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5 easy ways to preserve food without refrigeration

It's no longer news that the fuel scarcity which has lingered for the past few weeks has really crippled the Nigerian economy. With reserved fuel hoarded by the black market traders going for as much as 500 Naira per liter and almost none in circulation at all, the hardship and discomfort seems to be getting even worse.
Telecommunication service providers have given out notices of imminent shut down of services, Electricity supply has been cut off to practically nothing at all, water supply has been cut off completely especially in areas with a central water distribution system, prices of everything in the market and transportation has automatically quadrupled, banks and radio stations have sent out notices that they'd be closing early to conserve reserved fuel. I've practically emptied my freezer to prevent food stuffs from further spoiling since everyone around seems to be conserving the little reserved fuel they've got for emergency periods. One thing i believe in is that difficulties do not come to obstruct but to instruct and this experience should serve as an eye opener for everyone in my dear country that depending solely on petroleum products shouldn't be the only way to go. Now back to the topic at hand, here are some easy ways to preserve food without refrigeration or electricity in general.

How to store leafy Vegetables:::
Leafy vegetables are one of the most common food staples in the Nigerian cuisine but they are very delicate and spoil quickly. It's so common that most soups and stews cannot be prepared without the addition of a leafy vegetable. With the introduction of modern appliances, most natural preservation techniques have been forgotten. To preserve leafy vegetables, Here is what we have learned…
- Immediately get rid of any bad leaves, because one bad leaf could ruin the bunch.
- Keep the greens whole, unless you are using them in the next day or two .
- Get the greens as dry as you can and help them stay dry.
- Wrap the leaves properly with old newspapers and store the greens properly in a dry place.
 Click here to view full list of leafy vegetables

How to store eggs:::
Most times when i visit peoples houses here in Nigeria, i notice they store eggs in the refrigerator and it puzzles me all the time. One thing i've learned is that eggs stay fresh longer when left on shelves in an airy place than when refrigerated here in nigeria. Except you've got constant power supply in your homes (assuming you live outside the country), your eggs are best left outside the refrigerator. The major trick is not to wash it when you collect it. Yes it might have shit on it and probably feathers but leaving it unwashed would go a long way in preserving it.
Unwashed eggs seem to store much better than washed probably for the simple reason that they're unwashed. When an egg comes out from the chicken, it is coated with a light layer of a natural sealing agent called "bloom". And, while a good wash may make a batch of eggs look cleaner and attractive, it also removes this natural protective coating thereby exposing the eggs to attack by the bacteria in the air and aging.
Click here to learn how to tell if eggs are fresh or rotten

How to store Tomatoes
I used to think that you should store all your fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator so they'd last longer. I assumed that refrigeration didn't change produce, only prolong shelf life. Boy, was I wrong! Fresh tomatoes are one of those things you should keep out of the refrigerator. They are best stored in a cool dry place and not a cold place like the refrigerator.
Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature on the counter away from sunlight. Make sure they're aligned in a single layer, not touching one another with the stem side up. Consume within a couple of days.

How to preserve meat & fish:::

Before refrigeration people relied on salt and smoke to preserve their meat and fish. To preserve meat or fish that will not require refrigeration, it goes through a process known as Hard Smoking. Hard smoked meat or fish contains a lot of salt, and it is smoked at a low temperature until there is very little moisture left in it. It is kind of like the dehydration method used for fruits and vegetables, but done with smoke and the addition of salt and usually other spices as well. The salt helps preserve what is being smoked by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Sometimes the meat or fish gets so salty that you may even want to soak it for a few hours before eating it to remove some of the salt in it.

How to store fruits i.e orange, pineapple, pear e.t.c:::
Just like vegetables, fruits should be stored in a well ventilated dry place. The trick is also not to wash the fruits till they are ready to be used.
If you've learned other tricks and methods for storing foods - ways to keep it longer or things not to do, please share your insights with the rest of us in the comment section.

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  1. 10ks 4 sharing but I just read recently that eggs are better stored in refrigerator but except you mean in case of crisis like this so it should be stored out.

    1. That's true Kemikane, aa refrigerator with constant power would keep eggs longer but in a place with epileptic power supply the reverse is the case.

  2. Great! The leafy vegetables and tomatoes are my favourite.

    1. i wrap my vegetable like in num 1 above.

  3. Thanks, this is really helpful - well done!

  4. I like the leafy vegetables and fruits part. So helpful, thank you

  5. You can also dry vegetables in the sun till properly dry and store in resealable bags. They go back to normal when cooked or inserted in water.

    1. Thanks for this wonderful contribution Anon 6:10 p.m.

  6. Please any idea on where to get a large cake mixer in lagos ...like smefin dat d bowl of d mixer can contain atleast 2kg of all mixtures ...pls kindly help out ..thanks

    1. Alaba market would be a good place to start. Lagos island also has stores that sell.

  7. Anon 6:10 p.m.... if you need to dry your veggies, please it is better done at room temperature and not in the sun. Just spread them on a newspaper and in a well-ventilated room. That way, they will retain their nutrients and much of their colours. Thank you.

    1. This is so true. Thanks for the insight chinny.


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