If you are limiting your trips to the grocery store you’ve probably ran out of fresh produce before you next trip. I want to start by saying, don’t forget about frozen fruits and vegetables! They may take different prep, but their overall nutrient content is just as high as fresh – if not more. Frozen produce is froze at the peak ripeness and nutritional density. You can also opt for canned items as long as you are buying canned fruits in 100% juice (not syrup) and low or no sodium canned vegetables. If you cannot find low sodium options – just rinse them off in the sink!
As for fresh produce – I’m here to give you some tips and tricks on how to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer!
Berries – these tend to go bad fairly fast compared to others. Try to eat these earlier on in the week and save others for later like bananas, apples, citrus as those last longer.
In a large bowl, wash your berries in a 3:1 vinegar water solution. Drain the berries and rinse them under cool running water to rid the vinegar flavor. Now time to dry thoroughly. Put them in a paper towel lined salad spinner or spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat the berries dry. Instead of putting them back into their original container, put them in a larger Tupperware lined with paper towel. Moisture is the enemy!
Apples – store these in your crisper. They release a gas that softens their flesh and skin. By placing apples in the cold you slow the emission of this gas.
Bananas – I’m sure we’ve all had brown bananas sitting on our counter tops. One easy way to slow the ripening is to wrap aluminum foil or plastic wrap around the stems. Did you know bananas release gas from their stems?
Grapes – To keep grapes at their freshest, store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag (or their original bag) in the refrigerator.
Avocado – Yes, it’s considered a fruit! To prevent the flesh from turning brown rub some lemon juice or olive oil over the exposed area and cover it with saran wrap! Another option is to store your cut avocado with some onion. The gases from the onion will slow the browning process.
Tomatoes – Yes, you guessed it. Tomatoes are also considered a fruit! Store them in a single layer, out of direct sunlight if possible. Most importantly, store them stem down. Less moisture and air can escape the stem scar.
Broccoli and asparagus – an interesting way to keep broccoli and asparagus fresh and crisp for >1 week is to submerge the stems of your bunch into a glass with cold water. Cover the tops loosely with a plastic bag. Treat them as you would a bouqet of flowers!
Celery – wrap celery in aluminum foil. The ethylene gas is able to escape but the water is trapped so the celery remains crispy!
Onions/potatoes – store them somewhere dark, dry, and cool such as your lazy susan, your basement, or in brown paper bags on the counter. Keep them separate because the onions can hasten sprouting in the potatoes!
Mushrooms – store mushrooms in a brown paper bag and place in the main compartment of your refrigerator. The paper bag will absorb excess moisture which prevents the mushrooms from becoming moldy or soggy.
Carrots – carrots can last up to a month in the refrigerator by placing them in a container with lid and covered completely with water. Replace the water every 4-5 days. Avoid placing them near ethylene producing produce (e.g. apples)
Carrots. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2020, from http://www.sweetwater-organic.org/veggies/carrots/
Duong, D. (2018, June 14). Preventing a Cut Avocado from Browning. Retrieved April, 2020, from https://www.californiaavocado.com/blog/june-2018/preventing-a-cut-avocado-from-browning
Manning, J. (2016, July 17). 14 genius tricks to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh and delicious. Retrieved April, 2020, from https://homehacks.co/clever-ways-to-keep-fruit-and-vegetables-fresh/
Nelson, B. (2017, October 25). Keep Bananas Fresh Longer (slices, Too!). Retrieved April, 2020, from https://www.instructables.com/id/Keep-Bananas-Fresh-Longer-slices-too/
Pinola, M. (2013, June 24). Store Tomatoes Stem-End Down to Keep Them from Rotting Too Quickly. Retrieved April, 2020, from https://lifehacker.com/store-tomatoes-stem-end-down-to-keep-them-from-rotting-5993316