Storage

Tips for best storage of different food items, by category.

Vegetables

Fruits

Dairy and Eggs

Pastries, Legumes and Cereals

Fish and Meat

From Nature

Oils, Spices, Tea and Coffee

Storage

 Concentration of all the tips on proper storage of food:

Vegetables

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Tomato

Optimal storage:

In summer, if sliced or very ripe – in the refrigerator. In winter, at room temperature. Tomatoes secrete ethylene and therefore it is not advisable to store them next to cucumbers or other vegetables that will be harmed by them. Shelf life of 1-2 weeks.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – not recommended. Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, so the texture and shape are impaired. May be frozen as sauce. Do not wash until use.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking sauces, soups and stews, also in over-ripe condition. It is recommended to remove from the refrigerator a few hours before eating.

Just before the trashcan: tomatoes partially covered with spots – you can remove the ripe parts and use the rest. If the tomato is too green, place it in a brown paper bag with some ripe fruit.

Cucumber

Optimal storage:

Not suitable for temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, quickly rots out of the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator it is recommended to wrap in paper towels and consume within 3 days.

Freezing:

Not recommended – Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, its texture is impaired and its shape is lost.

Tip:

Primarily recommended for fresh salads. Purchasing close to the time of use is advisable.

Just before the trashcan:

Cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene, therefore placing them near bananas, melons and tomatoes is not recommended, as they will quickly ripen.

Lettuce

Optimal storage:

Inside the refrigerator in a ventilated plastic bag, in order to prevent accumulation of dampness, and closed at the top for prevention of leaf wilting. Separated leaves may be stored for a few days in the refrigerator. You should wash them in running water, thoroughly dry and store in a plastic box lined with paper towels. Will last for approximately a week in the refrigerator.

Freezing:

Not recommended. If you would like to freeze it, you may blanch it in boiling water for short, and then cool in ice water. Blanching destroys the enzymes which damage the vegetable during freezing and defrosting.

Tip:

Primarily recommended for fresh salads. Available year round.

Just before the trashcan:

Be sure not to store the lettuce in the refrigerator near apples, as the ethylene secreted in large quantities may cause the formation of brown spots along the white arteries of the lettuce.

Herbs

Optimal storage:

Refrigerated herbs will decay in a day or two, and also if kept outside will go through a rapid decaying process. The solution: put the herbs in a glass of water, cover with a plastic bag and seal the bag with a rubber band. The herbs will keep fresh even after a week.

Freezing:

Certain herbs, such as parsley, dill and coriander, may be frozen in a closed container, after chopping. Others, such as basil and mint, will blacken. Freezing in oil will help keep their color. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are not suitable for freezing.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, soups, baking, salads and spreads.

Cauliflower

Optimal storage:

Inside the refrigerator in a plastic bag with large holes, after removing the foliage (the covering leaves) or wrapped in plastic food wrap.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen in pieces, however may become watery while defrosting. The cauliflower’s stems may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies), fresh salads, soups, and even cauliflower spread. It is not recommended to throw away the stems as they are rich in flavor and nutrients and may be frozen and used while preparing stock or a slow cooking soup.

Just before the trashcan:

Chop black / rotten parts and use the rest as usual.

Summer Squash

Optimal storage:

Dark green zucchini is relatively resistant to cold and may last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or more. Yellow squash suffers cold damage at temperatures lower than 21 degrees Celsius. It is not recommended to keep refrigerated over a week, and the squash stem should be removed prior to refrigeration.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies), soups, primarily cooked salads but also fresh salads, and even squash spread. Recommended use shortly after purchasing; it is important to pick firm and glossy squashes. The yellow varieties are best purchased near the intended time of consumption.

Potatoes

Optimal storage:

In a cool dark place – not refrigerated. The cold and humidity in the refrigerator will cause the potato starch to convert into sugar, which will harm the taste and texture. Preferably place in a paper bag (which is not as sealed as a plastic bag). Should be placed away from onions and apples; the ethylene secreted by these might cause the potato to sprout.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – white potato – may be frozen, may become watery while defrosting.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, and cooked salads.

Just before the trashcan:

Remove green sections (indicate toxicity) or decayed sections and use the rest.

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Onion

Optimal storage:

Open, yet dim-lit space, at room temperature. The refrigerator is not an option – even on the hottest day of the year, as the cold and humidity cause the onion to become sticky. Preferably store with garlic and absolutely never with potatoes.

Tip:

Try placing an onion inside clean old pantyhose, one onion in each side, and tying up the pantyhose.

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended – but may be frozen after dicing. Cooked – preferably not, may be frozen alongside another vegetable.

Just before the trashcan:

Remove green buds or flawed sections and use the rest.

Carrot

Optimal storage:

Refrigerated after completely removing the leaves, as they attract humidity. Carrots, without leaves and unpeeled, may be kept fresh for 2 weeks in a sealed plastic bag. Carrot sticks may be kept longer in a water-filled airtight container, but in this case the water must be changed very often.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen. Cooked white carrot – may be frozen, may become watery while defrosting.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads, juices and shakes.

Long shelf life in a refrigerated sealed bag.

Just before the trashcan:

Dip in ice water for a few minutes in order to harden carrots which have softened and lost their natural texture.

Mushrooms

Optimal storage:

Recommended in a paper bag and not a plastic bag. A paper bag will absorb humidity and prevent the decaying of mushrooms. Preferably in a cool and dry place.

Freezing:

May be frozen fresh or cooked depending on the mushroom species – Portobello and common champignon mushrooms may be frozen. Cleaning and chopping is required prior to freezing.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads.

Just before the trashcan:

Old mushrooms may be marinated in oil and vinegar.

Basil

Optimal storage:

Basil is of tropical origin; therefore it is damaged at storage temperatures below 21 degrees. Refrigerated storage will cause blackening within a day or two, and leaving it unrefrigerated in a plastic bag – will cause it to rot. The solution is using it soon after purchasing.

Freezing:

Chop and store in an airtight container with olive oil.

Tip:

Try chopping the edges of the stalks, as customary with flowers, and dipping in a jar of water up to the lowest leaf (3-5 cm). Place the jar on the kitchen counter in well-lit place. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag with holes for the first 24 hours in order to prevent wilting. Roots will grow within a few days which will vitalize the plant for over a month.

Recommended for cooking, baking, fresh salads and dressings.

Just before the trashcan:

 If leaves have turned brown, its quality will be impaired and it is not recommended for use. If stems and flowers have grown, they may be removed and the rest of the basil may be used as usual.

Broccoli

Optimal storage:

May be kept for over a month if stored at 1 degree Celsius, but tends to become yellow and rot within a few days in the domestic refrigerator. If you purchased broccoli without a packaging, or its packaging was torn, transfer it to a bag without holes, secure the rim with a rubber band (a “granny knot”) and after removing the air, punch a tiny hole in the bag using a toothpick. The broccoli will be kept for over 2 weeks in this condition.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen, preferably in pieces, may become watery while defrosting. The broccoli stems may also be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies) and fresh salads. It has a particularly high nutritional value and contains a high level of antioxidants and cancer-preventing substances; therefore it is important to maintain its quality during storage.

Sweet Potatoe

Optimal storage:

Store in a cool, dark, dry place with good airflow, such as a cellar or pantry. In these conditions sweet potato will retain well for 3-4 weeks. In regular domestic storage conditions, sweet potato should be used within 1 week of purchase. Not recommended to refrigerate in order to avoid aftertaste and rough texture.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking (mainly soups), baking, cooked salads and spreads. Only wash sweet potato right before cooking it. The humidity will cause rapid withering.

