Are Fresh Vegetables Really More Expensive Than Frozen or Canned?

Fresh vegetables have a reputation for being a little more pricey than their frozen or canned counterparts. Here’s why it’s not really deserved—but why it will probably still seem like it is anyway.

Source: Are Fresh Vegetables Really More Expensive Than Frozen or Canned?

When buying something such as a peach, you usually buy by weight. This will include things such as the pit that you won’t eat, but that add into the weight. When you buy canned peaches there is no pit, and usually no skin. Thus you aren’t comparing true consumed weight.  But with canned goods, you’re paying for the water/syrup/brine that the fruits and veggies are packed in…  Other things are more comparable – a green-bean (string bean) frozen, canned, or fresh, is pretty much the same weight, in terms of consumed product.

Whole-Grain Flour Has a Short Shelf Life, So Freeze It

Let’s just say you were unable to resist the temptation of the bulk bin aisle, and you’ve arrived home with a half-dozen baggies filled with everything from quinoa flour to einkorn. These things happen, but not to worry, because you have plans — big plans! — for baking all sorts of wondrous things in the coming weeks.

Okay, you eager-beaver baker, you — do you know where you should be storing all your lovely bags of whole-grain flour until your schedule clears? Do you know why?

Source: Why You Should Probably Be Storing Your Whole-Grain Flours in the Freezer

Why should I care about it being in an air-tight container? Because even in the freezer, the fats will react (slowly) with oxygen and become rancid. In an air-tight container, the oxygen level will eventually drop too low for the reaction to continue, thus preserving the flour for a longer time than flour stored in the freezer and constantly exposed to fresh oxygen.

On the flip side, whole grain wheat has a shelf live of over 30 years if properly prepared, sealed and stored.  Just add a grinder for flour.

Freeze Leftover Tomato Paste Into Ready to Use Spoonfuls

Opening a jar of tomato paste can feel a bit like a Chopped-style challenge.  How many uses for this tomato paste can I think of before it goes moldy and I have to throw it away?  I tend to pay a little more for my tomato paste, opting for a glass jar over a can, so that there are no BPA lining worries.  Granted, it’s not an enormous expense, but it’s still enough that I’d rather not waste food.  I’ll add the paste to marinades, soups, and chili, but most of the time in the battle of the tomato paste, I lose.  The glass is recycled and the tomato paste goes down the drain…

Source: Quick Tip: Freeze Tomato Paste and Never Toss a Moldy Jar Again

You could put the paste in a ziplock bag, squeeze all the air out (if you don’t have a vacuum packing setup), and freeze it flat.  Save a lot of space in the freezer, and when you’re ready to use it – just break off what you need.  This also melts much faster in soups and sauces than a ball would.

Make Root Vegetables Last Longer by Removing the Tops

Vegetables do inherently warrant some sense of urgency. They are fresh ingredients and only have so much time to live after harvest. However, there are many factors that affect a vegetable’s life, from the time you get it into your kitchen to the time you prepare it. You can extend its shelf life longer than you think. The right storage conditions play a big role, but there are other ways that you can preserve produce longer, and make the most out of your produce purchases.

Source: 10 Tips to Give Your Vegetables a Long and Happy Shelf Life

Root vegetables leaves keep pulling water from their roots even after they’ve been harvested, which is why removing the tops ASAP helps keep your veggies plump and tasty for longer.

You can use the tops to make things like pesto, but these are generally high in vitamin K so I would only recommend serving to others if you have INR concerns.

Keep Your Strawberries Fresh Longer with These Three Simple Rules

Whether you plan to eat the whole carton out of hand (I can’t blame you!), or you have a stack of recipes at the ready to put them to use, the real key to making those berries hold up is storing them properly. Do you know the right way to store strawberries?

Source: The Best Ways to Store Strawberries

Strawberries have vitamin K:

  • 1 pint/357 grams, pureed contains 7.9 mcg of vitamin K – 10% Daily Value (DV)
  • 1 cup/232 grams, pureed contains 5.1 mcg of vitamin K – 6% DV
  • 1 cup/144 grams, whole contains 3.2 mcg of vitamin K – 4% DV

1 cup or less, I wouldn’t worry about.  More than that, there’s a decent risk of impacting your INR.

Ginger: How Much Vitamin K?

Not to be confused with redheads… 😉

I remember ginger as something I was told to avoid while on blood thinners.  But research consistently says consuming ginger is not a concern while on warfarin/coumadin.  There’s 0.1 mcg of vitamin K in 100 grams/3.5 ounces of raw ginger – there’s so little, it’s basically non-existent.  I love ginger, as an ingredient in a recipe or various forms of candy: covered in sugar, or chocolate…

There’s numerous health benefits, to the point that hospitals stock ginger ale for sore throats and to soothe stomach aches.  I’d never heard of ginger being used for motion and sea sickness, but apparently ginger is good for reducing dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.  Here’s some other things ginger is known for:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • protection against colorectal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer cell death
  • boosting the immune system

Tips for ginger:

  • Freeze it to make it last longer, and easier to peel or grate.  But hard to cut…
  • Putting powdered ginger into a recipe that calls for fresh ginger is not recommended and vice versa.
  • A nugget of ginger can be used for flavouring (IE: in a soup), but removed before serving
  • You could peel & grate the ginger before freezing, but this bypasses two major benefits:
    1. Ginger grates really easily and finely when frozen, and even obviates the need to peel
    2. You don’t create a lot of surface area for oxidization when you do it this way, which means it actually tastes fresh

DIY: Bike Hanging Storage

Depending on how many bikes you have, and space, there’s various options.  What works best for you really depends.

