Did you know? How we store our food once we get home can help prolong its freshness and make your life just a little easier.
Generally, food items are placed wherever they can fit. However, those fruit and vegetable drawers can really help prolong the life of your fresh fruits and veggies. Try to store your dairy products and eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator away from the door. Another great tip is to store fresh meats on the lowest shelf possible. This way, if any juices leak from the packaging it is less likely to come into contact or damage any other food items.
Fruits and Vegetables
Store your fruits with pits in a closed bag until it’s ripe. Once ripened, you can store in the fridge. Tomatoes can be kept in a pantry if eating within 2 days, otherwise store in the refrigerator to prevent them from rotting. Potatoes belong in a cool, dry and dark area within the pantry. Onions thrive best in these conditions too. However, do not store onions with potatoes. Not only can the onions affect the flavor of the potato, but the moisture of the onions will cause the potatoes to rot faster. Additionally, the ethylene gas exchange will cause increased decay in your onions.
Your pantry should be home to can & shelf stable packaged foods. Most canned goods last 2+ years but can be damaged by temps exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you open shelf stable products like milk, mayonnaise, salad dressings and jams, move them into the fridge for safe keeping.
Spices and Herbs
Avoid storing spices and herbs near sources of heat (ex: the stove/oven) as the heat may cause your spices & herbs to degrade quicker. Additionally, it is wise to store your cooking oils away from heat sources to keep them from going rancid.
Now that Easter is over, you may find yourself with leftover ham, some spare hash browns and eggs. Why not try this tasty ham and cheese quiche recipe. Ham provides an excellent source of protein, selenium, zinc, vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. In fact, pork (ham) is one of the best sources of thiamine which is critical in energy metabolism in the body. Additionally, adequate thiamine intake is necessary for efficient nerve activity and muscle activity in response to nerves. It is great as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Feel free to add any other items you desire- leftover asparagus would go well in this dish as well.
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Leftover Ham and Cheese Quiche (serves 8)
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens
- 10 Tbsp. margarine or butter, melted (recommend Benecol)
- 32 oz. shredded hash browns
- 7 Eggs
- 1 C milk
- ½ C half and half
- 1 ½ C shredded cheese (can use whatever you have on hand)
- 1/3 C chopped chives
- 8 oz. sliced ham (or whatever amount you have on hand to use up)
- Black pepper to taste (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan and set aside.
- Coat hash browns in melted butter. Press hash browns into bottom of greased pan and up the sides of the pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk eggs, milk, half and half in large bowl. Stir in cheese, chives, ham and pepper. Pour egg mixture over hash brown crust and bake until eggs are set (approximately 40-45 minutes).
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen sides up for serving.