Just before the trashcan:

Please note that the sweet potato’s peel is also edible.

Peppers

Optimal storage:

Depending on the color and the ripening phase: the optimal temperature for red, yellow or orange peppers is 7 degrees. The optimal temperature for a green fruit (unripe) is 21 degrees.

A firm pepper without defects may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 21 days. If the fruit peel is red with a green cheek, the fruit may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You should chop the green stem to the height of the “fruit’s shoulders” in order to maintain the quality of the fruit. The pepper’s storage period may be extended by packaging in a plastic bag with large holes, and placing paper towels inside the bag to absorb the water vapor generated from the pepper.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – preferably not, may be frozen alongside other vegetables.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, cooked and fresh salads and spreads. All peppers start off as green, which changes to one color from a wide variety of colors during ripening, depending on the species.

Just before the trashcan:

Peppers may be dried by hanging out in a ventilated place in the sun, as long as nights are not too cold.

Old peppers will make great antipasti.

Vegetables

Blank
Tomato

Optimal storage:

In summer, if sliced or very ripe – in the refrigerator. In winter, at room temperature. Tomatoes secrete ethylene and therefore it is not advisable to store them next to cucumbers or other vegetables that will be harmed by them. Shelf life of 1-2 weeks.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – not recommended. Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, so the texture and shape are impaired. May be frozen as sauce. Do not wash until use.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking sauces, soups and stews, also in over-ripe condition. It is recommended to remove from the refrigerator a few hours before eating.

Just before the trashcan: tomatoes partially covered with spots – you can remove the ripe parts and use the rest. If the tomato is too green, place it in a brown paper bag with some ripe fruit.

Cucumber

Optimal storage:

Not suitable for temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, quickly rots out of the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator it is recommended to wrap in paper towels and consume within 3 days.

Freezing:

Not recommended – Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, its texture is impaired and its shape is lost.

Tip:

Primarily recommended for fresh salads. Purchasing close to the time of use is advisable.

Just before the trashcan:

Cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene, therefore placing them near bananas, melons and tomatoes is not recommended, as they will quickly ripen.

Lettuce

Optimal storage:

Inside the refrigerator in a ventilated plastic bag, in order to prevent accumulation of dampness, and closed at the top for prevention of leaf wilting. Separated leaves may be stored for a few days in the refrigerator. You should wash them in running water, thoroughly dry and store in a plastic box lined with paper towels. Will last for approximately a week in the refrigerator.

Freezing:

Not recommended. If you would like to freeze it, you may blanch it in boiling water for short, and then cool in ice water. Blanching destroys the enzymes which damage the vegetable during freezing and defrosting.

Tip:

Primarily recommended for fresh salads. Available year round.

Just before the trashcan:

Be sure not to store the lettuce in the refrigerator near apples, as the ethylene secreted in large quantities may cause the formation of brown spots along the white arteries of the lettuce.

Herbs

Optimal storage:

Refrigerated herbs will decay in a day or two, and also if kept outside will go through a rapid decaying process. The solution: put the herbs in a glass of water, cover with a plastic bag and seal the bag with a rubber band. The herbs will keep fresh even after a week.

Freezing:

Certain herbs, such as parsley, dill and coriander, may be frozen in a closed container, after chopping. Others, such as basil and mint, will blacken. Freezing in oil will help keep their color. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are not suitable for freezing.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, soups, baking, salads and spreads.

Cauliflower

Optimal storage:

Inside the refrigerator in a plastic bag with large holes, after removing the foliage (the covering leaves) or wrapped in plastic food wrap.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen in pieces, however may become watery while defrosting. The cauliflower’s stems may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies), fresh salads, soups, and even cauliflower spread. It is not recommended to throw away the stems as they are rich in flavor and nutrients and may be frozen and used while preparing stock or a slow cooking soup.

Just before the trashcan:

Chop black / rotten parts and use the rest as usual.

Summer Squash

Optimal storage:

Dark green zucchini is relatively resistant to cold and may last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or more. Yellow squash suffers cold damage at temperatures lower than 21 degrees Celsius. It is not recommended to keep refrigerated over a week, and the squash stem should be removed prior to refrigeration.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies), soups, primarily cooked salads but also fresh salads, and even squash spread. Recommended use shortly after purchasing; it is important to pick firm and glossy squashes. The yellow varieties are best purchased near the intended time of consumption.

Potatoes

Optimal storage:

In a cool dark place – not refrigerated. The cold and humidity in the refrigerator will cause the potato starch to convert into sugar, which will harm the taste and texture. Preferably place in a paper bag (which is not as sealed as a plastic bag). Should be placed away from onions and apples; the ethylene secreted by these might cause the potato to sprout.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – white potato – may be frozen, may become watery while defrosting.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, and cooked salads.

Just before the trashcan:

Remove green sections (indicate toxicity) or decayed sections and use the rest.

Blank
Onion

Optimal storage:

Open, yet dim-lit space, at room temperature. The refrigerator is not an option – even on the hottest day of the year, as the cold and humidity cause the onion to become sticky. Preferably store with garlic and absolutely never with potatoes.

Tip:

Try placing an onion inside clean old pantyhose, one onion in each side, and tying up the pantyhose.

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended – but may be frozen after dicing. Cooked – preferably not, may be frozen alongside another vegetable.

Just before the trashcan:

Remove green buds or flawed sections and use the rest.

Carrot

Optimal storage:

Refrigerated after completely removing the leaves, as they attract humidity. Carrots, without leaves and unpeeled, may be kept fresh for 2 weeks in a sealed plastic bag. Carrot sticks may be kept longer in a water-filled airtight container, but in this case the water must be changed very often.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen. Cooked white carrot – may be frozen, may become watery while defrosting.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads, juices and shakes.

Long shelf life in a refrigerated sealed bag.

Just before the trashcan:

Dip in ice water for a few minutes in order to harden carrots which have softened and lost their natural texture.

Mushrooms

Optimal storage:

Recommended in a paper bag and not a plastic bag. A paper bag will absorb humidity and prevent the decaying of mushrooms. Preferably in a cool and dry place.

Freezing:

May be frozen fresh or cooked depending on the mushroom species – Portobello and common champignon mushrooms may be frozen. Cleaning and chopping is required prior to freezing.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, fresh and cooked salads.

Just before the trashcan:

Old mushrooms may be marinated in oil and vinegar.

Basil

Optimal storage:

Basil is of tropical origin; therefore it is damaged at storage temperatures below 21 degrees. Refrigerated storage will cause blackening within a day or two, and leaving it unrefrigerated in a plastic bag – will cause it to rot. The solution is using it soon after purchasing.

Freezing:

Chop and store in an airtight container with olive oil.

Tip:

Try chopping the edges of the stalks, as customary with flowers, and dipping in a jar of water up to the lowest leaf (3-5 cm). Place the jar on the kitchen counter in well-lit place. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag with holes for the first 24 hours in order to prevent wilting. Roots will grow within a few days which will vitalize the plant for over a month.

Recommended for cooking, baking, fresh salads and dressings.

Just before the trashcan:

 If leaves have turned brown, its quality will be impaired and it is not recommended for use. If stems and flowers have grown, they may be removed and the rest of the basil may be used as usual.

