Making food last longer is the goal for every student. Throwing away old veg or uneaten bread is a painful waste of your student loan, but cooking for one often means that you’re left with awkward amounts of food left over. Luckily there are plenty of kitchen life hacks that will keep your food fresher for longer.
1. Keep Bread Fresh
Bread is one of those foods that never lasts long enough, whether it is going stale or growing mould, we could certainly do with making it last longer. A plastic bag is not the ideal place to store bread and can encourage mould to grow. Instead, you might want to invest in a bread bin. However, if you don’t want to splash out, there is a simple alternative. Wrap your loaf of bread in a tea towel and store it somewhere dry.
If it’s too late for this and your bread is already stale then you can easily revive it. Run some water over the surface then put it straight into the oven. Cook it for 6-7 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius and it will be tasting fresh again in no time.
2. Olive Oil On Avocados
Avocados are a huge part of student cuisine but they never last long. The general advice is to leave them in the fridge until you want them and then take them out to ripen for a day or two.
But the big problem with avocados is what to do when you only want half. Of course, one solution would be to eat the whole thing (which sounds pretty tempting) but there is one cool hack that will help to prevent the spare half from browning so you can come back to it another day. Simply wipe lemon juice or olive oil across the exposed surface and wrap it tightly in cling film, then put it back in the fridge ready for tomorrow.
3. Freeze Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are difficult for students. They might be essential to your favourite recipe, but you’ll inevitably end up with a bunch of them leftover in the fridge. By the time you’ve figured out what to do with them, they’ll have wilted and be no use.
Luckily, when it comes to making food last longer, fresh herbs are easy to look after. Simply cut them up, put them in an ice cube tray and fill each segment with oil. Then, the next time you need herbs, just put the frozen cube straight into the pan.
4. … And Lemons Too
Lemon, like herbs, is one of those foods that might hang around as leftovers. Most recipes don’t require a whole lemon, especially when you are only cooking for one. Just like with herbs, ice cube trays provide a perfect kitchen life hack, just squeeze out all the juice into one and keep it in your freezer.
Not only will this mean that you can have lemon on demand but you can even put them in a drink to make a cool and refreshing glass of flavoured water.
5. Store Your Potatoes With An Apple
Potatoes come in such huge bags that, by the time you’re halfway through, they will have started sprouting and going soft. While storing them in the dark can delay this sprouting for a while, there’s one weird hack that will do an even better job.
Apparently storing your potatoes with an apple will keep them firm and stop sprouting. This is because apples release ethylene which can keep potatoes in check for up to eight weeks. So why not try it out and save your potatoes?
6. Kitchen Roll To Save Your Salad
Making salad for one can be a problem when you have tonnes of leftover to go squishy in the fridge. However, one strange hack will stop it from getting too moist and allow you to come back to it all week.
Make up a large salad and put it in a bowl. Lay one or two sheets of kitchen roll on the top before sealing it with clingfilm. The kitchen paper should absorb excess moisture and make your food last longer.
7. Put Butter On Cheese To Stop It From Drying
When stored incorrectly, cheese can go dry and eventually mouldy. The best way to store it is not in the little plastic bag that you buy it in but instead in paper, or greaseproof paper.
But even that won’t totally stop it from going dry, so why not try this hack? Simply add a dab of butter onto the surface that you have just cut before you wrap it and it should last for longer.
8. Leave Cucumbers Out Of The Fridge
Turns out, the best way to make food last longer is to learn how to actually store it and we are definitely all guilty of getting this one wrong. Surprisingly, cucumbers survive best when stored at room temperature. If you still want them to be cool and crisp, just put them in the fridge half an hour before you plan on eating them.
But it isn’t just cucumbers that you’ve been storing wrong. There is a whole list of fruits and veg that should be stored at room temperature: apples, bananas, stone fruits (such as peaches or nectarines), peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes and many more.