How to Make Produce Last Longer
If you’re trying to eat healthy meals, the best thing you can do is keep your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients! Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to feeling your best. But if your spinach goes bad before you can eat it or you can’t seem to get a perfectly ripe avocado, these tips can help!
How to Make Produce Last Longer
Keep Delicate Herbs in Water
Cilantro and Parsley can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Place the stems in a glass of water and loosely cover with a plastic bag. Change the water every few days for maximum freshness. You can also store basil in a similar way, but keep it on the counter instead of in the fridge.
Preserve Greens with a Paper Towel
Bagged lettuce or leafy greens can last longer if kept in a sealed container with a paper towel. The towel can absorb excess moisture to avoid the greens from wilting or softening. If the greens are in a plastic container, place the paper towel on top of the greens, then store the container upside down to help the towel catch any excess moisture.
Store Berries and Citrus at the Front of the Refrigerator
Delicate fruits like strawberries and blackberries as well as citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruits, are best kept near the front of the fridge where the temperature is slightly warmer. These fruits can be damaged in the temperature is too cold. To help berries last even longer, don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them!
Keep Vegetables in the Crisper Drawer
Most vegetables are best kept in the crisper drawer of the fridge. This spot is more humid and can keep vegetables fresher longer. This includes foods like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, eggplant, summer squash, lettuce, and peppers. Be sure to check the temperature of your crisper drawer to ensure it’s not too cold. (Our crisper drawer has a tendency to freeze vegetables if the setting is too cold!)
Keep Potatoes, Winter Squashes, and Garlic in the Pantry
Potatoes, winter squashes, and garlic should be kept in the pantry away from light. They don’t need to be kept in the refrigerator but keeping them in a dark pantry will keep them fresher longer.
Store Avocados in the Refrigerator
Keeping ripe avocados in the fridge will keep them fresher for longer, but it’s also good to put your avocados in the fridge before they’re fully ripe. Unless you’re in a hurry to enjoy them, keeping them in the fridge helps them ripen more evenly.
Utilize Your Freezer
If you can’t use up an ingredient fast enough, consider the freezer! I always chop extra celery stalks and freeze them for soup recipes. I measure out how many cups I’m freezer and write the volume and date on the bag. That makes it easy when I need a cup of celery! This is also a great way to store fruit. Slice or chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces, then freeze. Use them up in a smoothie when you’re craving something fruity!
By following these tips, you can keep your produce fresher, longer! Looking for some ways to use what you have on hand? Click the search bar in the upper right-hand corner of my site! Type in any ingredient you have on hand and click “Using This Ingredient” to see recipes that use that specific item. You can even search for more than one ingredient at a time. Happy cooking!