Broccoli

Optimal storage:

May be kept for over a month if stored at 1 degree Celsius, but tends to become yellow and rot within a few days in the domestic refrigerator. If you purchased broccoli without a packaging, or its packaging was torn, transfer it to a bag without holes, secure the rim with a rubber band (a “granny knot”) and after removing the air, punch a tiny hole in the bag using a toothpick. The broccoli will be kept for over 2 weeks in this condition.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen, preferably in pieces, may become watery while defrosting. The broccoli stems may also be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking (recommended in pies) and fresh salads. It has a particularly high nutritional value and contains a high level of antioxidants and cancer-preventing substances; therefore it is important to maintain its quality during storage.

Sweet Potatoe

Optimal storage:

Store in a cool, dark, dry place with good airflow, such as a cellar or pantry. In these conditions sweet potato will retain well for 3-4 weeks. In regular domestic storage conditions, sweet potato should be used within 1 week of purchase. Not recommended to refrigerate in order to avoid aftertaste and rough texture.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – may be frozen.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking (mainly soups), baking, cooked salads and spreads. Only wash sweet potato right before cooking it. The humidity will cause rapid withering.

Just before the trashcan:

Please note that the sweet potato’s peel is also edible.

Peppers

Optimal storage:

Depending on the color and the ripening phase: the optimal temperature for red, yellow or orange peppers is 7 degrees. The optimal temperature for a green fruit (unripe) is 21 degrees.

A firm pepper without defects may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 21 days. If the fruit peel is red with a green cheek, the fruit may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You should chop the green stem to the height of the “fruit’s shoulders” in order to maintain the quality of the fruit. The pepper’s storage period may be extended by packaging in a plastic bag with large holes, and placing paper towels inside the bag to absorb the water vapor generated from the pepper.

Freezing:

Fresh – not recommended. Cooked – preferably not, may be frozen alongside other vegetables.

Tip:

Recommended for cooking, baking, soups, cooked and fresh salads and spreads. All peppers start off as green, which changes to one color from a wide variety of colors during ripening, depending on the species.

Just before the trashcan:

Peppers may be dried by hanging out in a ventilated place in the sun, as long as nights are not too cold.

Old peppers will make great antipasti.

Fruits

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Bananas

Optimal storage:

It is recommended to completely separate them one from the other (not as a cluster), and wrap each banana tip with plastic food wrap. This will reduce the emission of ethylene from the banana, and slow down the ripening process. Once the bananas have reached an ideal ripening state, they can be transferred to the refrigerator for protection against decay for a longer period of time.

Freezing:

Fresh / Cooked – preferably not.

Tip:

Recommended for baking, desserts, shakes and as a delicious addition to foods.

Just before the trashcan:

Blackened parts may be discarded and the rest of the banana can be used. Overripe bananas will be used to make terrific pastries or shakes.

Apples

Optimal storage:

Keep in the lowest temperature in the refrigerator in order to prevent aging, preferably in an unsealed plastic bag in order to prevent weight loss. Apples can be kept in excellent quality in the refrigerator for ten days. It is recommended to avoid leaving a cut-up apple in the refrigerator because it tends to brown quickly, and if you wish to do so, you should sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on it.

Freezing:

Fresh – browns. Cooked – possible, but may brown.

Tip:

Recommended for baking, desserts, an addition to fresh salads, shakes and juices. Research shows that apples are good for your health, but the level of natural substances that are beneficial to your health decreases during storage, in all apple types. Apples should be eaten in their peel after washing with water.

Just before the trashcan:

Soft apples are excellent for cooking and baking. Take a look at our recipe for perfect apple chips.

(Link to apple chips)

Peaches

Optimal storage:

The species found in the beginning of the season usually soften within 2 to 3 days at room temperature, whereas the end-of-season peaches soften only after 5 to 8 days. Early-season peaches (April – May) should be stored in the refrigerator, and they will be kept for up to a week and soften as required. When buying end-of-season peaches, it is recommended to first leave them outside the refrigerator for a few days until they start softening, and then put them inside the refrigerator.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – preferably freeze after dicing, may become watery while defrosting.

Tip:

It is recommended to buy peaches until the end of September. Peaches should be eaten when soft in order to enjoy the juiciness to its fullest, and then the aroma is also at its best.

Just before the trashcan:

Even when soft, peaches are great for cakes, jams and other desserts.

Plums

Optimal storage:

May be kept outside the refrigerator for 5 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Prolonged storage causes loss of juiciness and may even lead to internal browning of the fruit pulp.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – possible to freeze, may become watery while defrosting. Prunes – fresh / cooked – possible to freeze but may cause changes in texture and shape.

Tip:

Recommended for baking and desserts.

Just before the trashcan:

 May be incorporated in cooking and baking of desserts also as prunes.

Grapes

Optimal storage:

Fresh and healthy grapes with green stems may be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks in the original packaging. It is advisable to wash grapes only before consumption as they are sensitive to touch.

If the stems are brown or the grapes very soft, or if there are apparent injuries, beginning of decay and spots, the fruit should be consumed after removal of the injured grapes, soaking in water with a bit of soap and rinsing under tap water.

During December through January grapes are mostly intended for immediate consumption and will last only a few days in refrigeration.

Freezing:

Fresh – may be frozen whole, halved or in quarters for a natural addictive sorbet.

Tip:

Recommended for desserts. Fresh grapes are available from May through November and in small amounts in winter.

Just before the trashcan:

If you’ve discovered rotten grapes – throw away only those and leave the rest.

Strawberries

Optimal storage:

In winter, strawberries will last a few days to a week in the refrigerator. In the hot seasons, they will not last more than 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Packing the fruit in low baskets, in one or two layers, is better than multilayered deep boxes which encourage decay. Strawberries do not suffer from cold damage; therefore a temperature slightly above zero is good for them, as long as they don’t freeze.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – possible, but the texture will not be suitable for eating.

Tip:

Recommended for baking, desserts, jams, shakes and an addition to fresh salads. Best consumed in winter. In spring, with the rising of temperatures, tends to decay faster.

Just before the trashcan:

Make jams and various desserts.

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Oranges

Optimal storage:

Relatively resistant to cold and the ideal storage temperature is approximately 5-6 degrees; therefore they may be kept in good condition in the refrigerator for a period of up to 2-3 weeks after purchasing. If desired, they may also be kept for up to a week in a bowl on the kitchen counter or on the kitchen table.

Freezing:

Fresh / cooked – preferably not.

Tip:

Recommended for baking, desserts, juices, jams, shakes and an addition to fresh salads.

Just before the trashcan:

Squeeze juice also from softened oranges. If there are rotten parts, remove them and use the rest.

Watemelon

Optimal storage:

In the refrigerator for up to a week. The watermelon should be washed thoroughly prior to cutting, even though the rind is not consumed. If you do not eat the whole watermelon, it is advisable to wrap the remainder in plastic food wrap and return it to the refrigerator.

Freezing:

Not recommended. Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, its texture is impaired and its shape is lost.

Tips for selecting a long lasting watermelon:

  • The watermelon should have a bright shade. A faded color indicates prolonged storage.
  • Each watermelon has one necessary bright spot which forms in the area of contact with the ground. If you recognize additional, yellow or faded spots, the watermelon has experienced prolonged sun exposure, which leads to reduced quality.
  • A fresh green colored watermelon stalk indicates a fresh watermelon. A dry stalk indicates an older watermelon which was picked many days ago.
  • You should select a watermelon that’s as firm as possible. The watermelon’s shape should be as symmetrical as possible, round or oval. This structure indicates correct fruit development and guarantees there are no cavities within the fruit pulp.
  • When patting the watermelon you should hear a clean sound.

