One of the biggest concerns my clients have is saving money while still eating well. It is a common misconception that “good” food is expensive food. In realty eating well can cost significantly less if you know what to look for and are a smart shopper. This led to last weeks post on how to save money while grocery shopping. The post is filled loads of tips on cutting costs on groceries without having to cut coupons or cutting out your favorite foods. Check out the article Grocery Shopping on a Budget here. However, as I was writing I came to the tip of saving money by know how to store food well. Simply put the best way to save money is to not waste food. In general about 40% of all the food in the United States ends up in the garbage. American families throw out between 14 and 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. This can cost the average family between $1,365 to $2,275 annually. That’s a lot of money to be simply tossing away.
I could not list all the ways to properly store food well in that article so I started compiling a list of the most commonly used items and key tips on how to store these foods well. Needless to say I am still working on it because there is so much useful information I want to share and I don’t want to overwhelm you or cheat you out of good practical tips to save you money in the kitchen. I will share some of the most common items one at a time in future newsletters under the new Save Money, Store it Well section. Look for in in future releases. For this week we start with an all American favorite the Apple.
How to Store Apples
Apples are one of the most common and loved fruits and for good reason, not only do they come an amazing verity of colors, flavors and textures they are perfectly delicious eaten out of hand or used in a variety of cooking and baking applications from sweet to savory breakfast to dinner and dessert. It seems there are almost endless possibilities for the humble apple. Just like so many other perishable items they are only harvested one time of year and are at their peak for just a few weeks. So how do you best store apples? Here are a few tips to save money and store apples well.
Look for apples free from bruises, cuts, bug damage and soft spots for longer storage. Use imperfect apples quickly for eating or use them in cooking for applesauce, apple juice, apple butter, cakes, muffins, apple pie or canning for long term storage.
Storage Location and Temperature:
Place unblemished apples in boxes or baskets in a cool basement, garage, shed, fruit cellar or refrigerator. The ideal storage temperature is 30-32°F with high humidity. Apples will ripen quickly, if the temperature is above 40.
Take Extra Care:
To maximize their storage life, wrap each apple in craft or newspaper before you place it in the basket. If one apple goes bad, the paper will protect the other apples from coming into contact with it and will keep soft spots to a minimum.
Keep an eye on it:
Check regularly for signs of spoilage, and remove any rotten apples before they have a chance to spoil others.
*Note that Apples and many other fruit produce an ethylene gas that is harmless but causes other items around it to ripen faster.
Do you have a favorite way for ideal apple storage? Do you have questions about how to best store a particular ingredient? Let me know, I am happy to help.