Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tip: Paper Towel the Produce

A while ago, we talked about getting the air out of your baggies to help your leftovers and in-progress foods last longer. This idea should probably have been mentioned then.

Certainly air is a crucial ingredient for spoiling food. The air is full of little buggers that love to eat your food and oxygen is a powerful contributor to chemical reactions. But if you really want to speed up the process, toss a little water into the mix. You’ll have slimy garbage to throw out in no time at all.

But lots of foods, particularly vegetables, need their moisture to stay fresh. So what to do, what to do. . . . Yup. Just toss a dry paper towel in the baggie with the half used veggie. It will absorb any loose liquid, but also help whatever air you’ve left in the baggie stay as humid as the veggie needs to keep fresh longer.

Paper towel the produce

And veggies aren’t the only ones to benefit. If you have to keep breads in the refrigerator, that dry paper towel can save the day. Cold things can’t hold as much moisture as warm things. So if your bread is very fresh and ‘light’ – like hot dog and hamburger rolls, for instance, it probably has a lot of moisture in it. Put that in the fridge, and all that moisture gets ‘chilled out’ making a lovely puddle in the bread wrapper. In addition, every time you take the bread out of the fridge and open it in the warm air of your kitchen, moisture will condense on the bread wrapper. When you toss the bread back in the fridge, it sits in all that water and after a day or three, you have a bag of bread soup. So, toss in a dry paper towel and save your bread, too.

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