    Melon

    Optimal storage:

    Refrigerated, preferably at 5 degrees Celsius. A yellow melon with a bit of green color will last approximately a week to 21 days in the refrigerator. It is possible to store a melon chopped into large pieces in closed plastic boxes, but it is important to wash the rind prior to chopping.

    Freezing:

    Fresh / cooked – preferably not.

    Tip: Recommended for desserts and shakes.

    Tips for selecting a long lasting melon:

    • If getting a “Galia” melon (round type) it is advisable to select a melon with full netting on the rind.
    • As far as the rind goes, it is best to select a yellow melon with a bit of green, but not orange.
    • The scent of the fruit is also important; a melon with an extremely strong aroma is a melon with aftertastes and a shorter shelf life.
    • You can slightly shake the melon in order to look for a watery sound. If this sound appears, this means that the melon’s seed chamber has collapsed, which indicates a bad fruit.
    • If getting an oval “pineapple” melon (spring melons), an orange rind actually indicates a good quality fruit. When buying this melon you should notice the netting as well.
      Mango

      Optimal storage:

      The optimal temperature for the mango is 12 degrees. It is not necessary to keep the fruit in the refrigerator on cold days. It is recommended to leave unripe mangos on the shelf until they ripen and change color, and only then refrigerate. After ripening, the fruit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – preferably freeze diced, may become watery while defrosting.

      Tip:

      Recommended for desserts, shakes, an addition to fresh salads and spreads.

      Pears

      Optimal storage:

      Very hard pears will not properly soften in low temperatures, therefore, they should be left unrefrigerated until softened in order to enjoy the aroma and juiciness of the fruit to its fullest, and only then refrigerate. Will last in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – possible, but may brown, may become watery while defrosting.

      Tip: For use in baking, desserts, shakes, juices and as an addition to fresh salads.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Chop off brown parts and use in desserts, jams, pastries and beverages such as sangria.

      Avocado

      Optimal storage:

      Store unrefrigerated near apples, pears, bananas or peaches in order to induce ripening. These fruit secrete ethylene – a natural Plant hormone, thus speeding up fruit and vegetable ripening. A ripe avocado requires refrigeration in hot weather.

      Freezing:

      Fresh – may be frozen with some lemon juice which helps maintain freshness.

      Tip:

      Recommended as a spread and for fresh salads. To find out whether the avocado is suitable for eating, peal the stem on the bottom of the avocado and check the color: yellow – ripe. Brown – decaying process.

      Just before the trashcan:

      If you have cut an avocado open and it is not ripe enough, place a slice of lemon on it, wrap with sealed paper and place near the above mentioned fruit.

      Fruits

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      Bananas

      Optimal storage:

      It is recommended to completely separate them one from the other (not as a cluster), and wrap each banana tip with plastic food wrap. This will reduce the emission of ethylene from the banana, and slow down the ripening process. Once the bananas have reached an ideal ripening state, they can be transferred to the refrigerator for protection against decay for a longer period of time.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / Cooked – preferably not.

      Tip:

      Recommended for baking, desserts, shakes and as a delicious addition to foods.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Blackened parts may be discarded and the rest of the banana can be used. Overripe bananas will be used to make terrific pastries or shakes.

      Apples

      Optimal storage:

      Keep in the lowest temperature in the refrigerator in order to prevent aging, preferably in an unsealed plastic bag in order to prevent weight loss. Apples can be kept in excellent quality in the refrigerator for ten days. It is recommended to avoid leaving a cut-up apple in the refrigerator because it tends to brown quickly, and if you wish to do so, you should sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on it.

      Freezing:

      Fresh – browns. Cooked – possible, but may brown.

      Tip:

      Recommended for baking, desserts, an addition to fresh salads, shakes and juices. Research shows that apples are good for your health, but the level of natural substances that are beneficial to your health decreases during storage, in all apple types. Apples should be eaten in their peel after washing with water.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Soft apples are excellent for cooking and baking. Take a look at our recipe for perfect apple chips.

      (Link to apple chips)

      Peaches

      Optimal storage:

      The species found in the beginning of the season usually soften within 2 to 3 days at room temperature, whereas the end-of-season peaches soften only after 5 to 8 days. Early-season peaches (April – May) should be stored in the refrigerator, and they will be kept for up to a week and soften as required. When buying end-of-season peaches, it is recommended to first leave them outside the refrigerator for a few days until they start softening, and then put them inside the refrigerator.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – preferably freeze after dicing, may become watery while defrosting.

      Tip:

      It is recommended to buy peaches until the end of September. Peaches should be eaten when soft in order to enjoy the juiciness to its fullest, and then the aroma is also at its best.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Even when soft, peaches are great for cakes, jams and other desserts.

      Plums

      Optimal storage:

      May be kept outside the refrigerator for 5 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Prolonged storage causes loss of juiciness and may even lead to internal browning of the fruit pulp.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – possible to freeze, may become watery while defrosting. Prunes – fresh / cooked – possible to freeze but may cause changes in texture and shape.

      Tip:

      Recommended for baking and desserts.

      Just before the trashcan:

       May be incorporated in cooking and baking of desserts also as prunes.

      Grapes

      Optimal storage:

      Fresh and healthy grapes with green stems may be kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks in the original packaging. It is advisable to wash grapes only before consumption as they are sensitive to touch.

      If the stems are brown or the grapes very soft, or if there are apparent injuries, beginning of decay and spots, the fruit should be consumed after removal of the injured grapes, soaking in water with a bit of soap and rinsing under tap water.

      During December through January grapes are mostly intended for immediate consumption and will last only a few days in refrigeration.

      Freezing:

      Fresh – may be frozen whole, halved or in quarters for a natural addictive sorbet.

      Tip:

      Recommended for desserts. Fresh grapes are available from May through November and in small amounts in winter.

      Just before the trashcan:

      If you’ve discovered rotten grapes – throw away only those and leave the rest.

      Strawberries

      Optimal storage:

      In winter, strawberries will last a few days to a week in the refrigerator. In the hot seasons, they will not last more than 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Packing the fruit in low baskets, in one or two layers, is better than multilayered deep boxes which encourage decay. Strawberries do not suffer from cold damage; therefore a temperature slightly above zero is good for them, as long as they don’t freeze.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – possible, but the texture will not be suitable for eating.

      Tip:

      Recommended for baking, desserts, jams, shakes and an addition to fresh salads. Best consumed in winter. In spring, with the rising of temperatures, tends to decay faster.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Make jams and various desserts.

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      Oranges

      Optimal storage:

      Relatively resistant to cold and the ideal storage temperature is approximately 5-6 degrees; therefore they may be kept in good condition in the refrigerator for a period of up to 2-3 weeks after purchasing. If desired, they may also be kept for up to a week in a bowl on the kitchen counter or on the kitchen table.

      Freezing:

      Fresh / cooked – preferably not.

      Tip:

      Recommended for baking, desserts, juices, jams, shakes and an addition to fresh salads.

      Just before the trashcan:

      Squeeze juice also from softened oranges. If there are rotten parts, remove them and use the rest.

      Watemelon

      Optimal storage:

      In the refrigerator for up to a week. The watermelon should be washed thoroughly prior to cutting, even though the rind is not consumed. If you do not eat the whole watermelon, it is advisable to wrap the remainder in plastic food wrap and return it to the refrigerator.

