It’s happened to most– you load up on fresh produce during your weekly run to the farmer’s market, store everything in your crisper drawer, only to find it languishing and limp a few days later.
You end up throwing it out. It’s essential to know how to keep vegetables fresh longer in the fridge, which to keep together and which not to. Some fruits emit ethylene gas that can make other produce rot and ripen faster, for example.
Follow these hacks on how to store vegetables in the fridge for a long time:
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are delicate and usually should not be washed until you are ready to eat them. However, you still need to disinfect them and get rid of any mold on their surface, which is why before stashing them in the fridge, clean them with a mix of a cup of vinegar to three cups of water. This will lengthen their life by weeks. Note that you should afterward rinse it with water and dry thoroughly.
Another hack for stopping a possible fungus outbreak is by giving them a hot bath before storage. This process is called thermotherapy. It involves swishing and immersing the berries in a plastic basket in a hot pot of water. The temperature of the water kills off mold spores and can keep them fresher long. Don’t forget to spread them out first on a towel for them to breathe before storing.
Lettuce, chard, collards, spinach, kale and other leafy vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator and be consumed within 1-2 days of purchase. This is to ensure that once you eat them, it’s still fresh and jam-packed with nutrients.
Extend their lives by wrapping unwashed leaves in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. After that, you can place them in plastic bags and store them in the fridge. Note that you should remove any rotten leaves and have varieties in separate containers.
Apples produce ethylene gas, so it’s better if you store them away from other produce. It can be stored in the refrigerator and still be fresh for more than a week. Another thing, you also might want to stash your apples and potatoes together to keep those spuds fresh for about eight weeks!
Other Fruits & Vegetables
If you overestimated how fast you and your family can consume your fresh fruits and vegetables, don’t worry just yet about wasting food. Instead, you can chop them up and freeze them so they can still be used in the future.
You can include bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, bananas, and more! But before anything else, blanch them first in hot water before storing them in the freezer. This neutralizes the bacteria found in them, thus delaying spoilage.
Now that you know more about keeping your freshly bought produce longer inside the fridge, you’ll be able to enjoy your food for a longer time! Gone are the days that you or your professional cleaning help will find rotten fruits and vegetables while cleaning it!