Store Your Fruit and Veg For Longer – By Angelina Spathopoulou

Quarantine edition #hacks

I’ve got good news! You can store your fresh fruit and veg and use them anytime throughout this self-isolation period.

Does this mean I don’t have to go to the supermarket ever again?

Errr, don’t think so. BUT…this way I absolutely reduce the frequency of having to go out grocery shopping, I can increase my intake of vitamins and all-the-good-stuff for longer, AND I become a pro at reducing food waste. Hurray, two or even three birds with one stone [..stay away from killing birds, kids!].

Get Freezing!

Freezing your fresh fruits and veg has been a thing for a while now. Most of the creative chefs, nutritionists, vegans and minimalists that I follow have always been sharing their tips for getting the nutrients and flavours in their dishes from frozen food.

Personally, I hadn’t never tried it before. You know life was busy and there was only so much I could do in a day. So, it was never a priority to wash and cut fresh parsley, dill and apples and freeze them. Guess what?

Now I’ve got time, pllllllenty of time to do things I did not have the time to do before this virus thing. Awesome!

Well, yesterday I spent way too much time in the kitchen and I loved it! I washed my hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds humming the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice.

Sometimes I sing it out loud testing the talents of my vocal chords…and the tolerance of our neighbours who happen to be the landlords…Oh boy, it feels great!

And they are very sympathetic during these hard quarantine times. I think they agree this is a way to communicate with another human through the walls, that’s self-distancing to a whole different level! 

Sing While You’re…Washing?

Anyway! I put on a “positive morning coffee jazz music” playlist on YouTube. Shoot, now I had to wash my hands again. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear mister kind neighbour, happy birthday to you.

I took all the colourful fresh produce out of the fridge and arrayed them on the kitchen counter in categories [and colours but let’s talk about OCD’s in a different post!]. I washed them all very thoroughly and brought out my chopping board which happens to be in the list of my Top 3 treasures in my kitchen.

I either chopped or cut in big chunks everything and placed them in containers in the freezer as you can see below!

The Greens

First goes the extremely nutrient-rich spinach. We are good kids that eat their leafy greens so we bought a lot of it but we also had other greens for fresh salads, so freezing is a perfect way to have it handy.

Spinach, similar to kale is great in curry and stews. Just add a handful either fresh or frozen in the pan when the curry is ready the last five minutes in low heat. The greens will reduce in volume a lot and add colour, flavour and nutrients in your lunch or dinner. 

Then, we have the super powerful micro greens: dill, parsley and basil which add another dimension to any dish. 

The Fruits

First off, the apples. There are always fruits in the house; and apart from a healthy snack, apples make a great addition to porridge and smoothies, they’re perfection in the oven with cinnamon and honey etc. 

Finally, bananas. Go for ripe bananas, the deep yellow ones with black spots as these are very sweet. Chop them in chunks, place them on a plate or tray on a baking sheet away from each other to avoid sticking and put them in the freezer. 3-4 hours later they will be frozen so you can transfer them in a container of your choice that takes less space in the freezer. I absolutely love my frozen bananas.  

In fact, initially I froze a couple of bananas a few days ago for a test. I was amazed by the deliciousness of that chocolatey banana ice cream I made. It did not taste like banana but it had all the richness of banana texture.

Plus the fact that homemade banana ice cream is not processed, has waaaay less sugar and preservatives than the store-bought ones, and you can give whatever flavour your isolated self asks for! 

Well, I’ll have to share this recipe with you as I am so proud of it. Coming soon, so stay tuned!

Where were we? Oh yes, after washing and cutting everything I took a couple of amateur photos to show you guys. Still working on my photo shooting skills! Touched the phone, washed hands again, you know the story. I organised all my chopped goodness in bags and tupperwear…and in the freezer they went. 

It’s easy! And you can do it too!

Disclaimers

Disclaimer No.1: It’s been a while now that I am on a mission to reduce the use of plastic in my daily routine as I am being conscious about sustainability and all its pillars. I’ve got the plastic bags and containers you see in the photos forever so instead of throwing them away I still use them. The plastic bags that host my spinach, apples and bananas will be re-used multiple times as I will be adding the next batch of fresh goodies in them when I do this again.

Disclaimer No.2: Some might think…why not buy them frozen in the first place? Sometimes frozen is cheaper, too. Well, this might be the case but it is not the same.

I found it really rewarding doing this myself in my free time and every time I open my freezer, I get a feeling of pride of how I manage to keep things organised in there. Besides, not everything I froze here I could find in the supermarket so my freezer has a great variety at the moment!

Disclaimer No.3: If this whole freezing story is old news to you and you’ve been doing this forever, great! I am with you on this from now on! ☺️

Until next time, stay safe.

And get your vitamins…NATURALLY!

Angelina xx