Eating fresh real foods is the number one thing you can do for your health. But let’s be honest, it can be expensive, too. Especially when you find yourself tossing out your fresh produce because it has gone bad before you were able to use it.
Talk about frustrating!
Well relax, we’ve got you covered with the inside scoop on how to make your produce stay crispy, fresh and delicious longer than you ever thought possible.
Start working these 18 proven tricks into your routine when you get home from your next grocery store trip starting with our Five Pack of Core Produce Principals.
1. Air flow:
The single most important thing you can do is give your fruits and veggies enough breathing room in the refrigerator. Make sure everything has enough room so that air can flow around it and it will keep fresh far longer.
2. Prep work:
Do NOT cut fresh produce until you’re ready to use it. Store it whole and even unwashed until you’re prepping it to eat. (Exception: Carrots.)
3. Counter storage:
Store room-temperature foods away from gas stoves. Natural gas speeds up the ripening time.
4. Try glass:
When storing in the fridge, swap out plastic storage containers for glass ones. Mason jars work wonderfully. The chemicals in the plastic can be unhealthy, and make food go bad sooner.
5. Pantry or fridge produce:
Knowing if you should keep a fruit or veggie cold or at room temperature can make the difference between enjoying it in one of your meals or tossing it into the trash.
Here’s a handy dandy quick guide:
- Room temperature or cool pantry foods: avocados, apricots, bananas, citrus fruits, garlic, kiwi, melons, nectarines, onions, pears, peaches, plums, pineapples, potatoes
- Refrigerator foods: apples, beans, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, corn, cucumber, eggplant, ginger, grapes, jalapeños, leafy greens, mushrooms, zucchini
Now let’s dive into some proven (and often surprising) tricks for keeping some of the hardest to maintain produce fresh longer.
6. Arrange fresh herbs and greens in a vase or jar with water, as if they were flowers
7. Keep potatoes and onions separate, never in the same part of the pantry! Onions cause potatoes to spoil faster.
8. DO store your potatoes with apples. Each keeps the other fresher for longer.
9. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag. Plastic and glass will keep in moisture and cause them to rot.
10. When the time comes, clean berries with a 10 part water-1 part white vinegar blend. This will get them nice and clean and prevent mold from forming on any you have left over.
11. Root spices, such as ginger and turmeric, store well in the freezer. They’ll stay fresh longer and grate beautifully.
12. Bananas are loners. They give off a gas that will spoil other produce. Keep them separate from other produce on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
13. Wrap the tops of banana bunches with plastic wrap, and they’ll stay fresh 3-5 days longer.
14. Broccoli, celery, and leafy greens can stay fresh up to 4 weeks if you wrap them in foil before refrigerating them.
15. Tomorrow’s lunch salad will stay fresh overnight if you follow two simple steps. First, leave the tomatoes out. They will cause your greens to wilt. Second, put the salad in a glass bowl, cover with a DRY paper towel and then cover in plastic wrap. You’re salad will stay nice and crisp.
16. DON’T refrigerate your tomatoes. Keep them on the counter at room temperature and away from sunlight. Lining them up in a single layer with space between them and stem up will help them last longer.
17. Chop the green tops off of whole carrots, because they will continue to pull nutrients from the carrot. Once the greens are gone, store the carrots in water.
18. Protect onions for up to 8 months in pantyhose. Drop an onion down the leg, and tie a knot. Add the next onion and the next knot. Continue making the onion-knot-onion chain until the hose are full. Hang in the kitchen.
Stop buying fresh healthy produce only to turn around and toss it days later. Keep your fruit and veggies fresher, longer, with these easy tricks instead.