Get It Prepped continues with a closer look at food storage!
Once you've gotten your equipment, planned your menu, and gathered your ingredients, it can be helpful to set aside a few hours to prepare what you need for the week. This can involve chopping sturdy foods like carrots, celery, and bell peppers or making any dressings or sauces that you would like to have ready for the week. Sometimes prepping ahead means storing leftovers from meals that you made earlier in the week.
And that all brings us to the next question: what can you store your foods in and for how long?
When it comes to what you can use to store your prepped ingredients, the possibilities are almost endless. We recommend sealing things in glass for best food safety protection -- we especially like airtight mason jars or glass containers with strong plastic lids that provide a full seal. But you don't have to use glass. Plastic containers and even Ziploc bags can work too.
Remember to store all chopped fresh produce in the refrigerator. If you're not going to use what you've prepared for a few days, you can put food the freezer instead, but it will have an effect on the quality of your produce. Plus it's not safe to store glass food containers in a freezer. Use plastic instead.
When it comes to leftovers, follow food safety guidance to get them to the proper temperature. And check out this handy guide to positioning your food in the refrigerator!
On to the next question! How long can you store your prepped ingredients?
When in doubt, go with guidance from the USDA. Here are some of the highlights...
- Hard-cooked eggs last for roughly 1 week in the fridge.
- Cooked egg dishes last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- Cooked dinners that have already been heated once last for 3-4 days when refrigerated.
- Fresh poultry lasts for 1-2 days in the fridge, as does ground meat.
- Steaks, chops, and roasts can wait in the refrigerator for 3-5 days before being cooked.
- Sliced raw vegetables like tomato and cucumber usually only last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Sliced raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots can typically last for 5-7 days.
And there you have it! Some food storage tips for your meal planning endeavors!
If you're looking for more cooking tips and tricks, look no further than the Nutrition Education Store...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.