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As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, many shoppers are visiting the grocery store less often. Instead of making several trips each month, they’ll make one or two and stock up on everything from eggs to vegetables that last long in the fridge. If you’ve adopted the same strategy, you may be wondering which foods will last between trips.
Below, you’ll find a list of such foods, including some that will last up to a year in the fridge.
1. Dried Fruits
Most people store dried bananas, figs, cranberries and other fruits in their pantry or kitchen cupboard. There, they will keep for about six months. However, after you open a package, it’s best to store dried fruits in the fridge. The colder temperatures will help preserve the freshness for an additional six months.
Apples from your local orchard make a beautiful autumn centerpiece on your kitchen table. If you plan on eating them, though, it’s best to store them in your fridge. Keep them in the fruit drawer where you can turn the temperature down to its coldest setting to slow ethylene emissions and ensure your apples last four to six weeks.
Eggs are good on everything from burgers to pho. Plus, they’re a good source of protein and healthy fats. Luckily, these round little gems will remain fresh for one to three months in the fridge, making them the perfect food to stock up on at the grocery store. If you’re unsure whether or not an egg is still edible, submerge it in water. If it floats, it’s time to toss the carton and buy another.
Carrots are the perfect food to have on hand as they are one of the vegetables that last long in the fridge. Add them to stir-fries, soups, salads, tacos and more for a bit of crunch. You don’t have to keep carrots in the fridge, but doing so will preserve their freshness. Store them in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer to prevent premature spoiling.
Add a bit of zest to any meal with a squeeze of citrus. Lemons, grapefruits, limes and oranges will stay fresh on the counter for a few days. However, similar to vegetables that last long in the fridge, they’ll last in the fridge for about two weeks. If you have space, store them next to the carrots in the vegetable drawer in a mesh bag.
Compared to other leafy greens, cabbage is one of the vegetables that last long in the fridge. While a bag of spinach may only last a few days, that giant head of cabbage will stay good for weeks before you cut into it. If you still haven’t used it up before it goes bad, add it to a salad or turn it into a quick, crunchy slaw and enjoy.
Make parfaits, smoothies, marinades and sauces with long-lasting Greek yogurt. After opening a tub, it will last for about two weeks in the fridge, meaning it will probably outlive your sour cream or creme fraiche. Remember to seal the lid tightly between uses and scoop the yogurt with a clean utensil to prevent premature mold and bacteria growth.
8. Hard Cheese
Hard cheese like gouda, pecorino, parmesan and manchego will last for up to six months in the fridge as long as you don’t open them. Likewise, your semi-hard string cheese will stay fresh for about five months. On the other hand, grated and shredded parmesan will stay fresh for up to a year if you store the cheese in an airtight container in the fridge.
Most people tend to store flour next to other baking ingredients in their kitchen pantry. There, both whole wheat and white flour will last six to eight months. However, once you open the bag, you can store it in the fridge to extend shelf life for to up to a year. Store it in an airtight container to prevent bug infestations and bacteria growth.
Of course, most condiments last quite a while in the refrigerator, especially if they contain preservatives or vinegar. For example, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce can last for up to three years in your pantry. Plus, you can store them with your spices even after opening the bottles. However, if you want them to taste fresh over such a long period of time, keep them in the door of your fridge.
Your Fridge Isn’t Always the Solution
At this point, you may think that sticking anything in the fridge can prolong its shelf life. Yet, some foods should not go in your refrigerator. For instance, bread will go stale within days and potatoes can become carcinogenic if you store them in your fridge. Thus, if you want to make sure you’re storing foods correctly, it’s best to conduct some research and take advice from the FDA and USDA.