Keeping Produce Fresh for Longer

Whether you’re cooking for one, have a family of four to feed or you’re traveling every other week, we are all guilty of throwing out fresh foods because we didn’t have time to consume all of their goodness before they went bad. In an effort to reduce the waste, we have researched simple ways to make fresh produce last longer.

Storing Leafy Greens: While they are meant to be consumed within one or two days, you can extend the life of leafy greens by wrapping them in a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture which will otherwise cause them to rot faster. Be sure to remove any rotten leaves; similar to apples, one rotten piece can spoil the whole bunch.

Refresh Your Lettuce and Herbs: If your lettuce is looking a little wilted, give the leaves a nice ice bath. All it takes is a minute or two of soaking in large bowl of ice water to revive your lettuce and herbs.

freshproduce_SKeep Tomatoes Flavorful: Keep out of the refrigerator! A very common food mistake is placing fresh produce in the refrigerator when they’re meant to be kept at room temperature. Especially for tomatoes, the refrigerator causes changes in the texture and rids them of their flavor. Keep tomatoes on your counter, away from heat and direct sunlight.

A Separation of Fruits & Veggies: Vegetables and fruits should be kept in separate areas. In the refrigerator, designate one drawer for your vegetables and the other for your fruits. Otherwise, a build up in ethylene could occur causing spoilage amongst your fresh goodies. Many fruits produce an ethylene gas which causes ripening; many veggies are ethylene-sensitive and will quickly spoil when in the gas’ presence.

Freezing Freshness: Got a little too excited at the farmer’s market and now you’re running out of time to consume your fresh produce? Don’t sweat it, freeze it! You can chop up most fruits and veggies and place them in the freezer to indulge at a later time. Just be sure you chop your ripened produce and blanch in hot water before placing in a freezer-friendly container.

More healthy tips to come. In the meantime, stay fresh.

Sources: inhabitat.com, gardenlifepro.com, recipes.howstuffworks.com, sparkpeople.com and ajc.com.


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