Journalist Marie Cochard, already the author of Les épluchures, all you can do with it, took up a major challenge: unplugging her fridge! By drawing her whole family into this daily adventure, she made incredible discoveries in terms of natural food preservation. A way for her to share her tips with her readership, but above all to fight against food waste and preserve the planet's resources. So are you up to the challenge too?
These foods that don't go in the fridge… contrary to what we think
Do you have to be frosted to do without a refrigerator for several months? In any case, you have to be daring! Yet one of the first lessons to be learned from the book Our fridge-free adventure from Marie Cochard, is that a lot of food ends up in the fridge… wrongly. Did you know, for example, that apples below 10 ° C lose their flavor and properties? Generally, fruits and vegetables that have not been refrigerated will keep longer. Do not be surprised if, out of your fridge, your tomatoes are still soft and floury! In the same way, eggs keep very well in the open air on condition that they are placed in a dry and temperate place, protected from light. As for coffee, an urban legend assures that it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator. For Marie Cochard it is a mistake not to make to prevent it from losing its aroma and absorbing the odors of other foods. Even the slices of ham can be stored in the butcher's packaging, in a dry place without light for about a week.
Clever conservation for food to be consumed more intelligently
Also in her book, Marie Cochard gives us some tips to help us preserve food differently. For example, potatoes, apples and onions are not to be placed side by side because they release plant hormones: it is better to separate them to preserve them durably. Other little tips punctuate the whole book: did you know that a ripe apple or banana placed near a peach or a hard avocado will make them ripen more quickly?
Besides the refrigerator… what means of conservation?
In her book, Marie Cochard identifies several methods of conservation, often acclaimed by our elders before the fridge burst into homes. *Drying . Eliminating water from food is an ancestral method of preservation that allows food to be stored better. This technique can work with fruits, vegetables and even meat or fish. To dry your tomatoes, for example, clean them under a stream of water, split them and place them on a wire tray. Then place it on a sieve for several days when the sun is at its zenith. Entirely dry, your tomatoes can be kept for a year. *landfilling . Here is a more unknown technique but still easy to practice. With carrots for example, do not remove the soil, cut the tops and then bury the vegetables entirely in a wooden crate filled with sand. Thanks to this process, your carrots but also your parsnips, asparagus, potatoes, chestnuts, beets or radishes can be preserved without darkening or softening. *The packaging . The refrigerator does not work with apricots, peaches or even nectarines. To preserve them, Marie Cochard wraps her summer fruits in a silk fabric to place then in a cool place. *Lactofermentation . It preserves food by strengthening its nutritive properties. Start by washing and cutting vegetables into small pieces and then place them in a perfectly airtight jar. Add grated ginger, spices and herbs. Tamp the whole before covering with spring water half a teaspoon of gray salt. Place your jars near a heat source for several days (radiator, oven, etc.) but away from light. After a few weeks, your lactofermented vegetables are ready to be eaten! These means of preservation require time and attention! It is necessarily slower than putting our food in the fridge in the blink of an eye. But for Marie Cochard this constraint is also an advantage: close observation of products limits food waste.
Find even more tips, conservation methods and recipes in Marie Cochard's book, Notre aventure sans frigo, published by Eyrolles.