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15 Simple Tips For Storing Your Produce and Keeping It Fresh

15 Simple Tips For Storing Your Produce and Keeping It Fresh

Food expenses form a major part of monthly family budgets, so it is important to buy smartly and to store them properly. If you want to reduce the food wastage, the answer is not just buying less, you also need to make sure that you store it properly. Sometimes it may be more budget friendly to buy in bulk, especially when an item is available at discount offers.

Though refrigerators have made the storage of food products much easier, you do not always need to rely on a fridge to increase the shelf span of food products. Here are some useful tips for storing foods and making sure that the food stays fresh for a long time.

1. Keep fresh produce away from gas stoves

Make sure that you do not store fruits and vegetables near a gas stove. Their natural gas can enhance the ripening of these products. The natural gas and ethylene have the same effect on the fresh food, so make sure that you keep it away from both.

2. Keep them away from heat or smoke

Do not store fresh food in an area where there is smoke or heat. Do not store it near an oven, stove or where there maybe cigarette smoke. The heat from the exhaust and combustion engines can result in quick ripening. Immature ripening decreases the lifespan of food products. They should be stored at low temperatures because cold storage is the best way of preventing the fresh products from ripening.

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3. Clean the refrigerator

One of the most important things that keep food fresh is a clean fridge. It may take time, but cleaning is something that is essential. It makes sure that the food does not get contaminated and stays fresh for a long time. If the fridge has leftover residue or any mold spores, then it can play a role in increasing the spoilage of food stored in the refrigerator.

4. Use vacuum sealer absorbers

You can get ethylene absorbers for a refrigerator. You can buy individual bags or vacuum sealers to store your fresh products. The air contains several small bacteria and other microorganisms that are responsible for spoiling the food. The vacuum sealers make sure that there is no contact of air with the product, so it is kept safe from harmful organisms.

5. Do not cut before storage

Do not cut the fruits and vegetables before storing them. Cut them right before you are going to use them. Cutting them before storing will make them go bad pretty quickly. Even if you store them properly, they will still spoil faster than the whole uncut ones.

6. Keeping herbs and green leaves fresh

The fresh herbs and leafy greens can spoil pretty quickly. Put the greens in a vase with water, like you keep fresh cut flowers. Water means life for these plants, so as long as they are getting it, they will stay fresh. Lack of water causes the leaves to wilt and change color. Leaves lose their freshness when dehydrated so keeping them in water is an excellent way of keeping the leafy greens fresh and vibrant. They will also be fresh if you bring them in water and cover the top of the plastic container and out in a refrigerator.

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Leaves lose their freshness when dehydrated, so keeping them in water is an excellent way of keeping the leafy greens fresh and vibrant.

7. Storing onions

You can store onions for up to eight months if you store them properly. You can get a pantyhose and put the onions in it. Tie the knot in between each of the onion. Just hang the onions from the ceiling of the kitchen. They will stay fresh for a long time.

8. Storing dried products

You can use a plastic water bottle to store dried and chopped green onions or chives. You can just take out some when you need them. It is easy to store and use. There is no moisture in the dried products, so they are not going to spoil by coming in contact with microorganisms in the air, so it is much easier to store them.

9. Keep the potatoes fresh

You want your potatoes to stay fresh longer and not sprout, then store them with apples. Make sure they are not near the panty-hose onions. If you store them with onions, then they will spoil quickly. But storing apples and potatoes together is a good idea.

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10. Storing chopped salad

If you have green chopped salads, then remember that moisture is your worst enemy. Try to keep the moisture to a minimum. Less moisture means that greens will last longer. Put the chopped greens in a bowl with a paper towel and wrap it with a plastic wrap. The paper towel will help in absorbing the moisture and keep them fresh for a longer time.

11. Keeping salad greens fresh

If you are storing the salad greens, then avoid putting tomatoes in it. Tomatoes have moisture so it will cause the leafy greens to rot and wilt quickly. Whenever you make, green salad always add the tomatoes just before you serve them. Use them as garnishing so that their extra moisture does not affect the freshness of other products in the salad.

12. Storing mushrooms

While storing, mushrooms make sure that there is no trapped moisture. You can use a brown paper bag to store mushrooms in. Store them in a fridge because it provides them with a cold and dry place. Avoid storing them in glass or plastic containers as these will trap in moisture.

13. Avoid overstocking

Try not to overstock the refrigerator. This leads to poor air circulation. The fresh produce needs the optimal temperature to stay useable. If there are too many products in the fridge, they will not be able to chill evenly and consistently. The fluctuation in temperature is not suitable for food storage at all, and it can harm the nutrients present in the food.

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14. Get rid of rotting fruits

One rotten fruit can make other fruits go bad as well. As soon as you see any sign of rotting, remove the fruit immediately because it can spread rapidly and spoil your whole stock

15. Meat storage

If you want to store uncooked meat for a long time, then store it in a freezer. Keep the temperature of the freezer as cold as possible. The low temperature is critical for storage of meat. It not only keeps the food fresh but also helps in retaining nutrients. While storing raw meat, always remember to keep it away from the other products so that there is no cross contamination.

Keeping the food fresh is a challenge because unprocessed food can go bad very quickly. Food wastage also means wastage of money, and you can save a lot of money by following some of the above mentioned simple tips and practices.

Featured photo credit: https://www.choice.com.au/ via choice.com.au

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words—many times your parents
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

1. For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

2. For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

4. For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
  • Shut down your thinking
  • Calm your feelings
  • Simply focus on the present moment

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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