We've all been there, we found a great recipe but it makes two or three servings and we only need one. In this short article, we'll take a look at ways for storing leftover foods and beverages properly for enjoying again in the future.
Storing Leftover Foods and Beverages in the Freezer or Refrigerator
It is a common practice to put leftover food in the fridge! Improper storage can spoil the food in a day or two and needs to be thrown away. At times, the foul smell spreads in the refrigerator and is absorbed by other food items. To avoid sour smells and food rotting, storing leftover foods and beverages properly is a must!
How to Store Leftover Cauliflower Pizza in the Freezer or Refrigerator
The pizza slices need to be at room temperature for storing!
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator: Lasts up to 3 Days
To store leftover pizza slices:
- Get a paper towel and place into the bottom an airtight container (large enough to fit 1-2 slices).
- Place 1 pizza slice and cover it with another paper towel.
- Repeat the process with the remaining pizza slice.
- Close the lid. If the top is loose, wrap a plastic film tightly around the container.
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Storing Leftovers in the Freezer: Lasts up to 2 months
- Method 1: Transfer the leftover pizza slices to an airtight container (without paper towels). Put in the freezer
- Method 2: Wrap each slice with a plastic film followed by wrapping of aluminum sheet. Place in the freezer.
How to Store Leftover Tomato Paste in the Freezer or Refrigerator
Canned tomato paste is used in several recipes. Yet, the amount needed is so tiny that we always end up with too much leftover in the can. Being lazy and transferring the can with leftover tomato paste into the fridge can lead to fuzzy mold formation and make it inedible. So, store it properly as follows.
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator: Lasts up to 5-7 days
After the can is opened, never store the leftover tomato paste in the can. Transfer the paste into an airtight glass/plastic container and keep it in the fridge.
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Storing Leftovers in the Freezer: Lasts up to 2-3 months
Line a tray with wax paper. Scoop out 1 tablespoon dollop of tomato paste and drop it in the lined tray. Continue to add the bits (each measuring 1 Tbsp) and space them out. Freeze overnight till they solidify into frozen lumps. Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag/container.
Advantage: Storing in this method makes it convenient to use whenever necessary. If you need 1-3 tablespoons of tomato paste in a recipe, you can add 1-3 frozen lumps. No time or energy is wasted on breaking a sizeable frozen chunk of tomato paste.
How to Store Leftover Smoothie in the Refrigerator
Blending an extra glass of smoothie and storing it in the fridge for later can prove beneficial. When odd hour hunger pangs kick in, rather than munching on some unhealthy snacks, a cup of coffee, or aerated drink, you have a chilled glass of nutritious smoothie ready.
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator: Lasts up to 12-24 hours
Transfer the smoothie into a glass mason jar and fill it till the top to prevent air from getting trapped inside. Close the lid tightly & store it in the fridge.
Leaving room in the jar allows air to get trapped, which causes the vitamins & minerals in the smoothie to get oxidized. Vitamin C prevents or delays oxidation, so you can add it to the smoothie. Lemon juice, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, fresh berries, papaya, and watermelon are good sources of Vitamin C.
That said, all smoothies are prepared differently. Therefore, if you see any discoloration or your drink smells odd, avoid drinking it.
How to Store Leftover Pasta in the Freezer or Refrigerator
Plain Pasta Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator: Lasts up to 3-5 days
The plain pasta should be stored within 2 hours after its cooked. Once the pasta has cooled completely, coat it nicely with little oil or butter, and this will save them from sticking together. You can use any oil such as olive, canola, or vegetable oil.
Transfer the oil-coated pasta into a zip-top bag. Remove the excess air, seal the bag, & transfer it to the fridge.
Plain Pasta Storing Leftovers in the Freezer: Lasts up to 2 months
Toss the cooked & cooled plain pasta in oil/butter and transfer it to a freezer-safe bag. Seal well and store in the freezer.
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Storing Pasta with Sauce
- If you consume the leftover cooked pasta within 24 hours, you can store it along with the sauce in an airtight container or zip-top bag. The sauce will enhance the flavor of the pasta.
- Suppose you wish to store it for a few days, then best store the cooked pasta and sauce separately. Otherwise, the sauce will turn the pasta mushy.
How to Store Leftover Soups/Stews in the Freezer or Refrigerator
Soups and stews are often prepared in large quantities, and we end up with leftovers. The best way to store soups/stews is to cool them entirely within 2 hours after cooking and refrigerate at 40 °F temperature.
Now, soup/stews tend to stay warm longer when cooked in huge quantities. To cool it down, you can place the soup pot in a large pan filled with ice-cold water or ice cubes. Other options include mixing ice cubes into the soup or stirring it with cooling paddles.
Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator: Lasts up to 4 days
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Suppose the soup/stew is slightly warm after 90-100 minutes of cook time. Then, transfer it to a bowl/container and place it on the top shelf of the fridge uncovered until it cools down. Once cooled, lock the lid of the airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Storing Leftovers in the Freezer: Lasts up to 2-3 months
Pour the completely cooled soup/stew in a freezer-safe container. Don't fill it till the top; leave half-inch space on top. Close the lid and place it in the freezer. If you have too much leftover soup/stew, divide it into 2 or more containers.
Soups/stews containing dairy products such as milk, cheese, or cream are best consumed within 2 months. On the other hand, soups/stews made with water or broth can be stored for 3 months.
To conclude, storing leftover foods and beverages properly can save food wastage. It can also protect you from food poisoning, stomach aches, and acid influx often caused by consuming poorly stored leftover foods!
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