Friday, February 17, 2012

Food Essay Friday: A Few Tips for Food Preservation

I've just found a new blog called Love Food Hate Waste. Besides being a nice resource for food preserving tips, it's based in the UK. You know what that means? That's right; it means they talk funny. (I, of course, never talk funny.) They use all these charming terms like 'market' and 'charming' and abbreviations like 'veg' and 'cauli' and they have an entire (albeit small) section dedicated to the preservation/re-use of Christmas pudding. Yeah, try finding that on an American blog. I must confess, however, that I was really hoping to see the word 'ruddy' utilized more often. Alas, it's not that kind of a blog.

So head on over and have a look (they've also got this ad campaign running right now that cracks me up, but wait, I'm getting distracted). Yes, head right over and have a look. My favorite section was the "Top Tips and Storage."

Here are a few favorite tips (as yet untested by me) that I found today:

1. Preserve Leafy Vegetables: Put salad leaves in a paper bag. The paper catches the moisture, keeping the leaves crisp, but preventing mold (the British spell that 'mould,' by the way.) Similarly, you can put a piece of paper at the bottom of a drawer and store your lettuces, leafy greens there to the same good effect. Note: I actually thought the whole greens in a bag thing would be a good idea if you work--Just bag 5 bags of greens at the beginning of the week. Have some sun-dried tomatoes or hard-boiled eggs on hand and you've got a quick, healthy grab-and-go meal.

2. De-Stale Nuts, Chips, Crackers: Place in warm oven for 3-5 minutes (watch so you don't burn 'em) and let cool (must let cool). They'll re-crisp.

3. Freeze Potatoes: Parboil cut potatoes for 5 minutes, then freeze (I'm assuming you'd spread these out on a cookie sheet first so they don't all stick together; and then bag them up). Supposedly, you can roast these frozen potatoes and get a more golden, crispy potato than you otherwise would have.

4. Save Your Lonely Brown Banana: Add to a curry (vegetable or lentil work best). This is said to create a fruity undertone without "being a definitive taste"--i.e. screaming banana.

5. Freeze Chili Peppers: Freeze whole. When you use, they're easier to cut and scrape out seeds. They also cook faster when they've been frozen.

6. Leave Cauliflower "Cauli" Leaves On: This makes it last longer. Also, if you use only part of your cauliflower, you can cover it all with the leftover leaves and this supposedly gives it an even longer life.

7. Use Your Spinach Stalks: Chop and saute with a bit of soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a touch of sesame oil for a tasty side dish. (Why haven't I ever thought of this? It sounds delish.)

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