Ultimate Guide to Store Food In The Fridge 

Preparing your meals ahead of time is a great approach to ensure that you eat properly every day of the week. So, to maintain the freshness of your food and avoid nutritional loss, it is crucial to store your prepped meals properly. In addition to ensuring that food is consumed before it spoils, effective fridge organization helps prevent food waste ( here is my take on how to use kitchen waste ! ) and saves energy because a well-organized fridge uses less energy.

These are some tips on how to effortlessly and successfully maximize nutrient retention while storing your meal preps in the fridge.

1. Keeping Prepared Food

 It is crucial to know how to store hot food after cooking because food should never be stored until it has reached room temperature. Foods that are kept hot can damage the refrigerator.

Partition the food into smaller parts and employ shallow containers to store . Also, allow space in the refrigerator between containers so that air can circulate.

2. Make Use of Appropriate Containers 

Fridge organising ideas

The appropriate storage containers can have a significant impact on the retention of nutrients:

Airtight containers: They shield nutrients from oxidation and loss due to air exposure. Glass is preferable to plastic containers because it is non-reactive and better preserves food quality.

Vacuum-sealed Bags : Since these bags work wonders to reduce air exposure and foods can keep up for longer time.

3. Ideal Temperature for a Fridge

Maintain the ideal temperature of approximately  in your refrigerator. For the refrigerator it can be approximately 3 °C and for the chiller it is -18 °C to – 21°C in summer.  This temperature prolongs the freshness of your food by slowing down its deterioration.

 4. Properly Arrange Your Fridge

Fridge organization ideas

Maintaining proper organization guarantees that your food stays fresh and at the proper temperature: 

Top shelves: Stock items that are ready to consume, such as meat, dairy, and leftovers. Then store prepared meals and cooked dishes on the middle shelves. 

Bottom shelves: To avoid cross-contamination, keep raw materials like fruits and vegetables stored there. 

Use crisper drawers to store fruits and veggies. To accommodate diverse produce, adjust the humidity settings (high humidity for leafy greens, low humidity for fruits).

5. Appropriate Fruit and Vegetable Storage 

The needs for storing fruits and vegetables differ: Fruits require different times to be stored than vegetables, which have a longer shelf life. 

Differentiate the ethylene producers :Fruits like bananas and apples release ethylene gas, which can hasten the rotting of other things. So, store them apart. 

Put produce in bags made of paper or mesh: These assist products have a longer shelf life by controlling moisture.

 6. Time and Labeling

Always label your containers with the contents and the date of preparation. Because this ensures that you consume your food within the suggested time frames—three to four days for most cooked foods—and monitors its freshness. 

7. Avoid overfilling 

How to store fruits?

When you overcrowd your refrigerator, ventilation is restricted, which can lead to uneven cooling and quick degradation. To allow air to pass through containers, leave enough space surrounding them.

8. Maintain the ideal moisture balance

The produce we store should not get too much moist but still we need it to some level. So, how can you do that? Here are some tips,

Paper towel usage : Inside the leafy greens, insert a paper towel to absorb more moisture. 

Wet towels for specific vegetables : We can wrap vegetables like carrots and celery in a damp cloth to preserve them fresh.

Few storage ideas :

Salads: To avoid sogginess, store ingredients separately. Toss just before serving. Store leafy greens, garnishes, and dressings in different containers.

Legumes and Grains: Once cooked, these foods can be kept fresh in airtight jars. Think about dividing them and labeling up for easy meal preparation.

Proteins: Put cooked proteins in airtight containers, such as tofu, chicken, or beans. To maintain freshness and nutrient retention, store them in freezer and use within 3–4 days. 

Snacks and Fruits:  Store chopped produce in glass jars or food-specific bags. Hummus and dips should be kept in little, sealed jars.

Storage tips: Handle herbs as you would for flowers. For example cilantro or parsley, after trimming the stems, put them in a jar with water and loosely cover them with a plastic bag.

By following these simple storage tips, you can ensure your prepped meals stay fresh and retain their nutritional value throughout the week. Proper cooling, using the right containers, and organizing your fridge efficiently are key steps in preserving nutrients and enjoying healthy, delicious meals every day. Happy meal prepping!

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