Do you find a lot of your fruits and vegetables spoiling just a few days after you have bought them? Are you looking for ways to make your produce last longer? Here are 7 ways to make produce last longer so you can finally stop wasting so much money on it.
Have you ever noticed a certain trend with produce? Either you stock up on all the produce that you need during your regular shopping trip, then a couple days later half of it has already gone bad, OR you make several trips to the grocery store in a week to buy your produce as you need it, and you end up spending so much more money, because those shopping trips never end up being just for one thing.
One thing I can’t stand is wasted food. I hate the thought of buying a bunch of produce that is going to go bad before we’re able to eat it, but I also don’t like the thought of having to make multiple trips to the grocery store in a week.
So what can you do to make your produce last longer? Because no one wants to go shopping every couple of days, but what else can you do when your cucumbers are getting mushy after 4-5 days and your lettuce is getting wilted after only 3 days?
I used to be clueless about this, I didn’t think there was anything that could be done to help my produce stay fresher longer, but as it turns out, there are several things that can be done to help produce stay good for longer.
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7 WAYS TO MAKE PRODUCE LAST LONGER
1. WRAP YOUR LETTUCE IN PAPER TOWEL WHEN STORING IT
When storing lettuce, you should always wrap it in a paper towel and a plastic bag in your refrigerator. The paper towel helps whisk away any moisture that may be on the lettuce. If the lettuce is simply stored in a plastic bag with no paper towel, it will wilt and rot sooner than if is first wrapped in paper towel.
If you want to be efficient, washing your lettuce as soon as you get it home from the store is a good way to ensure it gets used up faster in our household. I don’t know about you, but I very strongly dislike washing lettuce. I don’t know what it is about it – I LOVE eating lettuce, I just don’t like to wash it. So, I sometimes found that I would put off making a salad to go with dinner simply because I didn’t want to take an extra minute to wash the lettuce.
What I have started doing now is as soon as I bring my lettuce home from the grocery store, I take a couple minutes to wash it all, dry it (ensure it is completely dry, remember that moisture will encourage rot), wrap it in paper towel, then put it into a plastic bag in the fridge.
Then, for the rest of the week, I don’t have to wash any more lettuce, and it turns out I make a lot more salads when I do this!
2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FREEZE YOUR PRODUCE
Freezing your fruits and veggies will help you eliminate waste if you ended up buying more than you were able to eat before it all started going bad.
All you have to do is wash and chop up any of the veggies that you want to freeze, stick them in portion-sized baggies and place them in the freezer. You can also blanch the vegetables before freezing them to ensure they keep their delicious flavor and texture, but it is not required.
HOW TO BLANCH VEGETABLES
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on your stove, while waiting for the water to boil you can prepare your vegetables by washing and chopping them. Once the pot of water is at a good boil, place the prepared vegetables in the pot. Let the vegetables sit in the boiling water for 1-3 minutes (tender vegetables will be done in a shorter amount of time).
While waiting for the vegetables in the pot, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Once the vegetables are done in the boiling water (vegetables are done when they are noticeably cooked, but still firm) submerge them completely in the bowl of ice water until they have cooled.
These vegetables will make great additions to a quick weeknight dinner. Just grab your bag of vegetables that is washed, chopped, and ready to be put in the oven.
VEGETABLES THAT CAN BE FROZEN
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
And many more.
3. STORE YOUR HERBS IN JARS WITH WATER
Store your fresh herbs in glasses or jars with a small amount of water at the bottom. Place the herbs with their stems in the water and cover them with a plastic bag, then place them in the refrigerator. Doing this will keep your herbs tasting and looking fresh much longer than usual. Be sure to replace the water every couple of days.
Basil is the only exception as it can get damaged by the cold. Store basil the same way in a jar with water and a plastic bag on top, but keep basil on the counter rather than in the refrigerator.
4. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU STORE YOUR POTATOES
Potatoes are stored best in cool, dry, dark rooms, which I’m sure you knew. But did you know that potatoes are particularly picky with what the share the room with?
Potatoes are stored best with apples and worst with onions. Storing potatoes near onions will cause your potatoes to spoil faster as the onions release gasses that cause the potatoes to go bad faster.
Storing potatoes with apples will keep your potatoes fresher for much, much longer than normal.
Keeping your apples and potatoes stored near each other will keep those pesky sprouts from popping up on your potatoes as fast as they do.
5. USE A FRIDGE FRESH
The Berry Breeze by Fridge Fresh deodorizes your refrigerator and prolongs the life of your vegetables and berries. By releasing oxygen (O3) into your fridge with timed releases, the Fridge Fresh works to eliminate mold, fungus, and other microbes to keep your produce fresh an average of 2-3 times longer than normal.
If you’re sick of throwing fruits and vegetables out because they simply don’t last longer than a couple days, and are looking for a way to prolong their life, the Fridge Fresh can help you do that.
I recently got my Fridge Fresh and I am so excited to start testing it out – within a day of putting it together and into my fridge, I can already notice all the old “fridge smells” are gone. I haven’t tested it out on my produce yet, though.
6. STORE YOUR ASPARAGUS UPRIGHT IN A JAR WITH WATER
Just like your herbs, to extend the life of your asparagus you will want to store it upright in a jar with some water in the bottom of it to keep the asparagus tasting fresh for longer.
If you want to maximize the life of your onions and garlic, store them in pantyhose! Yup, you read that right.
Any old pair of pantyhose will work for this. All you have to do is put one onion or garlic in, all the way to the end, then tie a knot or use a twist tie to twist the pantyhose together, then put in another onion or garlic, tie another knot above that one, or use a twist tie, and continue the process, this can extend the life of your onions to up to six months!
You can do the exact same thing in mesh bags rather than pantyhose as well.
Another way to extend the life of your onions and garlic is by storing them in a paper bag with holes punched up the sides of it to allow air-flow.
Now that you have all the best tips and tricks for proper fruit and vegetable storage, get ready to stock up when all the best sales come around without having to worry about your food going bad before you get a chance to eat it!
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