Who doesn’t love the feeling when they fill their kitchen full with fresh goodness from the market! Most of us know how fresh fruits and fresh veggies can be the best for a healthy and wholesome diet. Yet, we often end up throwing most of it away because what has been fresh and tasty just a few days ago has gone bad in no time. But don’t despair! Here are some tips and tricks on how you can keep your veggies and fruits fresh a lot longer.
Fruits and vegetables can produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. Some foods are sensitive to ethylene which makes them ripen faster. Separate ethylene producing foods like avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, pears, plums and tomatoes from those that are sensitive to it like apples, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and watermelon.
If you don’t want to look up which of your foods are sensitive to ethylene and don’t go together well with others, just keep your fruits and vegetables separate when you store them. This is an easier way to keep both of them fresh longer.
Fresh berries can be sensitive to mould which can make them spoil in a very short time. Before you store your fruity-fresh bowl of berries, wash the berries with a mix of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water and dry them afterwards with a paper towel. This disinfects your berries and keeps the mould away.
A trick to store and keep fresh pineapples longer is when you cut off their tops and store them upside down.
Most of the time when we need lemon, we just need a squeeze or two of some citrus juice. Rather than cutting the lemon in half for this, take a fork and poke a small hole in the lemon. You can then squeeze some juice without the lemon drying out too fast.
Freshly sliced apples for your salad or if you love them as a snack will quickly get brown. To prevent the unsightly oxidation, soak your apple slices in some cold salt water. Have them soak for about 5 minutes, then dry the slices with a paper towel and store them in a ziplock bag in your fridge.
Most of us store leftover lettuce in a bowl with some plastic wrap but there is a trick to keep your lettuce fresh even longer! Cover the top of the lettuce with a paper towel first before you seal it with the plastic wrap. The paper towel will absorb moisture and prevents your lattice from getting brown. Replace the paper towel when you see it is getting damp.
Like sliced apples, avocados don’t like oxygen and can quickly turn an unappealing brown colour. You can prevent this from happening and keep the avocado fresh a bit longer when you squirt the avocado with some lemon or lime juice. Instead of lemon juice you can also store the avocado together with some large pieces of a sliced onion. This will have the same effect and helps keep the unsightly brown colour away.
Carrots may not spoil very fast but they will get dry quick. The first thing that you should do when you want to store carrots is that you remove all the greens. Take a re-sealable container, fill it with water and put the carrots in it. The water helps the carrots not to dry out so fast and keeps them fresh.
Onions stay freshest the longest when you use a mesh so that air can reach them. A simply trick to store your onions can be if you put them into nylon pantyhose! Just slip onions into the pantyhose and tie a knot between each one. Don’t store onions in the fridge but in some other cool, dry place in your kitchen.
Some fruits don’t like the ethylene produced by other fruits or veggies but potatoes love it. If you store apples and potatoes together, the apples help the potatoes keep fresh and prevent them from growing sprouts. Like onions, you shouldn’t store potatoes in the fridge.
Don’t use a plastic bag when you want to keep celery fresh but wrap it in aluminium foil instead. The aluminium foil allows ethylene gas from the ripening process to escape which would otherwise make the celery go bad fast. Store celery in your veggie bin in the fridge.
Do you have some more tips about how to keep fruits and veggies fresh? You can let our readers know in the comments!