For a single bike, lots of shops I know carry a nice hook setup that mounts on the wall.  Some are exposed hooks, which you can get at the local hardware shop for cheap.  You hang your bike by the front wheel…  But that means something someone could inadvertently run into when there’s no bike on the hook… Some of the nicer setups I’ve seen, the hook falls flush with the base plate.  Cleaner, more expensive, and if you’re injured – could be somewhat problematic if no one is around to give you a hand.

For multiple bikes, this video gives you two options:

The first option starts at 45 seconds in.  To recap, materials needed:

  • 1x 6ft/2 meter iron pipe
  • 2-3x heavy duty shelf supports
  • Heavy duty zipties
  • Husky hang straps: one per bike
  • s-hook: one per bike
  • o-ring: : one per bike
  • carabiner: one per bike

First the guy says it’ll cost $60, then he says $10… 😉

Super easy to setup:

  1. Mount the shelf supports
  2. Put o-rings on the bar, inside where the supports would be
  3. Put the bar on the supports
  4. Tie the bar onto the supports using the zipties
  5. Attach the s-hook, carabiner and hang strap to the o-ring

Similar to the hook on the wall, you run the Husky strap through the front wheel to hang the bike.  There’s nothing to hold the bikes steady, so while they can be turned on an angle to save space – there’s a chance of rubbing or scratching frames and expensive wheelsets.

Tips:

  • If you need to add o-rings to an existing setup – you’ll have to cut off the zipties that anchor the bar.  Or you could find carabiners large enough to get around the bar…
  • I looked at Ikea for shelving, but the highest maximum weight/load was 25 kg/55 lbs.  Depending on your bikes, but that’s not quite 3 20 lb bikes…  So I’d suggest Ikea shelving to compliment the iron bar, similar to how the Velo Grip has a shelf for helmets.

What the video doesn’t mention

Anti-theft.  While lots of condos/apartments dedicate bike storage, it makes for a one-stop location to steal bikes for the building.  Nothing will stop someone if they are truly motivated, all you can do is make it so difficult that it’s a combination of “not worth their time” and “time consuming enough to increase the chance of getting caught in the act”.A very low-cost means of securing bikes involves:

  • Sufficient length of chain
  • Old socks
  • U lock

Why the socks?  Simple – you cut the toes off and run the chain through to provide a buffer against scratches and rubbing on the frame and wheels.  Old towels would work too, if you cut them into strips for sewing into tubes.

I suggested a u lock because it’s more sturdy than a combination lock.  But realistically – none of this will stand up to someone packing an angle grinder.  So if you’re really concerned, lock bikes independently.  Anchoring the chain to the bar won’t do much once someone realizes the bar is tied down with a zip tie.

Beer: 5 Biggest Mistakes

Some mistakes in life are big, like cheating on your SATs or accidentally getting yourself imprisoned and caned for vandalizing a truck in Singapore, but others are THE BIGGEST, like drinking beer all wrong. So, in an effort to avoid getting you mentally caned by beer geeks everywhere, our beer writer Zach Mack breaks down the five biggest mistakes you’re making, and how to fix them.

Source: The 5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Beer

#6: Pinky up!

But they did miss skunking

Pizza: Best Way to Store and Reheat

The real problem (if you can really call it a problem) is figuring out the best way to eat [pizza] after Day 1. There are of course those that believe that reheating pizza in any fashion constitutes true sacrilege — that one should always eat their leftovers cold. Certainly, cold pizza can be a delicious and easy option.

But sometimes you want something warm in your belly and wish to bring back the original flavors and get the hot grease flowing again. How should you go about doing so? Do you pop it in the microwave? Throw it on the grill? Luckily for you, we decided to test out the best ways to reheat your pizza. Our findings may surprise you (as they did me), and may in fact lead to a slice of pie that was even better than the original.

Source: The Best Way To Reheat Pizza

  • There’s no conclusion to the article to contrast the methods of reheating
  • Wax or Parchment paper (they’re different things) are a better choice than paper towel, which risks fusing with the pizza (what’s a little more fiber?).  Parchment paper is better…
  • Using foil effectively rules out reheating in the microwave

Tomatoes & Refrigeration? Further Testing Says…

If you haven’t been following Tomatogate—my name for the minor controversy I caused with two previous articles that challenged the commonly held belief that refrigeration is never an acceptable way to store tomatoes—then you may not know just how strongly people feel about the topic.

Source: Should You Refrigerate Tomatoes? Further Testing Says…

Long but good read.  They didn’t get full-on lab coat and beaker science, but a good effort.