Crisper Drawers 101

Crisper Drawers 101

Your crisper drawers are one of the best ways to help preserve your food and reduce food waste.

Here is a quick guide to help you organize your fresh foods.

  1. High & Low Humidity – If your drawers have an option, select high humidity in one drawer, and low humidity in the other.
  2. High Humidity – store leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and thin-skinned fruits and vegetables like strawberries, raspberries, and grapes.
  3. Low Humidity – store thicker-skinned fruits and vegetables like onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
  4. Do not store apples and bananas together.

Food Preservation 101

Food Preservation 101

When it comes to your refrigerator, the freezer has a pretty important role. Aside from keeping your ice cream cold, the freezer is where you store leftovers and your favorite fruits and vegetables so they’re always in season.

How you store your favorite items also makes a big difference when it comes to freshness and flavor. So we asked our Food Preservation Scientist Carolina Biotti for some simple tips to help you make the most of your freezer space.

Start by creating a plan for organization.

  • Keep the food that has been in the freezer the longest up front to build a first-in first-out mentality. This allows you to use your items faster so they are less likely to go to waste.
  • When storing new items in the freezer, it is best to place them near the back with some open space around them. This enables air to circulate freely around the item, cooling it faster and more evenly.
  • To freeze meat, it is important to make sure it is adequately sealed. Air tight and vacuum sealed packaging will help minimize freezer burn, which can leave your food tasting less flavorful.
  • When it comes to freezing vegetables, it is best to blanch green vegetables before your freeze them. Blanching will help the vegetables to keep their color, flavor and nutrients when frozen.
  • Even fruits and vegetables have a shelf life. Fruits (except citrus) can be stored for 8 to 12 months. Citrus fruits and their juices can be stored for 4 to 6 months. Vegetables can also be stored for 8 to 12 months.
  • Another quick tip is to clearly label each package with the date. This will help you identify which items need to be used and by when.
Refrigerator Organization 101

Refrigerator Organization 101

The refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen making it one of the hardest to keep organized. So we asked our home science expert Julia Burke to provide a few tips to help you get the most out of your refrigerator.

Outside in

Put your condiments or your less frequently used items towards the outside, and build layers as you move in. This will allow you to still see your items in the back but free up more space for more frequently used items.

Sort by Size

Try moving some shelves around to create small, medium and tall spaces. This will allow you to store items like casserole dishes without wasting space above the item. Arranging by size also helps guide the rest of the family and visitors on where to store items.

Expiration Dates

You are more likely to eat and use the items in your refrigerator that are within your line of sight. So put items that are perishable and those you’d like to use first, front and center. That way perishable items get used faster, reducing waste and freeing up space.

3 Simple Steps to an Organized Refrigerator

3 Simple Steps to an Organized Refrigerator

The refrigerator is one of the most touched appliances in the home. Almost every member of the family comes in contact with it at least once a day.
So how do you keep it organized?

Here are some easy tips the whole family can follow for a more organized fridge.

  • Organize from the outside in.
    Place less used items on the outside, like condiments. Build layers in so that the outside items are still visible.
  • Organize by size.
    Move your shelves! Create low, medium, tall and super tall spaces. This will help decrease wasted space.
  • First in, first out.
    Arrange your items so that those you need to use first are front and center. Things that perish fast, or are nearing the end of their shelf life should go in front. This will also help cut down on food waste.

 

Organize your refrigerator

6 Tips for keeping frozen food fresh

6 Tips for keeping frozen food fresh

Do you know how to get the most out of your freezer?

These 6 tips will help keep your frozen food fresh:

  1. Keep your freezer organized.  Keeping the food that has been in the freezer the longest up front it will prompt a first-in-first-out mentality. This will allow you to use your items faster so they are less likely to go to waste. Store new items in the back, to allow the new food to be in the coldest part of the freezer.
  2. Air flow is key.  Make sure when you add new food to the back of the freezer that there is adequate room around the item to allow for air circulation. This will ensure your food is cooled on all surfaces evenly.
  3. Minimize freezer burn with vacuum sealing.  Air tight and vacuum sealed packaging will help minimize freezer burn, which can leave your food tasting less flavorful and colorful.
  4. Blanch vegetables first.  When it comes to freezing vegetables, it is best to blanch green vegetables before your freeze them. Blanching helps vegetables maintain their color, flavor and nutrients when frozen.
  5. Everything has a shelf life.  Even fruits and vegetables have a shelf life. Fruits (except citrus) can be stored for 8 to 12 months. Citrus fruits and their juices can be stored for 4 to 6 months. Vegetables can be stored for 8 to 12 months.
  6. Label everything.  Clearly label each package with the date it expires. This will make it easier to identify which food you need to consume first, and which items are past their shelf life.

These simple tips can help you keep your frozen food fresher, and even extend the life of some of your seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.

3 Easy Tips to get your Garage in Shape for the Winter

3 Easy Tips to get your Garage in Shape for the Winter

Are you ready to winterize your garage? It’s time to bring in the warm weather furniture, tools and equipment. If you have an already packed space, the additional items can create an even bigger mess.

Here are 3 easy tips to clean up the clutter and organize before winter arrives.

Have a Game Plan:

First, decide what functions you want your garage to have. The majority of home owners use their garage to park their car but there are many other uses that are important to make space for in addition to parking the car. Many homeowners choose to have designated space for hobbies, tools and storage.

After you’ve decided what you want to store, designate “zones” so that each area has a place.

By dividing up your garage into zones you’ll have organized spaces for things like lawn & garden equipment, sporting goods and tools. This will keep you organized and help the rest of the household know where to put things in the future.

Eliminate Waste:

Clutter is one of the biggest and most common problems in the garage for homeowners. Take some time before each season to assess what can stay and what needs to go.

Designate an area where items that you can sell at a future garage sale can go, that way when the weather warms back up you’ll already have items ready to go.

Instead of tossing hardly used items away, consider donating. Many charitable organizations will take your gently used items and some will even come pick them up!

Maximize Your Space:

One way to organize and create space is to use garage organization systems. Hooks and shelves easily move items off the garage floor and free up space. It will also make your garage look and feel more organized.