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How To Keep Fruit And Veggies Fresh Longer
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We found a great tutorial on keeping fruit and veggies fresh longer. The link is at the end, after our additional tips.
If you find yourself surrounded by a mountain of fruit and vegetables, either after a big shopping run or at harvest time, you’ll want them to last as long as possible while you try to use them all up. It’s sad to know that many people tend to throw food away. If you want your produce to last longer, this post by Sparkpeople will teach you how to store them the right way.
Banana storage tip: Bananas contain ethylene. It is a colorless gas that speeds up the ripening process. I remember we once had a couple of bunches of unripe bananas on the counter and I placed one ripe banana in the middle. I left it there overnight and when I woke up, the bunches of bananas turned mostly yellow.
If you want your fruits to last longer, don’t store ones that can easily ripen together with the unripened ones. This makes it easier for you to gradually consume all of your produce. Unless you’re planning to make desserts out of them, then it’s okay.
Related: Top 6 Food Storage Safety Tips
Veggie storage: When it comes to vegetables, you have to remove ties and rubber bands and you should also trim the leafy ends. It’s considered good to store them in bags that have holes so that there will be proper airflow – though with vegetables such as broccoli and kale, I have managed to keep them fresh longer by adding a little fresh water to the plastic bag that they are in, and keeping them in the fridge. It’s the same principle as keeping cut flowers fresh.
Pack them loosely in the refrigerator. The more compact they are, the quicker they’ll spoil. Green leafy vegetables should be washed thoroughly before storage (this makes sense because you will be washing away mold spores and other matter that can accelerate decomposition. Mushrooms and herbs shouldn’t be washed until right before the time that you use them for cooking.
Rinse fresh fruit using vinegar to clear mold spores: Another great tip is to wash the produce in water with some apple cider vinegar added, then rinse. The vinegar has a natural disinfectant effect and many have testified that soft fruit such as raspberries will last longer when washed carefully this way.
Another way to help store fruits is to cut them up into pieces and make fresh fruit salads. Make your own fruit combinations and store them in plastic containers. You can then bring them together, add a little bit of honey and yogurt and you have something that you can eat for snacks. It’s a healthier alternative to sugary, unhealthy desserts!
If you’re going to the grocery store to buy some food, it is a very good idea to plan your meals for the week. This can save you from buying too much stuff, or from additional trips into town.
Ok, here’s the link to the full tutorial: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1103
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Graphic – off-grid.info. Image – © Serghei Velusceac – Fotolia.com
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