You’re too good for limp vegetables and you know it. These easy tips will help you increase the life span of fruits and veggies and avoid pitching your hard-earned money into the trash sooner than necessary.
Put paper towels in the salad drawer
A few sheets of paper towel in your crisper will absorb the condensation vegetables generate as they chill. Excess moisture makes your fresh foods wilt much faster, so the paper keeps them fresher for a longer period of time.
Don’t separate bananas before eating
A proven trick to stop bananas from going brown prematurely is to keep them together as long as possible. Wrap the stems of the bananas in plastic wrap when you first buy them, and only snap one off when you’re ready to eat it. This can stretch their ripe period for up to five days. You’ll just have to wait that much longer for your banana bread.
An apple in your bag of potatoes
Sprouted potatoes often look like they come from another planet. An apple in the bag produces ethylene gas, which will keep spuds fresher and firmer, and ready for a hot water soak a few more weeks.
Keep apples away from other fruits and veggies
Ethylene gas may be good for potatoes, but not so much for almost everything else. Keep apples out of your fruit bowl (and in a plastic bag in the fridge) and you should find that your fruit bowl will fare much better.
Wash berries in vinegar
Fresh berries are pretty much the most expensive fruit as well as the quickest to grow moldy. You can extend their life by giving them a bath in 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water before you put them in the fridge. This process kills the mold spores and bacteria that turn them fuzzy. Dry them thoroughly before storing.
Keep tomatoes out of the fridge
The flavor and texture of tomatoes won’t survive well in the cold. To make the most of your tomatoes, keep them on a counter to allow them to ripen. FYI, other veggies that shouldn’t live in the fridge include potatoes and onions.
Wrap celery in foil
Celery will last a week or two in the plastic wrapper you buy them in. Swap the original packaging for a sheet of aluminum foil that will let the gas that spoils your celery escape. Your celery stays crisp long enough for plenty more chicken wing adventures.
Treat herbs like flowers
Buying fresh herbs in a bag and keeping them in there is a recipe for failure. Instead, use what you need, and then store the rest of the bunch in a glass of water on your windowsill.
Keep mushrooms in the dark
Much like your in-laws, mushrooms need to be kept in the dark. Paper bags keep mushrooms much more efficiently than the usual plastic tubs. Storing them this way keeps them clean and dry.
Avocados need to ripen at room temperature
Protect this brunch staple by keeping avocados out till they’re ripe (you know they’re there when they give a little when pressed), then put them in the fridge to halt the process and keep them ready to eat. Once you’ve cut them, keep the stone in the remaining half and squeeze a little lemon juice on the exposed surface to preserve them even further.
Now you can buy in bulk and not end up throwing food away.