KITCHEN MAKEOVER SERIES PART 3: HOW TO PROPERLY STORE YOUR FOOD

So I'm just going to go ahead and assume that you followed my grocery list to a tee and now you have a ton of great food in your kitchen and pantry. It's important that you now how to properly store all of this nutrient dense food in order to keep it freshest for the longest amount of time possible and maintain all of the important vitamins and nutrients! 

You're probably thinking "I know how to store my food this girl is crazy" but the truth is the way that our parents and even what the packaging of certain food have taught us how to store things isn't the most beneficial way, not even a little bit - crazy right?

IN THE FRIDGE

SUPPLEMENTS: 

  • Fat-soluble Vitamins - Fish Oil, Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin E
  • Probiotics 
  • Green Powders - Spirulina, Greens Powder
  • Super Foods: 
  • Hemp Hearts 
  • Chia Seeds 
  • Flax Seeds and Meal 
  • Flax Oil, Hemp Oil, Udo’s Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - storing in the fridge stops fermentation process.

DRY FOOD:

  • Nuts and Seeds - These should be kept in the fridge, in a glass jar if they are going to be consumed in a few days (otherwise, store in freezer).  
  • Flour - Flour also contains good fats, and should be stored in the fridge (if used often), to prevent it from going rancid. If you use flour on a weekly basis store in the fridge, if not store in the freezer.

PRODUCE:

Fruits and veggies naturally emit an odorless, harmless and tasteless gas called ethylene and some produce a lot more than others. Produce that produces the most ethylene gas includes; apples, apricots, avocados, ripening bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruit (except grapefruit), figs, grapes, green onions, honeydew, ripe kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, peppers, pineapple, plums, prunes, tomatoes and watermelon.

When you store ethylene producing foods next to ethylene sensitive foods the gas actually speeds up the ripening process of the other produce. Produce that is especially sensitive to ethylene gas includes; asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, kiwi fruit, leafy greens, lettuce, parsley, peas, peppers, potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, watercress and yams.

It's important to store the two categories in separate produce drawers in the fridge or even leave some of the ethylene producing produce out in a bowl on the counter instead!

All vegetables should be stored in the fridge with the exception of tomatoes and avocados and all fruit can be stored on the counter at room temperature with the exception of berries, cherries and grapes which should go in the fridge.

IN THE FREEZER

SUPERFOODS:

  • Extra Hemp Hearts, Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds - can be stored in the freezer when bought in bulk. Once you are out of the ones in the fridge, just replace them with the frozen ones.

DRY FOODS:

  • Extra Nuts and Seeds - If you don't eat these on a regular basis, keep them in the freezer to prevent the fats from going rancid. 
  • Extra Flour - should be stored in the freezer if it is not being used on a daily basis to keep it fresh and prevent it from going rancid. 
  • Extra Spices
  • Bread - should always be stored in the freezer because natural sprouted breads contain no preservatives.

IN THE PANTRY

SUPPLEMENTS & SUPERFOODS:

  • Multivitamins
  • Single Vitamins and Minerals 
  • Protein Powders 
  • Digestive Powders
  • Collagen 
  • Camu berry
  • Chaga, tea
  • Cacao Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Maca

DRY FOOD:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta
  • Oats 
  • Dried Fruit 
  • Canned Food
  • Dried Lentils, Beans and Legumes
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Protein Bars
  • Honey 
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oils - Coconut, Olive, Grapeseed, Avocado, Etc.
  • Vinegars 

WHAT TO STORE IT IN

If possible it is always best to store in glass to prevent any of the harmful chemicals and toxins that are found in plastic from leaching into your food. Glass is also cleaner than plastic, it is a non-porous surface so it doesn’t absorb food or germs and it can be safely washed at high temperatures in your dishwasher. It also repels food odors and flavours so your food will actually taste better when it is stored in glass and it is noticeably better on the environment, even recycling glass is better for the planet than recycling plastic! All of that being said there are certain things that are okay to store in plastic if you don't want to run out and buy all new containers this very second. 

HAVE TO STORE IN GLASS:

  • Fats - Oils, Nuts, Nut Butter, Tahini, Sauces, Etc.
  • Spices 
  • Citrus Fruits - Lemon, Lime, Orange and Grapefruit 
  • Dried Fruit
  • Sugars
  • Coffee
  • Loose Leaf Tea
  • Yeast - Nutritional or Baking
  • Any Leftover Food/Meals 
  • Meal Prep

OKAY TO STORE IN PLASTIC:

*It's always best to store in glass if possible*

  • Flour 
  • Vegetables and Fruits - Not Citrus Based*
  • Protein Powder 
  • Grains
  • Dried Beans and Legumes
  • Pasta
  • Cereal/Granola

I hope that you found this helpful and are feeling a lot more confident in the fact that you now know how to store your food as safely as possible for you and your family!

xo -LU