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:
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:
Melons (unless you're trying to ripen up on the countertop)
Berries (don't wash until ready to use)
Any citrus
Asparagus (cut the ends off and place them in a glass of water, plastic over the top)
Cauliflower and broccoli
 Fresh herbs
Green onions or scallions
Zucchini and summer squash
Green beans
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***

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

Stay Frugal,


Unknown 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 )

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 ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ 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,

must love junk said...

Very interesting!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

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

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)

Unknown 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 @ Thrifty Rebel Vintage said...

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

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Moe 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!