Sunday, February 3, 2013

Keeping Produce Fresh


One question I often hear from people is "how do you keep your produce fresh?" 
Well, the answer varies according to each fruits and veggies.
First of all, you need to know about a chemical compound called ethylene that is released as produce ripens. 
This ripening action builds up in the closed plastic bag, so the gas makes your food break down quicker. 
Now, if you take it out of the bags, it will dry out.
So the best thing to do is 

really just opening the bag. Sometime the produce (eg. lettuce) comes in bags that have little holes in them to allow the ethylene to release without drying out.
Secondly, there are things that should be kept in the refrigerator and there are others that should not.

Here some vegetables that should be stored in your pantry:
Onions
Potatoes
Garlic
Sweet potatoes
Also keeping them away from the light will help prolong their shelf life and keep them from sprouting.
I use a dropcloth placemat over the potatoes.

Here is a list of produce in the fridge:
Apples
Cherries
Grapes
Melons (unless you're trying to ripen up on the countertop)
Corn
Berries (don't wash until ready to use)
Grapes
Peas
Any citrus
Artichokes
Asparagus (cut the ends off and place them in a glass of water, plastic over the top)
Lettuces
Spinach
Eggplant
Cucumbers
Peppers
Greens
Cauliflower and broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
 Fresh herbs
Green onions or scallions
Zucchini and summer squash
Turnips
Green beans
Celery
Mushrooms
Keep in mind that the thinner the skin on the fruit or vegetable is, the sooner it needs to be used.

And finally, here is a list of produce that can start on your counter then can go into the fridge if necessary
 ***but you need to be aware that it can get too cold and end up somewhat bruised or ruined by the fridge***
Avocados
Tomatoes
Peaches
Papaya
Apricots
Plums
Pineapple
Pears
Nectarines
Mangos
Kiwi
Bananas

This simple guide should help you start storing and using your produce wisely minimizing the waste.

Stay Frugal,

17 comments:

Suzan Sweatman said...

Great post Daniela!
I also cut the ends off my celery and put them in cold water too ( if they've gone too soft you can harden them back up this way )
XOX

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

Another thorough and detailed post, that will hopefully result with us all saving some money. I always hate when food I've bought has gone bad. I'll be trying a few of these. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly said...

Those are some great tips! I really needed the one about asparagus. I buy it often (it is my fave) and never knew that it should be stored that way. Makes sense though since it is like that in the produce dept.

Together We Save said...

Thanks for the tips! I am always looking for ways to save and stop waste.

Dee @ A Lapin Life said...

All great tips Daniela! I never thought to put bananas in the fridge.
I'll try that :)

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Good tips to keep food from getting thrown away! Can't wait for fresh garden veggies!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Daniela,
Will have to try cutting off the asparagus next time and putting them in water, stems down!
Yes, it takes quite some knowledge about storing fruits and veggies!
Hugs to you,
Mariette

must love junk said...

Very interesting!
Susan

~ Liz ~ said...

Thanks, Dani! Love hearing tips from someone who loves to cook and knows their stuff!!
liz

Geri O said...

Great tips.

Leslie Harris said...

Great tips. I just went and put my apples in the fridge. Thanks for sharing this.
Leslie (Gwen Moss)

Kerry said...

Great information! I try to use it not lose it. The cilantro reminded me recently that it prefers to be kept in the bag in the frig as opposed to out of the bag, totally wilted.

Maria Elena said...

Daniela, great post and great tips! Thank you for sharing.

Tuula @ The Thrifty Rebel said...

Great tips Daniela! I hate to waste food, which wastes my money!!

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Melissa Ryan said...

We are horrible about letting produce go to waste. I am going to have to study this post and try to get better about it. I never knew apples should be in the fridge. I have always kept them on top of our fridge. Learn something new every day!

Nanci said...

Another thing I've learned is to never store onions and potatoes near each other due to the gasses they produce. Also placing your berries in a vinegar wash and drying them and then storing them in the fridge prevents them from molding so quickly. You'll be amazed how long you can keep them. Thanks!