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We all know that feeling: You go to grab a bunch of fresh basil from that plastic container you just bought, but your herbs are already super moldy. Although encountering moldy herbs is always frustrating, you’re far from alone in having experienced it, so naturally, people have come up with super clever ways to avoid this problem, not to mention many other frequent kitchen struggles — bananas browning too fast, food scraps accumulating too quickly, etc. These four hacks might just do amazing things for your food supplies.
Freeze extra herbs in olive oil
After making that pasta casserole you love so dearly, you might still have more basil left over than you know what to do with. Tear up the leaves, toss them into an ice tray, and cover the leaves with olive oil instead of water. Put your tray in the freezer like you would with ordinary ice cubes, and then, when it comes time to use these herbs in some stovetop cooking, you can just toss an olive oil cube in and get fresh oil and herbs as the heat melts everything down. You’ll never have to worry about moldy herbs again!
Use produce savers
Every fruit and vegetable ripens differently. If you find yourself struggling to keep bananas properly yellow (though a smattering of brown spots is usually desirable), a quick Google will lead you to plenty of options for storage containers engineered specifically to maximize banana shelf life. These containers exist for tomatoes, pears, and pretty much any other fruit or vegetable you could need. Try using one side by side with your usual storage container or location to see the magic for yourself.
Make new food from food scraps
Anyone who’s ever cut the stem and top off a pepper has probably felt a bit sad to see so much vegetable go straight into the trash. It’s a bit of a bummer to see that outer layer of onion, that carrot peel, or that potato skin to the garbage too. Instead of tossing these, gather them in a freezer bag. When you have enough veggie scraps, you’ll have just what you need to make your very own vegetable broth. This broth is usually super quick to make, and you can use it later to add tons of flavor to rice, pasta, soup, or mashed potato dishes.
Regrow your vegetables and herbs — sometimes, with just water
Once you’ve bought certain vegetables or herbs, you don’t need to buy them again for a long time — or ever, if you’re lucky. Instructions vary by herb or vegetable, but green onions provide a perfect novice example. Fill a tall glass an inch or two deep with water, and then insert a green onion stalk white side first. Keep your glass in a place that gets some sunlight over the course of the day, and your green onion will resprout magically within a week.
What are some of your favorite super easy ways to make the most of the food you buy for your kitchen? Give us your tips in the comments!