10 foods That are still OK to eat after their Expiry Date!
10 foods That are still OK to eat after their Expiry Date!
In Australia alone, over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill each and every year, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Despite governments and other organisations taking up the challenge to combat food waste, we can all help and in the process, help heal our own pantries! Here is just one way to reduce some waste.
ONE: Have you ever gone to use eggs and noticed the date on your egg carton has already passed? Eggs are a staple in most kitchens and unless you have chooks giving you fresh ones daily, it is easier to purchase in larger amounts, which of course can sometimes mean you haven't used them all before the expiry date. Here's a trick to check if eggs have gone without cracking them open: place in a bowl of water to see if they are buoyant. If they sink, they're still safe to eat; if they float, straight to the compost bin.
TWO: If your cream is about to expire or actually has expired, make butter with it! Weird, but making the butter will mean you get a whole new lease of life for the cream. Past dated cream will actually give you more yellow butter and will separate into fat solids and whey a lot quicker. Easy.
THREE: If your butter is about to expire, (does that ever happen people??) pop it into the freezer to keep it fresh for longer. (I suggest cutting it into cubes before freezing for easier use) Keep in mind that it's best to use it all once you've thawed it. Have quite a bit of butter left over that you are concerned about? Use it for your next baking recipe.
FOUR: If unopened, yogurt is safe to eat for 1-3 weeks past its sell-by date if stored in your fridge immediately after purchase. It can also be frozen for up to two months, which could also be helpful with morning smoothie prep. A small amount of liquid in your opened container of yogurt doesn't mean it's gone bad. That's whey, which a simple stir will fix. I also use whey for quite a few fermenting recipes, so check them out too! If you see excess liquid pooling at the top and curdling on the bottom, it's time to toss that yogurt out.
FIVE: Pasta won't expire easily because it's usually a dry product. You can use it well past the expiration date, so long as it doesn't smell funny (egg pasta can produce a funny odour). Generally, dry pasta has a shelf life of two years, but you can typically push it to three. So go ahead and make that lasagna or carbonara using the noodles you found hidden at the back of your pantry.
SIX: Chocolate can last way beyond the best before date, (unless it is in my house of course!) This depends on a few factors; the higher the cacao % , the longer it will keep after expiry. Storing it correctly will also determine how long it can last, and whether the package is opened or not. Ideally, you want to keep your chocolate products in a cool, dry place at a temperature of 70ºF/21ºC or less. Dark places (like secret bedside cupboards) also work well for longevity! Worst case scenario, if you happen to stumble on a stash that you cannot possibly finish off quickly enough, go make these brownies. They are amazing and use a LOT of chocolate!
SEVEN: Both smooth and crunchy peanut butter will keep for one year past its best before date whether stored in the pantry or fridge. Once it's been opened, both are good for 3-4 months in the pantry or 6-8 months in the refrigerator past that date. Homemade or natural peanut butter has a shorter shelf life -- just 2-3 months in the pantry or 3-6 months in the fridge beyond its best before date. It's perfectly normal for a natural separation of oil in your natural peanut butter. You can either stir it back in or pour it out and use it for cooking.
EIGHT: Pickled or fermented cucumbers, peppers, or kimchi or sauerkraut are good for 1-2 years past their best before date, whether opened or unopened, and can be stored in the refrigerator or pantry. They may lose their crunch over time but are still safe to consume. How do you know if pickled items have gone bad? A sure sign is a rounded or dome-shaped top of the lid, which indicates the jar was not sealed properly. When opening a new jar of pickles, you should hear a pop when the seal breaks.
NINE: Condiments like ketchup, mustard and relishes have a long shelf life. If your ketchup is unopened, it can be stored in the pantry for up to a year past its best before date. Once it's been opened, store it in the fridge and consume within six months. Yellow mustard can be stored unopened for up to 2 years past its date, or for a year in the fridge once opened. Unopened pickle relish can be kept in your pantry for up to 2 1/2 years, or up to nine months in the fridge after opening.
TEN: Vanilla in all its forms except fresh pods, is basically the seeds of a natural vanilla bean (which is not really a bean, but that is another article!) preserved in alcohol amongst other things. So think about it. There is almost nothing that can go wrong with vanilla, let alone alcohol. Please don't ever throw it away. Use it up even if the use by date has passed. Goodness knows there are enough recipes on my site to use vanilla!
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Tenina Holder is a wife, mother of five and grandmother of six, who started cooking in the olden days before Thermomix was even a thing.
Tenina has become the premium go to source for all Thermomix expertise and of course fresh and easy recipes that work. Her cooking classes and foodie trips are sold out in literally hours, her cookbooks appear on the Australian best seller lists and her social reach is in the millions. Her Insider Club is the most fun you can have with a Thermomix and you really should join her! She believes chocolate, butter and salt are health foods. Her food positivity mantra is, eat everything, just not all at once!