Last Updated on 2022-10-10 by Linda
It is Thanksgiving weekend, so no surprise, there is a lot of talk about food leftovers and how they save time, money, and effort. And allow you to enjoy the Turkey and sides for several days.
However, few people know the fine details involved in storing leftover foods. It could explain why 63% of Canadians discard food that could have been invested if properly stored.
How well do you store your leftovers? Do you often throw away food and feel guilty for it? If you answered yes to these questions, the following tips on better ways to store the excess would be helpful, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.
The fridge or freezer factor
In many cases, leftover food is better kept in the freezer to help preserve taste, appearance, and quality. The freezing compartment is designed to stop the activity of bacteria in food. On the other hand, if you store leftovers in the fridge, there are some guidelines to follow.
For instance, they should stay in the refrigerator for four days. Also, certain foods like vegetable salads must not be kept in the fridge for more than two days. While they may not appear compromised, the likelihood of bacteria production would be increased.
Culinary experts recommend keeping food on the counter no more than two hours before refrigeration or freezing. This is particularly important when the food is still hot or warm.
It is best to leave it to cool at room temperature if the fridge is your target. However, a little warmth will not harm your appliance if it is stored in the freezer. The objective here is to prevent the growth of food bacteria that renders your leftovers unwholesome.
The type of storage bowl matters
You may have heard that all foods must be stored in airtight containers to enhance preservation. Food experts recommend freezer-safe glass storage containers if you are dealing with meat, fish, and pasta.
This is because they are non-porous and preserve taste and flavour better. They are also made from borosilicate glass and can be put in the oven or microwave straightway from the freezer.
Plastic deli containers may be your best bet when storing leftover soups and stock. They do not contain polyvinyl chloride and other harmful compounds.
According to research, these compounds break down when exposed to freezing conditions, compromising food quality. Moreover, these safe plastics do not crack when your soups and stock freeze. Because frozen liquids expand, remember to leave enough space between the lid and the content.
Furthermore, leftovers like cooked rice, lasagna, and casseroles can be kept in freezer-safe glass or plastic containers. However, you may have to use freezer-safe glass containers if you have leftovers from your recipe for turkey breast in the instant pot. Using the right freezing container can keep this recipe leftover wholesome for up to four months.
Defrost leftovers in the fridge and not on the counter
Remember that your leftovers were exposed to the open air before entering the freezer. Therefore, leaving frozen leftovers to thaw on the counter accelerates the deterioration process.
This is something to avoid if you want to eat food that retains its quality and safety. Thawing in the fridge allows it to soften in a controlled environment. It also stops bacteria from forming quickly.This would mean moving your frozen leftovers from the freezer to the fridge within 24 hours.
When the food thaws and is reheated, you must ensure that you don’t refreeze it. Indeed, your leftovers require special treatment, from preservation methods to how they must be defrosted. The more precautions you take, the higher the chances of eating wholesome food.