Keeping Foods Fresh
by Jyl Steinback
- Freeze foods at peak quality; they will taste better than foods frozen after several days of refrigeration.
- Immediately freeze foods you don't plan to use within 1 to 2 days.
- Slightly undercook prepared foods; they will finish cooking when reheated.
- Most casseroles can be prepared and refrigerated up to 24 hours in advance. Add 15 to 20 minutes to cooking time if casseroles are chilled.
- To test egg freshness: Immerse egg into a pan of salted, cool water. If the egg sinks, it's fresh; if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
- Most canned foods, when properly stored at normal room temperatures, will stay good for several years.
- Low-acid canned goods, including canned meat/poultry; soups and stews (without tomato base); pasta products; vegetables: 2 to 5 years
- High-acid canned goods, including tomato products, fruits and foods in vinegar-based sauce or dressing: 12 to 18 months
- Canned meat and poultry: 2 to 5 years
Best Freezing Supplies
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plastic freezer bags and vacuum-packed FoodSaver bags
- Food-grade plastic containers made of moisture-and vapor-resistant material
- Freezer-to-microwave or freezer-to-oven containers in a variety of sizes:
- Quart containers hold 4 to 6 servings.
- Pint containers hold 2 to 3 servings.
- Select containers with wide top openings so food can be easily removed without thawing.
- Foods can be frozen in supermarket wrappings if they are used within a month or two. For longer storage, overwrap packages with moisture-and vapor-resistant materials.
Excerpted from Cook Once, Eat for a Week by Jyl Steinback. Copyright © 2003 by Family Fit Lifestyle, an Arizona Corporation.To order this book go to Amazon.