Monday, March 21, 2011

Making Your Produce Last Longer

Making Your Produce Last Longer
by frugal jen on March 15, 2011 in Frugal But Gourmet, Series on Frugal Living

As we are approaching spring and more fruits and veggies are going to be in season I thought I would talk about making them last longer in your fridge. I hate it when I get all excited about buying a bunch of fresh produce (or growing it) and then I forget about them for a few days- and they ends up being less that appetizing.

So let’s talk about keeping our produce in tip top shape for longer!!

1. For the best taste don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge, so you will just have to eat these up quickly!!

2. Store your garlic, onions and potatoes in the pantry (in baskets if you can). And make sure you keep the onions from other foods- they can spoil it more quickly.

3. Make sure your refrigerator is set for 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

4. When you get home from the store dry off any excess moisture from vegetables. Store in plastic bags with a layer of paper towels. Make sure they stay sealed in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

5. Separate different types of produce as much as you can. Store your fruits and veggies separately.

6. Don’t fill the produce bags too much, overcrowding speeds up the ripening process. And don’t place ripe produce next to unripe.

7. Don’t wash fruits until you are going to use them.

8. Store your grapes, strawberries, blueberries (and all other fruit) in a plastic bag. Berries only last a few day in the refrigerator.

9. Freeze produce that may take longer to use.

10. Rotate produce to avoid bruising.

11. Unless you are eating it all right away (or fairly soon) buy some produce ripe and some less than ripe, this way it is not all ready at the same time. Buy some green bananas and some yellow.

12. Peppers may last longer (5-7 days) when you remove them from bags.

13. Only buy produce that is not bruised or damaged (unless its super marked down and you are using it right away)

14. Only buy what you can use- a great deal is no great deal if most of your produce ends up in the trash.

15. If you have limp carrots, celery or lettuce you can savage them by soaking them in cold water in the sink until they regain some crispness (I often cut off the bottom of the lettuce so it can soak up more water)

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