      Freezing:

      Not recommended. Many fluids are secreted during defrosting, its texture is impaired and its shape is lost.

      Tips for selecting a long lasting watermelon:

      • The watermelon should have a bright shade. A faded color indicates prolonged storage.
      • Each watermelon has one necessary bright spot which forms in the area of contact with the ground. If you recognize additional, yellow or faded spots, the watermelon has experienced prolonged sun exposure, which leads to reduced quality.
      • A fresh green colored watermelon stalk indicates a fresh watermelon. A dry stalk indicates an older watermelon which was picked many days ago.
      • You should select a watermelon that’s as firm as possible. The watermelon’s shape should be as symmetrical as possible, round or oval. This structure indicates correct fruit development and guarantees there are no cavities within the fruit pulp.
      • When patting the watermelon you should hear a clean sound.

        Melon

        Optimal storage:

        Refrigerated, preferably at 5 degrees Celsius. A yellow melon with a bit of green color will last approximately a week to 21 days in the refrigerator. It is possible to store a melon chopped into large pieces in closed plastic boxes, but it is important to wash the rind prior to chopping.

        Freezing:

        Fresh / cooked – preferably not.

        Tip: Recommended for desserts and shakes.

        Tips for selecting a long lasting melon:

        • If getting a “Galia” melon (round type) it is advisable to select a melon with full netting on the rind.
        • As far as the rind goes, it is best to select a yellow melon with a bit of green, but not orange.
        • The scent of the fruit is also important; a melon with an extremely strong aroma is a melon with aftertastes and a shorter shelf life.
        • You can slightly shake the melon in order to look for a watery sound. If this sound appears, this means that the melon’s seed chamber has collapsed, which indicates a bad fruit.
        • If getting an oval “pineapple” melon (spring melons), an orange rind actually indicates a good quality fruit. When buying this melon you should notice the netting as well.
          Mango

          Optimal storage:

          The optimal temperature for the mango is 12 degrees. It is not necessary to keep the fruit in the refrigerator on cold days. It is recommended to leave unripe mangos on the shelf until they ripen and change color, and only then refrigerate. After ripening, the fruit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

          Freezing:

          Fresh / cooked – preferably freeze diced, may become watery while defrosting.

          Tip:

          Recommended for desserts, shakes, an addition to fresh salads and spreads.

          Pears

          Optimal storage:

          Very hard pears will not properly soften in low temperatures, therefore, they should be left unrefrigerated until softened in order to enjoy the aroma and juiciness of the fruit to its fullest, and only then refrigerate. Will last in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.

          Freezing:

          Fresh / cooked – possible, but may brown, may become watery while defrosting.

          Tip: For use in baking, desserts, shakes, juices and as an addition to fresh salads.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Chop off brown parts and use in desserts, jams, pastries and beverages such as sangria.

          Avocado

          Optimal storage:

          Store unrefrigerated near apples, pears, bananas or peaches in order to induce ripening. These fruit secrete ethylene – a natural Plant hormone, thus speeding up fruit and vegetable ripening. A ripe avocado requires refrigeration in hot weather.

          Freezing:

          Fresh – may be frozen with some lemon juice which helps maintain freshness.

          Tip:

          Recommended as a spread and for fresh salads. To find out whether the avocado is suitable for eating, peal the stem on the bottom of the avocado and check the color: yellow – ripe. Brown – decaying process.

          Just before the trashcan:

          If you have cut an avocado open and it is not ripe enough, place a slice of lemon on it, wrap with sealed paper and place near the above mentioned fruit.

          Dairy and Eggs

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          Soft Cheeses

          Optimal storage:

          In the coldest shelf of the refrigerator. May be stored for up to 4 weeks – depending on the type of cheese. To prolong the life of cheeses, it is very important to maintain hygiene and make sure to use only perfectly clean cutlery with the cheese.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended. The texture will be lost and the taste will be impaired.

          Tip:

          If mold has developed, the cheese should be thrown out.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Mix cheese leftovers with olive oil to create a tasty and interesting dip.

          Hard Cheeses

          Optimal storage:

          In the refrigerator for up to 10 months, with the cheese wrapped in loose designated paper, which enables the cheese to breathe. It is advisable to purchase small pieces to keep the cheese fresh.

          Freezing:

          It is possible to freeze, but there is a chance of texture changes. Freeze only if the future purpose is cooking or baking with the cheese.

          Tip:

          If mold is formed on the cheese, it is possible to scratch off the infected part and use the rest of the cheese as usual.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Use small leftover pieces of cheese to season soups and casseroles.

          Yogurts

          Optimal storage:

          In the coldest part of the refrigerator. The yogurt may be eaten also 1 or 2 weeks after opening it. Make sure the yogurt is closed and properly stored. Should be thrown away if left outside for over 2 hours.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.

          Tip:

          Expiry date long gone? Don’t rush to throw it away, smell it before getting rid of it.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour yogurt may be slightly heated in the microwave and applied to the face for 20 minutes, mixed with water (one part yogurt, one part water) and water fruit and vegetables in the garden, or fed to pets.

          Milk

          Optimal storage:

          Closed in the original container in the coldest place in the refrigerator (preferably 2-3 degrees). When properly stored, can last 7-10 days.

          Freezing:

          Milk may be frozen for approximately 3 months in ice bags or other containers, but should be frozen while still fresh. The texture may change and the milk may break up into several different textures.

          Tip:

          Spoiled milk may be used for cleaning ceramic tiles, wooden surfaces and lacquered surfaces.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour milk may be incorporated in dishes such as homemade cottage cheese, pancakes, sour milk cake – link to the cake recipe and more

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          Soy Drink

          Optimal storage:

          Unopened soy drink does not require refrigeration and can be kept at room temperature for a year. Should be stored in the refrigerator after opening, and consumed within 5 days or as long as the taste and texture are good.

          Freezing:

          It is not recommended for freezing due to possible changes in taste and texture. As for soy milk frozen desserts, there is no problem with the frozen texture.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour soy milk may be incorporated in cakes, pastries, pancakes and more, instead of milk or yogurt.

          Eggs

          Optimal storage:

          Only in the refrigerator and prevent contact between fresh eggs and raw foods (uncooked) of various types such as meat and vegetables. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 weeks after the sell-by date. A cooked egg may be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week.

          Freezing:

          Fresh eggs without the shell may be frozen for up to 12 months in an airtight container.

          Tip:

          Eggs should not be washed; washing might cause the germs to penetrate the shell. If you wish to cook the egg with the shell in a long cooking dish (as in a meat stew), it is possible to wash the egg right before use, so there is not enough time for germs to develop.

          Just before the trashcan:

          An egg with a cracked shell may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Did you find yourself left with many eggs? Make a frittata, pies or any other food that may be kept in the refrigerator for another few days.

          Chocolate

          Optimal storage:

          Keep at a temperature of 16-18 degrees in a dark and dry place. If a white cover appears on the chocolate, this means that the cocoa butter has melted and surfaced, creating a less attractive appearance, and sometimes a less successful texture to the chocolate. This chocolate is not “off” and may definitely be eaten.   

          Freezing:

          Possible, but the texture is likely to change after defrosting.

          Tip:

          Have a wine cooler? That is the ideal place to store chocolate. The advantage is the perfect temperature for chocolate and the appropriate humidity levels.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Has the chocolate visited a hot place and developed a white cover or changed its texture? Use it for cooking or baking and you will not notice the change at all.

