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How to Save Anything from Going Bad in the Fridge

Fermented pickles

You’re peering into the fridge, staring down a rapidly yellowing head of broccoli. It would be a shame to throw it out, but you also don’t really want any broccoli right now – maybe you’ve been eating broccoli a lot lately and you’re just kind of sick of it. What to do: throw it out? Eat it even though you don’t really want it?

Maybe you bought a lot of something on sale without really thinking it through. Or maybe you’re excited about your new CSA but really don’t know what to do with the massive pile of zucchini sitting on the counter.

Food spoiling is a special problem with Paleo because almost everything on the menu is perishable. There’s no coming home with boxes of pasta and cans of sauce that you can leave for literally years before they go bad. The clock is ticking on everything as soon as you pick it up in the store.

The solution:

That second point is what this article focuses on. This doesn’t have to mean busting out a canning rack or a bunch of crazy equipment: if you want to go all survivalist with your food preservation, you can, but plenty of methods only require ordinary kitchen equipment like an oven or freezer.

Learning preservation tricks for saving food about to go bad can help you avoid wasting money – and it can also help you take advantage of sales later on. Once you know you’ll have a way to keep your bounty fresh, you can fearlessly take advantage of every special you see. So here are some last-minute preservation tricks for anything that might be about to go bad in the fridge.

Fresh Herbs

Herbs are perennially a problem because they’re sold in giant bunches, but most recipes only call for a little bit. So what on earth should you do with the other ¾ of the cilantro?

Fresh Vegetables

There are so many different kinds of vegetables that no one method will work for all of them. But there’s a way to deal with everything!

Lettuce and other salad greens are typically the hardest to manage. One thing you could try with lettuce is making lettuce soup (yes, really!) or finding some other way to cook it before it gets slimy and gross. For spinach, kale, or hardier green vegetables, try cooking them into soup and freezing that.

For more information on freezing, the National Center for Home Food Preservation has a massive list of tips and techniques for pretty much everything you might consider sticking in the freezer.

Meat

Got some meat that you’re worried about going bad? One way to handle it is just Fridge full of foodto cook it now: cooked meat keeps longer than raw, so you can buy yourself a few days with just your oven. If you’re not going to cook it yet, but still want to save it for later, here’s how:

Fresh Fruit

Fruit is expensive, especially out of season, so don’t let it go to waste!

Everything Else

Then there are a few extra items that don’t really fall into any of the categories above, but still cost you money if you just throw them out:

Got another thing that’s about to die in your fridge? Why not ask for some help with that on Facebook or Google+?