I’ve been on a mission during quarantine to organize my kitchen. If you caught my recent fridge and pantry makeover, you know I’ve really been putting some serious work in. Since quarantine started, we have been subscribing to a local urban sharecrop produce box, so every other week, we are loaded up with fruits and veggies, many of which I wouldn’t normally buy on my own. It has led to a lot of fun recipes and experiments, but one of the biggest things I’ve spent time researching is how to store and maximize these things. Thank goodness for Pinterest, am I right? So I thought I’d round them up in one post so you don’t have to spend hours of your life scouring Pinterest like I did. Also, if you knew these already and I am just super late to the party, don’t make fun of me, OK? Check out these incredible kitchen storage hacks!
Hack #1: Paper Towels + Produce
Our urban sharecrop box comes with an abundance of greens each week. More than we could possibly consume in the following days. We usually have a variety of salad mix, beet greens, kale, chard, collard greens and more. One of the most popular hacks I’ve come across is making sure all produce is thoroughly dry before storing it because humidity is not your friend. With lettuce specifically, it’s best to store it in an air-tight container with a paper towel in order to absorb moisture.
Hack #2: Marshmallows and Brown Sugar
A marshmallow will keep your brown sugar stash from getting hard and sticky. The moisture will help keep it nice and soft and ready for your next baking adventure. You can also use a terracotta disc to help keep it super fresh.
Hack #3: Not Ready to Eat it? Leave it Dirty
We buy a ton of strawberries each week at the farmers’ market, and always from the same “strawberry man.” No really, that’s the name on his stand. He told me that with strawberries especially, don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them and store them in an air-tight container for ultimate freshness. Organic strawberries tend to go bad much quicker than non-organic, and this simple trick has been so helpful!
Hack #4: Storing Herbs
We also receive a ton of herbs in our produce box, so I’ve quickly had to figure out a way to store them. I ended up purchasing this herb keeper, but in a pinch, herbs can be stored in a Mason jar with a few inches of water with a reusable plastic bag over the top. This is a great method for “softer” herbs like cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, etc. For your “hardier” herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme, you can store them bundled and rolled in a damp paper towel and in an air-tight Ziploc bag.
Hack #5: Make “Herb Bombs”
Have a plethora of herbs that you know you won’t use in the next two weeks? Freeze them in olive oil! Freeze them separately or in different herb blends to make cooking a breeze. Plus, you’re cutting down on food waste. Win, win!
Hack #6: Store Celery in Tin Foil
Celery and broccoli both create a gas called ethylene when enclosed in plastic, which makes it wilt and wither even quicker. Keep these veggies fresh for up to three weeks longer by wrapping them in tin foil before storing in the fridge.
Featured image by Marisa Vitale via our home tour with Molly Madfis.