How many times have you stocked up on produce only for it to spoil before you get around to eating it? Having to throw away your uneaten veggies or fruit is never fun. Not only is it a shame to see food go to waste — it’s a waste of your hard-earned money, too. If you want to extend the life of your groceries without having to eat everything within days of purchase, these tips are for you. Here are some practical tips on keeping produce fresh for as long as possible.
Keep These Items Out Of The Fridge
If keeping produce fresh is your goal, you need to know what to keep in your fridge and what to leave on the counter. Unfortunately, many of us get this wrong. To help maintain optimum freshness, leave your onions tomatoes, avocados and potatoes outside of the refrigerator. Opt for a fruit and produce basket instead. We like this hanging option from Bed Bath & Beyond. Keep your basket away from sunlight for the best results.
Line Crispers With Paper Towels
Veggies in your crisper release condensation. The excess moisture is a major culprit to limp, wilting produce. Line your crisper with a few layers of paper towels to soak up the condensation and extend the life of your vegetables. This trick also makes cleaning out your crisper drawers a breeze. An alternative to this method is to simply wrap the produce itself in paper towels.
For Potatoes: Add An Apple
You may have heard this tip from your mom. It’s an old trick that’s stood the test of time. It’s a little weird, but it works. To keep potatoes from sprouting, add an apple to the bag. Apples contain ethylene gas, which you can thank for keeping potatoes fresher, longer.
For Everything Else: Keep The Apples Away
Speaking of ethylene gas — it’s good for potatoes, but bad news for your other fresh purchases. Instead of adding apples to your fruit bowl, keep them separated to help extend the life of your produce.
Wash Berries With Vinegar
Washing berries with vinegar is one of the most well-known tips for keeping produce fresh. The reason it works is that the vinegar kills bacteria and mold spores that cause the fruit to go bad. Try soaking your berries in a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water before straining and placing them in the fridge.
Bag Your Mushrooms
For mushrooms, your best move is to store them in a paper bag. Keep them in the fridge, but not in the crisper. The extra moisture isn’t good for ‘shrooms, so they won’t last as long in the crisper drawer.
Revitalize Your Lettuce
If you weren’t able to keep your lettuce from wilting a bit, all is not lost. Try separating and soaking your lettuce leaves in ice water for around 15-20 minutes. The ice bath can help “freeze” new life into your sad salad leaves.
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