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Friday, 7 October 2011

Ideas on storing raw food for freshness

Living in Kalgoorlie, we do not have access to a local organic shop that supplies us with daily raw products, therefore, I rely a lot on buying bulk from raw suppliers in Perth (Healthy Valley being my preferred organic raw supplier)

Buying bulk is fantastic as it can make the product cheaper and creates less packaging, but it can also mean that storage can become a problem as a lot of space is needed and items need to be stored correctly to maintain freshness. 

Here is a quick overview of how I store my bulk raw organic goods.

Storing Bulk Nuts, Seeds and grains long term: Freezer
I use a lot of raw nuts. I use almonds to make milk, macadamias to make creams, and cheeses, and pecans or walnuts to make fudge, cake bases and 'meaty' substitutes. I usually buy anywhere between 2kg and 10kg boxes of nuts at any one time. The bulk of the nuts are stored in their unopened box in the freezer. By freezing nuts, they are protected from the warm air and hot sun and prevented from going rancid. Freezing does not change the texture or flavour of the nuts as they have a high oil content which will not freeze and little or no water. This is the best place to store anything raw for long term. I will store the bulk of my raw nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, chia, linseed and grains. Freezing will not inhibit sprouting either.

Storing bulk organic raw nuts, seeds and grains for long term in the freezer 


Storing small quantities of nuts and seeds short term: Fridge
The fridge is another fantastic place to store your raw nuts, seeds and grains, but because my fridge is also used to store all my fresh fruit and vegetables, space is definitely limited. As I like to have on hand a small supply of easy to access raw nuts and seeds that are not frozen, I keep a couple of jars of my most used nuts - almonds and pecans at arms reach in the fridge.  I continue to restock these jars from the bulk supply in the freezer as they run low.

Short term storage of raw nuts in the fridge
Storing 'Activated and dehydrated' nuts and seeds and other raw products: glass jars in the pantry cupboard
To store my activated nuts and seeds, that have been fully dehydrated, I place them in a selection of large preserving jars that can be sealed airtight and place in the pantry. I also add an oxygen absorber pouch that usually comes with the products in each jar to prevent sweating.  This is the same way I store unhulled seeds for sprouting, cacao powder, jars of coconut oil, nama shoyu, miso, salt, honey, agave, quinoa, sundried tomatoes, goji berries, dried chili, currents, sultanas, dehydrated buckwheaties, homemade dehydrated cereals etc. I really love the glass jars - though they are expensive, I find they keep my products fresh, look great and will last forever. I started out by just buying 2 every week until I got quite a collection and have a jar for every item in varying sizes. They have really been worth the cost.      

Storing dehydrated raw good in the pantry in sealed glass jars

Fresh greens - sealed containers in the fridge   
As for storing fresh produce - the fridge of course is the best place to maintain freshness and longer lasting. I do find though when storing fresh green leafy vegetables such as spinach or Kale, they do require a little extra effort then simply placing a bunch in the fridge. Often I would have to throw our bunches of green from my fridge as they had wilted beyond recognition within days, but since storing them in containers, they now stay fresh for weeks.

If you have been fortunate enough to receive a lovely big bunch of homegrown silverbeet from a friend, as we did last week, and don't intend on using it all on the first night, then I highly recommend:


washing the silverbeet and then de-stemming

 

before storing in a sealed container in the fridge. This will ensure they will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.



To preserve fresh silverbeet for long term freshness,
pack into a sealed container and store in the fridge
 This is the same for kale: 

Lovely big bunches of fresh kale

Wash and de-stem kale ready for immediate use

Store kale in a sealed container in the fridge

   

2 comments:

  1. How do you store your coconut pulp???

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  2. Hey - sorry for the delayed reply, just found your comment today. Yes coconut pulp. Once I drink the delicous liquid from the young coconuts, I scrape out the flesh and place into a sealed plastic container and leave in the fridge for up to a week if I know I will use in within that time. If it will be longer, I put the entire plastic container in the freezer and remove small amounts when needed - defrosting before adding to recipes. Freezing doesnt seem to change the texture or flavour of the pulp.
    As with the brown coconuts, after I have made a coconut milk or cream with the dry flesh, I store the remainder of the now powdered coconut pulp in a glass jar in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. Im sure this would also be fine in the freezer, but I always seem to use it before I get a stock pile. I hope this helps with your question.

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