          Dairy and Eggs

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          Soft Cheeses

          Optimal storage:

          In the coldest shelf of the refrigerator. May be stored for up to 4 weeks – depending on the type of cheese. To prolong the life of cheeses, it is very important to maintain hygiene and make sure to use only perfectly clean cutlery with the cheese.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended. The texture will be lost and the taste will be impaired.

          Tip:

          If mold has developed, the cheese should be thrown out.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Mix cheese leftovers with olive oil to create a tasty and interesting dip.

          Hard Cheeses

          Optimal storage:

          In the refrigerator for up to 10 months, with the cheese wrapped in loose designated paper, which enables the cheese to breathe. It is advisable to purchase small pieces to keep the cheese fresh.

          Freezing:

          It is possible to freeze, but there is a chance of texture changes. Freeze only if the future purpose is cooking or baking with the cheese.

          Tip:

          If mold is formed on the cheese, it is possible to scratch off the infected part and use the rest of the cheese as usual.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Use small leftover pieces of cheese to season soups and casseroles.

          Yogurts

          Optimal storage:

          In the coldest part of the refrigerator. The yogurt may be eaten also 1 or 2 weeks after opening it. Make sure the yogurt is closed and properly stored. Should be thrown away if left outside for over 2 hours.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.

          Tip:

          Expiry date long gone? Don’t rush to throw it away, smell it before getting rid of it.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour yogurt may be slightly heated in the microwave and applied to the face for 20 minutes, mixed with water (one part yogurt, one part water) and water fruit and vegetables in the garden, or fed to pets.

          Milk

          Optimal storage:

          Closed in the original container in the coldest place in the refrigerator (preferably 2-3 degrees). When properly stored, can last 7-10 days.

          Freezing:

          Milk may be frozen for approximately 3 months in ice bags or other containers, but should be frozen while still fresh. The texture may change and the milk may break up into several different textures.

          Tip:

          Spoiled milk may be used for cleaning ceramic tiles, wooden surfaces and lacquered surfaces.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour milk may be incorporated in dishes such as homemade cottage cheese, pancakes, sour milk cake – link to the cake recipe and more

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          Soy Drink

          Optimal storage:

          Unopened soy drink does not require refrigeration and can be kept at room temperature for a year. Should be stored in the refrigerator after opening, and consumed within 5 days or as long as the taste and texture are good.

          Freezing:

          It is not recommended for freezing due to possible changes in taste and texture. As for soy milk frozen desserts, there is no problem with the frozen texture.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Sour soy milk may be incorporated in cakes, pastries, pancakes and more, instead of milk or yogurt.

          Eggs

          Optimal storage:

          Only in the refrigerator and prevent contact between fresh eggs and raw foods (uncooked) of various types such as meat and vegetables. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 weeks after the sell-by date. A cooked egg may be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week.

          Freezing:

          Fresh eggs without the shell may be frozen for up to 12 months in an airtight container.

          Tip:

          Eggs should not be washed; washing might cause the germs to penetrate the shell. If you wish to cook the egg with the shell in a long cooking dish (as in a meat stew), it is possible to wash the egg right before use, so there is not enough time for germs to develop.

          Just before the trashcan:

          An egg with a cracked shell may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Did you find yourself left with many eggs? Make a frittata, pies or any other food that may be kept in the refrigerator for another few days.

          Chocolate

          Optimal storage:

          Keep at a temperature of 16-18 degrees in a dark and dry place. If a white cover appears on the chocolate, this means that the cocoa butter has melted and surfaced, creating a less attractive appearance, and sometimes a less successful texture to the chocolate. This chocolate is not “off” and may definitely be eaten.   

          Freezing:

          Possible, but the texture is likely to change after defrosting.

          Tip:

          Have a wine cooler? That is the ideal place to store chocolate. The advantage is the perfect temperature for chocolate and the appropriate humidity levels.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Has the chocolate visited a hot place and developed a white cover or changed its texture? Use it for cooking or baking and you will not notice the change at all.

          Pastries, Legumes and Cereals

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          Fresh Bread

          Optimal storage:

          In a dry, cool place, tied up in a bag or wrapped in a towel, on a table or in the pantry. It is best to avoid storing in a humid environment and recommended in closed designated containers. Be sure to close well after opening the bag each time. In any case, it is not advisable to store bread in the refrigerator.

          Freezing:

          It is recommended to freeze the part not being immediately used, while the bread is still fresh. If you wait a couple of days before freezing the bread, it will return to its previous state after defrosting – that is, a 2-day-old loaf and not a fresh one. May be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months or more.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Bread that is no longer fresh can be used for foods such as bruschetta, fried bread, croutons and more.

          Pita Bread

          Optimal storage:

          Up to 2 days at room temperature, in a cool, dark place inside an airtight container.

          Freezing:

          It is recommended to freeze if not used within two days after purchase. May be kept in the freezer for a month or more, but the longer the storage time, the more the pitta will dry out.

          Tip:

          A pitta that is no longer fresh can be heated in the oven for a few minutes on a piece of parchment paper.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Use a pitta as a base for pitta with olive oil and zatar, roast a pitta with a fried egg and use for other nice and easy recipes.

          Rice

          Optimal storage:

          In a cool, dark place inside an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week after cooking.

          Freezing:

          Cooked rice may be frozen after cooled and stored in an airtight bag.

          Tip:

          Full-grain rice will last a shorter time in the pantry due to its properties and is recommended for consumption up to 6-12 months.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Cooked rice that has dried up in the refrigerator may be revived by heating with a few drops of water.

          Flour

          Optimal storage:

          If you are regular bakers, store in a closed container in the pantry. The flour will stay fresh for 3 or more weeks. If you live in a high humidity area, store the flour in the refrigerator in a closed container and bring to room temperature before use. Keep away from strong odor sources.

          Freezing:

          If flour is not a popular item in your kitchen, you can store it in an airtight container inside the freezer, thus keeping it fresh for up to 2 years.

          Tip:

          No time to cook right now? You can make a pie base or cookie dough and freeze them for up to 3 months.

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          Quinoa

          Optimal storage:

          In a closed airtight container in a dark place for up to 1 year.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen.

          Tip:

          Add cooked quinoa to cookies for added crispiness.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Leftover quinoa / tasteless quinoa may be incorporated in veggie balls and other delicious recipes.

          Pasta

          Optimal storage:

          Prior to cooking, dry pasta may be kept in its original container or an airtight container in the pantry, at room temperature, for up to 2 years. Fresh pasta – refrigerate for up to 2 days. After cooking refrigerate for 3-5 days.

          Freezing:

          Fresh pasta may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Cooked pasta should not be frozen unless it is incorporated in a dish such as a pie or soup.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Cooked pasta that is no longer fresh may be incorporated in a pie, pastry, Minestrone soup and more.

          Sugar

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container. Place the sugar container in a cool, dry place, away from spices and foods of strong or peppery odors. Sugar is known to absorb odors from other foods. Do not store in the refrigerator to avoid sugar lumps.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen. Take out of the freezer the evening before use. Brown sugar has higher humidity levels than white sugar, therefore it is important to properly store it in order to prevent formation of lumps. It is advisable to store in a hermetically sealed container, thus separating it as much as possible from humidity and keeping it granular and fresh for long.

          Salt

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container and in a dark place, as exposure to light, humidity and air will impair its taste.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen for an unlimited time.  

          Tip:

          There are claims that salt is a product that will never go bad. We recommend that you check the salt you have before buying a new one.

