There’s no question that food-based nutrition is vitally important for your skin and your overall health. We already know levels of nutrients in certain foods have declined over the years due to factors like breeding crops for higher yield, and soil depletion. Plus, we know that quite often fresh food undergoes significant storage and travel time before actually making it to your plate—all the while losing nutrients. So preserving nutrition when you prepare, cook and store your food is valuable—even critical— knowledge.

At the NAA, we prioritize fresh food, including organic options. And, fresh or not, we want to make sure that we’re getting the most from the foods we buy and grow. So we compiled some of our favorite tips for storing, preparing, and serving fresh foods—check them out below.

Have more to add? Join the conversation and share your must-try tips as well!

NAA-Favorite Tips for Food Storage & Prep

  • Store your fresh ginger and turmeric in the freezer to preserve its nutritional value for months. Use it straight from the freezer for flavoring your cooking—or grate some right into hot water for a quick tea with tons of antioxidants.
  • Make mason jars your best friend! Mason jars are extremely versatile for food storage both in the fridge and in the pantry. Make fresh sauces, soups, and smoothies ahead of time and store them in mason jars on the refrigerator door, or even in the freezer (be sure to leave 2 inches of space above the food to allow for expansion and prevent glass breakage). Mason jars are also excellent for storing freshly made fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi.
  • For the safest food storage (no fear of chemicals leaching from plastic into your food), build a collection of freezer and heat-safe glass storage containers. These come in a variety of sizes perfect for portioning, and can safely go from the freezer to the oven without fear of breakage.
  • Oils: store them in the refrigerator or in a dark, closed cabinet away from heat and light to slow down oxidation and prevent rancidity.
  • Wrap fresh herbs and leafy greens in a paper towel, place in a plastic bag, and store in your crisper to make them last longer.
  • Though produce bags have been criticized for not being eco-friendly in the past, newer versions are reusable and recyclable. These are great for storing produce so it stays fresh much longer, so you avoid the risk of your fresh produce spoiling before you have time to eat it.
  • Store onions, garlic, and shallots on your counter—not in the refrigerator— to preserve them longest.
  • Make ice cube trays your secret weapon for flavor and convenience. Freeze cubes of purees and spices that can go straight from the freezer into your smoothies, soups, or stir frys.
  • Lightly cook vitamin C-rich foods like peppers to preserve their vitamin C content. Cooking them on high heat or for an extended period of time destroys many of their nutrients.
  • Worried your fresh fruits or greens will go bad? Make smoothies ASAP! Add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of raw ACV to help slow down oxidation and degradation of nutrients, and enjoy right away, or store in mason jars as mentioned above for later use.
  • Make ice pops. Got a picky kid (or inner child)? Take your extra produce and turn them into healthy, no added sugar ice pops either by juicing them or blending them and freezing them into ice pop molds (preferably ones with a fun shape) for a refreshing and healthy snack that even the pickiest eaters will love.
  • Make deliberate leftovers. Always cook enough dinner for one or two extra portions, store in one of the containers mentioned above, and have an easy, already home-cooked meal ready to heat up in no time for the next day’s lunch.

We want to hear from you!

What are your favorite practical tips for healthy food storage and preparation?