Fruits and vegetables can go bad before you know it, so learning to keep them fresh for longer is a must. Here are our top tips to help you make the most of your produce and reduce waste.
The first tip is to store high-ethylene gas-emitting fruits and vegetables separately from others. It is especially true for apples, bananas, and tomatoes (they’re heavy ethylene producers).
Store in a cool place
A healthy diet full of fruits and veggies can help you avoid various diseases, including heart disease and obesity. However, if you don’t store your produce properly, it can go bad much quicker than you think.
A cool place is the best way to keep your fruits and veggies fresh for longer. It will prevent them from rotting and also preserve their taste and texture.
You can also wrap some of your produce in a piece of foil, allowing the ripening gas that some fruits emit to escape. It can also help with fruits and vegetables that tend to rot faster, like tomatoes or zucchini.
If you’re looking for a cool spot to store your fruit, try the windowsill, a section of your counter that gets a little sunlight, or a cupboard in your kitchen. Any of these spots can help your produce stay fresher for longer, but they may only be suitable for some types of fruit and vegetable.
Another good idea is to store cut fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It will help keep the moisture in check and help them last longer.
Most produce, from https://goodandfugly.com.au/, especially fruits, and vegetables, can be stored in the refrigerator at 40 deg F or below for up to a week. However, some fruits and vegetables, like onions, bananas, apples, and grapefruit, should be kept in the open.
Keep them dry
One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your berries and other fruit is to wash them before storing them in the fridge. A quick dip in a solution of vinegar and water (a 1:3 ratio) will disinfect them against bacteria that can cause mold to grow, prolonging their shelf life by weeks.
Another useful tip to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for longer is to wrap them in paper towels before putting them away. It will prevent moisture from causing them to shrivel and become mushy, which is one of the main causes of fruit and vegetable spoilage.
Other helpful tips include keeping root vegetables dry and removing any green stems. You can even wrap celery in tin foil to help it stay crunchy and retain its freshness for longer.
Keep them away from other foods
One of the most important things to do when preserving your fruits and veggies is to keep them away from other foods. Certain fruits and vegetables can cause other foods to spoil faster by producing a gas called ethylene.
It can be particularly true for pears, apples, and bananas. They all give off ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening process of other fruits and veggies, spoiling them sooner.
The best way to prevent this is to store your ripe produce separately from less ripe ones, says Natalia Thompson, CEO, and Recipe Creator at Flavorful Home. That means storing your fruits with skins (like apples and bananas) separately or keeping them in a fruit basket or crisper drawer.
Similarly, you should avoid storing your tender fresh greens with more fragile leafy greens, such as arugula and baby spinach. These greens are sensitive to ethylene and can be damaged by it, resulting in a yellow or brown color.
Depending on the type of produce you’re storing; it may be more convenient to store them in water. It is especially true for hardy veggies like carrots, celery, and potatoes.
Keep them fresh
The best way to make your fruits and veggies last is by learning the right storage methods for the ones you buy.
Firstly, store in a cool place (a non-refrigerated 45 to 55 degrees is ideal). Some fruits and veggies like potatoes and onions, for example, will last up to a month if stored in a cool, dark spot. Open trays or baskets work well for this purpose.
Secondly, wash your berries and other ripe fruits and vegetables to prolong their life, especially those sensitive to mold.
Berries like raspberries and strawberries can be sanitized with a vinegar and water bath before you store them, which can help to prolong their shelf life by weeks.
Finally, invest in fridge drawer liners that absorb moisture and keep your fresh veggies crunchy and from wilting or rotting. They’re a particularly good choice for vegetables that tend to become soft and mushy in the fridge, such as tomatoes and zucchini.