          Pastries, Legumes and Cereals

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          Fresh Bread

          Optimal storage:

          In a dry, cool place, tied up in a bag or wrapped in a towel, on a table or in the pantry. It is best to avoid storing in a humid environment and recommended in closed designated containers. Be sure to close well after opening the bag each time. In any case, it is not advisable to store bread in the refrigerator.

          Freezing:

          It is recommended to freeze the part not being immediately used, while the bread is still fresh. If you wait a couple of days before freezing the bread, it will return to its previous state after defrosting – that is, a 2-day-old loaf and not a fresh one. May be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months or more.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Bread that is no longer fresh can be used for foods such as bruschetta, fried bread, croutons and more.

          Pita Bread

          Optimal storage:

          Up to 2 days at room temperature, in a cool, dark place inside an airtight container.

          Freezing:

          It is recommended to freeze if not used within two days after purchase. May be kept in the freezer for a month or more, but the longer the storage time, the more the pitta will dry out.

          Tip:

          A pitta that is no longer fresh can be heated in the oven for a few minutes on a piece of parchment paper.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Use a pitta as a base for pitta with olive oil and zatar, roast a pitta with a fried egg and use for other nice and easy recipes.

          Rice

          Optimal storage:

          In a cool, dark place inside an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week after cooking.

          Freezing:

          Cooked rice may be frozen after cooled and stored in an airtight bag.

          Tip:

          Full-grain rice will last a shorter time in the pantry due to its properties and is recommended for consumption up to 6-12 months.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Cooked rice that has dried up in the refrigerator may be revived by heating with a few drops of water.

          Flour

          Optimal storage:

          If you are regular bakers, store in a closed container in the pantry. The flour will stay fresh for 3 or more weeks. If you live in a high humidity area, store the flour in the refrigerator in a closed container and bring to room temperature before use. Keep away from strong odor sources.

          Freezing:

          If flour is not a popular item in your kitchen, you can store it in an airtight container inside the freezer, thus keeping it fresh for up to 2 years.

          Tip:

          No time to cook right now? You can make a pie base or cookie dough and freeze them for up to 3 months.

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          Quinoa

          Optimal storage:

          In a closed airtight container in a dark place for up to 1 year.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen.

          Tip:

          Add cooked quinoa to cookies for added crispiness.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Leftover quinoa / tasteless quinoa may be incorporated in veggie balls and other delicious recipes.

          Pasta

          Optimal storage:

          Prior to cooking, dry pasta may be kept in its original container or an airtight container in the pantry, at room temperature, for up to 2 years. Fresh pasta – refrigerate for up to 2 days. After cooking refrigerate for 3-5 days.

          Freezing:

          Fresh pasta may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Cooked pasta should not be frozen unless it is incorporated in a dish such as a pie or soup.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Cooked pasta that is no longer fresh may be incorporated in a pie, pastry, Minestrone soup and more.

          Sugar

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container. Place the sugar container in a cool, dry place, away from spices and foods of strong or peppery odors. Sugar is known to absorb odors from other foods. Do not store in the refrigerator to avoid sugar lumps.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen. Take out of the freezer the evening before use. Brown sugar has higher humidity levels than white sugar, therefore it is important to properly store it in order to prevent formation of lumps. It is advisable to store in a hermetically sealed container, thus separating it as much as possible from humidity and keeping it granular and fresh for long.

          Salt

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container and in a dark place, as exposure to light, humidity and air will impair its taste.

          Freezing:

          May be frozen for an unlimited time.  

          Tip:

          There are claims that salt is a product that will never go bad. We recommend that you check the salt you have before buying a new one.

          Fish and Meat

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          Fresh Meat

          Optimal storage:

          Up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Cooked – 4-5 days in the refrigerator. It is recommended to eat the meat or put it in the refrigerator immediately after cooking (do not consume cooked meat that remained 2 or more hours outside the refrigerator). Store in the refrigerator only, at a temperature of 0-4 degrees Celsius. Must be cooked as soon as possible (according to the manufacturer’s or butcher’s instructions).

          Freezing:

          Cooked – can be frozen for 3 months. Fresh – up to 12 months freezing – depending on the type of the cut. It is recommended to purchase frozen meat in advance if you wish to store it for a long period of time.

          Tip:

          If stored in a freezer, pack in a double wrapper to prevent meat frostbite.

          Just before the trashcan:

          If meat has been damaged by frostbites while frozen, you can remove the dry parts and use the rest.

          Fresh Poultry

          Optimal storage:

          Up to 2 days in the refrigerator. After cooking – up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store on the lowest shelf, preferably in its original container. It is advisable to add it last to the supermarket cart to maintain freshness.

          Freezing:

          Up to a year. Cooked: 3-4 months. It is best to freeze in boxes or sealed bags in order to facilitate defrosting of only the part we wish to use. Defrost in the refrigerator or microwave only.

          Tip:

          Do not wash the poultry prior to use. Washing spreads the germs all over the kitchen. The cooking or baking will take care of germ extermination.

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          Fresh Fish

          Optimal storage:

          Up to 2 days in the refrigerator. After cooking – up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Smoked fish should be stored in an airtight container in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

          Freezing:

          Fresh fish may be kept in the freezer for 2-6 months. Cooked fish in the freezer – 4-6 months.

          Tip:

          If there is too little fish leftover, try making fish tacos or ceviche.

          From Nature

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          Lentils

          optimal storage:

          May be kept at room temperature in a dark place, inside an airtight container. Should be consumed within a year in order to maintain maximal quality taste. Cooked legumes may be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator inside an airtight container.

          Freezing:

          The freezer is a legume’s best friend: dry, soaked and cooked legumes may be kept in the freezer for 3 months and even longer.

          Tip:

          It is important to choose legumes in a spice shop with high turnover or select packages with an expiry date as far as possible. Old legumes require longer cooking times to the point where they cannot be softened.

          Tofu

          Optimal storage:

          Keep refrigerated in the original container until opening. After opening, keep in an airtight container with water, and change the water every day. This will enable keeping the tofu for up to a week.

          Freezing:

          Freezing tofu changes its texture. It is possible to squeeze the liquids out of the tofu prior to freezing (drying on paper towels and squeezing by pressing the block lightly).

          Tip:

          The tofu’s soft texture after freezing will be suitable for making dressings with tofu or as a cheese substitute thanks to the texture that resembles ricotta cheese.

          Dates

          Optimal storage:

          Store in a closed airtight container, away from heat. Dates may be kept at room temperature for up to 6 months (less in summer). May be washed prior to use.

          Freezing:

          Dates may be frozen for up to 3 years.

          Tip:

          There are differences in the level of moisture between the various types of dates. Soft dates such as Medjool and Barhi are moister, and their lifetime outside the refrigerator is a little shorter. Semidry dates such as Deglet Noor have lower moistness levels and they last longer.

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          Almonds, Nuts an Seeds

          Optimal storage:

          All types of seeds and nuts will very quickly lose their freshness without refrigeration, especially when it comes to seeds and nuts sold in bulk. When packaged, one should notice the expiry date. May be kept for a year in regular refrigeration. If you choose to store refrigerated, watch out for mold. An ideal long term temperature is between 10-15 degrees with humidity levels below 50%.

          Freezing:

          Fresh nuts and seeds (except for sunflower seeds) can be kept frozen for up to 2 years or more. Roasted nuts and seeds cannot be kept frozen for long term, as the oils within will alter the texture of the nuts.

