Category

Food Waste Tips

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

Make Berries Last Longer With One Simple Ingredient

blackberries
blackberries

While we’re still in blackberry season, I thought I’d share with you a great tip to help make berries last longer in the fridge.  Not just blackberries, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and any other berry you can care to think of.  This is especially great if you’ve picked more blackberries than you can eat or have some leftover from making delicious jam!

The secret to longer-lasting berries is quite surprising – vinegar!  I love using vinegar as a great chemical-free cleaner. However, who would have guessed that using vinegar can help fruit last longer in the fridge?

how-to-make-berries-last-longer

How to Make Berries Last Longer

To make berries last longer, all you have to do is rinse your berries in a solution of one part vinegar white vinegar or apple cider vinegar works best) to three parts water.  Alternatively, fill a bowl with one part vinegar to three parts water and give your berries a short soak for a minute.

Next drain the berries, and pop them in a salad spinner lined with kitchen roll. Gently spin until the berries are completely dry. Then decant the berries into an airtight container lined with kitchen roll, and place in the fridge.

If you don’t have a salad spinner then gently pat the fruit dry with a clean (dark coloured!) tea towel. Then place them in the fridge in a sealed tub lined with a folded piece of kitchen roll to help absorb any water.

wash berries with vinegar

This method works because the vinegar wash acts as an antiseptic agent – helping to remove any spores or bacteria on the surface of the fruit that can cause mould.  Meanwhile, completely drying the fruit also extends their life as well. This is because excess moisture speeds up the fruit’s decay, so keeping them dry slows down the rotting process.

Worried that your berries are going to taste of vinegar? Simply wash them immediately prior to eating, and you or your dining companions will be none the wiser!

Does It Work Though?

My verdict is yes, washing berries in vinegar and then drying them helps to make them last longer.  Berries that I have picked in the past generally have started to go off after 24 hours. However, using the vinegar and drying technique, I was able to stretch my batch to five days. It was at this point that I lost my nerve, and ate them! They perhaps could have lasted longer, however, I didn’t want to risk them rotting and wasting perfectly good berries!  Apparently, UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of food a year, so anything we can do to reduce this is to be encouraged.

Will you be trying this?  Let me know how you get on!

ps: I’ve got more handy food waste tips this way!

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

How to Test If Eggs Are Fresh – A Simple, Failsafe Technique

egg freshness test

Want to know how to test if eggs are fresh?  Right this way!

I’ve got a really easy way to test if your eggs are fresh.  It’s a really handy tip to keep up your sleeve so that you can avoid binning perfectly edible eggs.

In our house, we always have eggs to hand.  Unfortunately, life happens and sometimes we don’t always manage to use up all of the eggs before they reach their best before date.  I used to throw them away when they got to this point, because, you know, that’s what the date on the box said.

egg fresh test

Now, as you know I hate food waste, and I was always really loathed to throw the unused eggs out, but what else could you do?  Well, when my other half and I first moved in together he showed me a great tip to test egg freshness, that I thought I’d share with you today:

How To Test If Eggs Are Fresh

old egg
An egg two weeks past it’s best before date.

To test if eggs are fresh simply take your egg and gently place it in a large glass of cold water. You’ll want to observe whether the egg sinks to the bottom or floats to the top.

egg glass water test
It sank so it’s safe to eat!

How To Tell If Your Egg is Fresh & Safe To Eat

The beauty of this test, is that it’s really easy to tell if your egg is fresh, and therefore safe to eat.

Eggs suitable for eating will sink to the bottom of the glass.

Eggs that float to the surface have gone off and must not be eaten.  Off eggs float because pockets of air form in them as the egg goes off, making them float in water.

What Else To Look For

If you are in any doubt about the freshness of your egg and the results of this test, then there are a few further tests that you can make to make sure your egg is fresh.

The smell of the egg, once you’ve cracked it open, will also let you know if the egg suitable for consumption. If you’re not sure what rotten egg smells like, then it’s quite a sulfurous smell, not too dissimilar to a really bad fart! You really can’t miss the smell when an egg is off!

If you are still in any doubt, then take a look at the egg once you’ve cracked it open. Visually, if the egg is off then the yellow yolk will also be lying flat, rather than slightly raised. The albumen – the clear part of the egg – will also be very runny, almost like water.

With any egg past its best before date, do ensure it’s cooked thoroughly before eating, due to the risk of salmonella.

But Are They Really Ok to Eat?

I took these photos on the 28th of July. So even though my egg says best before 11th July this egg test suggests the egg is fresh and it’s still safe to eat.  

I admit, I did feel skeptical the first time I tried this test out. Thankfully, I’m pleased to report that I didn’t get ill. And, actually, I have never been ill from an egg since we moved in together thirteen years ago. So my how to test if eggs are fresh method is tried and trusted, let me assure you of that!  And even the NHS says you can eat eggs after their best before date.  Again, just cook it thoroughly.

Would you eat an egg past its expiration date?  Or do you have any other food tips?  Do share in the comments below!  And do check out my failsafe tip on how to tell if milk is bad, and the difference between best before and use-by dates.