Organising, storing and maintaining a fresh and sufficient stock of groceries and staples is a task that is one of the everyday challenges that the homemaker faces. If the predictability is miscalculated, you may have more staples and groceries than required, or you might also face their shortage. Hence, organizing pantry is of essence and a matter of practice every day.
Shortage of groceries & staples now a days can much easily be met with online and offline shopping as and when your family requires. But the abundance of staples may lead those to go stale with time if kept unused in your kitchen cabinets. Some ingredients will lose their crisp and freshness even when stored in air tight containers.
Refrigerator is one among the solutions to maintain a fresh stock of supplies; not just perishables like vegetables and meat, but also to enhance the shelf life of many other ingredients. Let us have a look at what more you can make your refrigerator do to make you perform efficiently in kitchen.
Here are great handy ideas that you can use your refrigerator for storing different ingredients.
1. Dry Fruits & Nuts
Dry fruits like raisins, figs, apricots and more are usually used in Indian cuisine when a special rice recipe like Modur Pulao is made, or when we are preparing Indian sweet recipes like Kheer for festivals or desserts. Hence, there are chances that these dry fruits and nuts might get infested with pest if not stored properly. Best idea is to store these dry fruits in deep freezer, where the shelf life is well extended and the chances of any pest infestation is curbed.
Flours like whole wheat flour and rice flour is usually used on a regular basis in Indian kitchens and are fast depleting ingredients. But flours like maida, oats flour, or millet flours are a bit sparsely used. This may result in flours turning stale and not usable after you open its package later sometime. If you have a bigger deep freezer, these flours can easily fit into it and can be stored safely and hygienically for a longer time.
Deep freezer comes in for real help while you want to store season fresh vegetables for long time. Fresh green peas and fresh tender green chickpeas (hara chana) are available in market for a short time and the produce is seasonal. Though the frozen peas are available in market all-round the year, isn’t it satisfying to know what exactly goes in and is cost effective for a month to indulge in its recipes after it is gone from fresh vegetables market. You can also store fresh sweet corn in deep freezer similarly, for a month.
4. Spice Powders
We all tend to make more native and traditional recipes that are frequent in our own cuisines for everyday meals. We are mostly open to non-native cuisines only when we have enough time to try something new, with patience and care. Hence, there might be so many different varieties of spice powders lying in your kitchen cabinets that are rarely used in recipes. To avoid these powders from being pest infested or becoming stale, it is best to store them in deep freezer. This way, you won’t be out down while trying something exotic since the necessary spice powders are always handy and stay fresh too.
Pulses and dals that might be unused for a long time, are best kept in deep freezer. These pulses if left outside are very likely to develop fungus if the weather is humid and become pest infested too if stored for longer than a month or two without deep freezing.
6. Grated Coconut
Fresh grated coconut is an ingredient of daily use in many Indian and most of the coastal recipes and side dishes. But grating coconut every day is a task that is difficult for people with busier schedules. Easiest way to manage this is, keep the freshly grated coconut in deep freezer in an airtight container, such that the grated coconut can be used as and when required.
3 Ways You Can Store In Deep Freezer
Zip lock covers
Freezing veggies like green peas, green chana and sweet corn can be done in these zip lock covers that avoid moisture from seeping into the cover.
When you store pulses or lentils in deep freezer, best tool to keep the moisture out from with the cover is by using clip sealers. Have these handy any time when you want to reseal any ready to eat foods as well, to help them remain crisp and fresh until next use.
Plastic containers that are airtight are very useful in this regard, when you want to freeze and store spice powders, dry fruits and nuts. You can also store these in airtight glass or ceramic containers with silicon lined lid or similar.