Reap all the benefits of eating fresh and healthy. Make sure you store your fresh produce and other foods the right way to maximize their flavor and nutrition. See the tips below and learn what to keep in (or out) of the freezer and refrigerator. Of course always be sure to check with your diabetes care team before making changes to your meal plan.
5 perishable foods to carefully store in the fridge
Use a little extra care when you refrigerate these favorite foods. But first, use a thermometer to be sure that your refrigerator is at 40°F or below.
1. Leafy greens: After washing and drying your greens, wrap them loosely in a paper towel and store them in a plastic bag.
2. Mushrooms: Keep them away from moisture by storing them unwashed in a paper bag.
3. Berries: Store these tiny nutrient powerhouses in their plastic clamshell package. Wash just before eating.
4. Fresh herbs: Place the stems into a jar of water, and cover the leaves with a plastic bag. Change the water every other day.
5. Milk, cheese and eggs: Always store in the coldest part of the refrigerator and avoid placing them in the door storage compartments.
2 cooking staples you should never store near the stove
Heat and steam can spoil many foods. Never store these 2 cooking staples near the stove or other heat source.
1. Olive oil and other cooking oils: Like nuts, cooking oils are rich in the healthful fats that are likely to deteriorate. Store them in a cool, dark cabinet away from heat.
2. Dried herbs and spices: Prolong their life and their potency by storing dried seasoning away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight. When cooking, pour them into a spoon or your hand before adding to a steamy pot to keep heat and moisture from getting into the bottle.
Reap all the benefits of eating fresh and healthy
3 foods to store in the freezer
Foods with healthy fats can spoil easily. To keep these foods fresh for long-term use, store in the freezer:
1. Nuts and seeds: Oxygen from the air attacks the healthy unsaturated fats in nuts and seeds making them rancid. Wrap these crunchy gems tightly before placing them in the freezer.
2. Nut flours such as peanut flour and almond meal: These have the same good-for-you unsaturated fats that are prone to oxidation.
3. Whole-wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour has more fats than white flour. Unless you use it quickly, store it in the freezer. Do the same for all of your whole grain flours.
5 staples to keep out of the fridge!
The temperature and humidity inside the fridge can make these favorite staples spoil. Here’s what to do:
1. Potatoes: Keep these in a cool, dark, well-ventilated spot in your pantry.
2. Onions: Store onions in a separate cool, dark, well-ventilated space. If onions are too close to the potatoes, they will absorb the potato’s moisture and sprout. After cutting an onion, wrap it tightly and store in the refrigerator.
3. Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes lose flavor and may develop a mealy texture in the refrigerator. Store them on the kitchen counter away from direct sunlight.
4. Unripe fruits: Generally, cold temps prevent ripening. So it’s best to keep unripe fruits at room temperature. Once they ripen, refrigerate them to slow further ripening. Some fruits and veggies produce ethylene gas during ripening. Keep these away from other produce as they may cause them to over ripen. High ethylene fruits are: apples, apricots, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, papayas, peaches, pears and plums.
5. Bread: Keep fresh bread at room temperature and be sure to eat it within a few days. Otherwise, store it in the freezer, and remove a slice or two at a time.