          Tip:

          It is recommended to purchase fresh seeds and nuts rather than closed packages. The fresh ones are expected to be of better quality in flavor. The roasted ones will last longer.

          It is advisable to remove from the freezer about 15 minutes before eating.

          Just before the trashcan:

          In order to refresh the taste of seeds, nuts and almonds removed from the freezer, it is recommended to put them in the oven for 5 minutes. Also sprinkling a bit of salt does wonders with them.

          Olives

          Optimal storage:

          A closed can of olives may be kept for a very long time in a cool and shaded place and may be used after the expiry date. At a temperature of 15-16 degrees, olives can be eaten for up to a week from opening. Olives that underwent regular pickling with salt only may be kept for up to 2-3 weeks as of opening the can, after adding oil to the container. After opening, it is advisable to transfer olives from the can and store in a different container (with oil).

          Freezing:

          Not recommended!

          Tip:

          As from the moment of opening, it is advisable to pour some oil (olive / canola or any other oil), to preserve the olives. You can make olive spread, olive oil or add them to sandwiches / toasts.

          Just before the trashcan:

          You can make olive spread or cooked olives, out of olives which are before the decaying phase. Once the olive has decayed, it can no longer be used.

          Oils, Spices, Tea and Coffee

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          Spices

          Optimal storage:

          Store spices in closed containers, inside the refrigerator. Crushed spices will stay fresh for approximately 6 months, while whole spices will keep longer.

          Freezing:

          It is possible to freeze but also possible in the refrigerator.

          Tip:

          Pedantic people recommend buying spices by weight only and not in packaged bags or boxes, in order to guarantee freshness. It is recommended to refresh the spices once every few months and make sure there is no mold, worms or other pests.

          Olive Oil

          Optimal storage:

          Keep as far as possible from a heat source – not near the stove and not on the table. Closed bottle – approximately 2 years as of harvest. Open – up to 3 months.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended.

          Just before the trashcan:

          If a long time has passed from opening it or if it was not properly kept, olive oil may be used for polishing furniture, caring for leather and preparing homemade hand cream.

          Sesame Oil

          Optimal storage:

          In the refrigerator. Should be used within 2 months of opening.

          If you purchased a large amount, transfer some to a small bottle for daily use, and store the rest in a cool, dark place.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          It is advisable to purchase small amounts since its quality will be compromised by exposure to light, heat and more.

          Mayonnaise

          Optimal storage:

          Prior to opening – up to 2 years at room temperature. From the moment it has been opened – up to 2/3 months in the refrigerator. If it was unrefrigerated for over 8 hours, it should be thrown out.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          If it has hardened due to refrigerator storage, you can add a few drops of water and mix before use.

          Ketchup

          Optimal storage:

          The closed bottle should be kept in a dark, cool and dry place. Should be kept in the refrigerator after opening the bottle. May be used also after the recommended expiry date, according to smell and taste.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          It is advisable to buy a squeezable bottle which prevents extensive germ exposure.

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          Boxed Hummus

          Optimal storage:

          In the domestic refrigerator.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          Should be used within 3-4 days after opening.

          Raw Tahini

          Optimal storage:

          In a cool dark place. Should be kept in the refrigerator only after opening. It is advisable to mix thoroughly before refrigeration. If it has hardened in the refrigerator, leave it at room temperature to warm up and then mix thoroughly.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          If you pour out the tahini directly into a bowl, without any spoon, fork or other utensil touching it – the tahini will last in the refrigerator for years.

          Coffee

          Optimal storage:

          It is recommended to store in an airtight glass container or in a ceramic container, in a cool, dark place. Coffee should be purchased for the coming 3-4 weeks.

          Freezing:

          If you have purchased coffee in large quantities, it is possible to freeze part of it. It is important to freeze in a completely airtight container. Refreezing after defrosting is not recommended.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Coffee beans that have lost their aroma can serve as odor absorbing material in the refrigerator and can even be useful with a nasty scent that has clung to your hands.

          Tea

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container, in a dry, cool, dark place, and away from other strong scented materials.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          Tea does not go bad but it may lose its unique taste after prolonged storage.

          In a near empty airtight container, tea will spoil faster than in an airtight container filled with tea, due to the contact with air in the large container. Don’t leave single bags in the container.

          Oils, Spices, Tea and Coffee

          blank
          Spices

          Optimal storage:

          Store spices in closed containers, inside the refrigerator. Crushed spices will stay fresh for approximately 6 months, while whole spices will keep longer.

          Freezing:

          It is possible to freeze but also possible in the refrigerator.

          Tip:

          Pedantic people recommend buying spices by weight only and not in packaged bags or boxes, in order to guarantee freshness. It is recommended to refresh the spices once every few months and make sure there is no mold, worms or other pests.

          Olive Oil

          Optimal storage:

          Keep as far as possible from a heat source – not near the stove and not on the table. Closed bottle – approximately 2 years as of harvest. Open – up to 3 months.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended.

          Just before the trashcan:

          If a long time has passed from opening it or if it was not properly kept, olive oil may be used for polishing furniture, caring for leather and preparing homemade hand cream.

          Sesame Oil

          Optimal storage:

          In the refrigerator. Should be used within 2 months of opening.

          If you purchased a large amount, transfer some to a small bottle for daily use, and store the rest in a cool, dark place.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          It is advisable to purchase small amounts since its quality will be compromised by exposure to light, heat and more.

          Mayonnaise

          Optimal storage:

          Prior to opening – up to 2 years at room temperature. From the moment it has been opened – up to 2/3 months in the refrigerator. If it was unrefrigerated for over 8 hours, it should be thrown out.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          If it has hardened due to refrigerator storage, you can add a few drops of water and mix before use.

          Ketchup

          Optimal storage:

          The closed bottle should be kept in a dark, cool and dry place. Should be kept in the refrigerator after opening the bottle. May be used also after the recommended expiry date, according to smell and taste.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          It is advisable to buy a squeezable bottle which prevents extensive germ exposure.

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          Boxed Hummus

          Optimal storage:

          In the domestic refrigerator.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          Should be used within 3-4 days after opening.

          Raw Tahini

          Optimal storage:

          In a cool dark place. Should be kept in the refrigerator only after opening. It is advisable to mix thoroughly before refrigeration. If it has hardened in the refrigerator, leave it at room temperature to warm up and then mix thoroughly.

          Freezing:

          Not suitable.

          Tip:

          If you pour out the tahini directly into a bowl, without any spoon, fork or other utensil touching it – the tahini will last in the refrigerator for years.

          Coffee

          Optimal storage:

          It is recommended to store in an airtight glass container or in a ceramic container, in a cool, dark place. Coffee should be purchased for the coming 3-4 weeks.

          Freezing:

          If you have purchased coffee in large quantities, it is possible to freeze part of it. It is important to freeze in a completely airtight container. Refreezing after defrosting is not recommended.

          Just before the trashcan:

          Coffee beans that have lost their aroma can serve as odor absorbing material in the refrigerator and can even be useful with a nasty scent that has clung to your hands.

          Tea

          Optimal storage:

          In an airtight container, in a dry, cool, dark place, and away from other strong scented materials.

          Freezing:

          Not recommended

          Tip:

          Tea does not go bad but it may lose its unique taste after prolonged storage.

          In a near empty airtight container, tea will spoil faster than in an airtight container filled with tea, due to the contact with air in the large container. Don’t leave single bags in the container.

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