the slices to stay separated. Keep the bread in its original packaging and store in the freezer. Slices defrost quickly on the counter or can go directly into the toaster.
Lengthen the life of Cheese: Cooks Illustrated had a great tip to lengthen the life of cheese once opened from the package: Wrap the cheese in parchment paper and then wrap the parchment paper in foil (the paper absorbs the excess moisture from the cheese and the foil prevents it from drying out too much). You can purchase cheese bags that work great, but this is a less expensive alternative.
Keep celery super crisp and perfectly fresh for weeks: Keep the stalks submerged in water in a covered container in your fridge.
Keep nuts fresh in the freezer, especially roasted nuts as they go rancid much quicker than raw nuts. Stored in the freezer they will last indefinitely and are ready to eat without being thawed. Keep your natural peanut butter refrigerated as well. Stir it first to incorporate the oil, and then refrigerate. The oil will not separate out again as long as it is refrigerated. I like Costco organic peanut butter as it stays spreadable even when refrigerated, while some other brands become hard.
Store asparagus, fresh herbs, and green onions as you would flowers in a vase: Fill the cup or vase until the ends are about an inch under water; loosely cover the tops of the greens with a plastic bag and place in the fridge. Green onions can be left out by the window, but will continue to grow if not refrigerated.
Store bacon in the freezer: Place slices of bacon in between pieces of parchment paper and store in a resealable freezer bag – they thaw quickly, but are also easy to chop up while frozen.
Keep strawberries and blueberries fresh and at their best:
- Mix 3 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar in a large bowl
- Add the berries and swirl around. Allow them to sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Drain and rinse well, pat dry, or lay them on a paper towel to blot off excess moisture.
- Store them in a paper towel lined jar with the lid ajar.