Helpful Hints for Storing Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Have you ever had to throw out fruits and vegetables that you paid good money for because they spoiled after a few days? Fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and successful weight loss, so don’t let money well spent end up going to waste! Storing your produce correctly will not only save you money, but you’ll have nutritious food at the ready for when you need a healthy snack. Here are the dos and don’ts of storing fruits and vegetables.
Do: Keep your tomatoes in the fruit basket on the kitchen bench. Putting tomatoes in the fridge not only makes them mushy, but will also make them less flavourful.
Don’t: Leave any wilted, slimy lettuce leaves in your salad bag, as it will cause the rest of the salad to spoil quickly. When you get home from grocery shopping, sort through your pre-washed, bagged lettuce and remove bad lettuce before storing the rest in an airtight container.
Do: Keep bananas separate from other fruits and vegetables on the kitchen bench. Bananas ripen very quickly and will cause the rest of your fruit bowl to ripen quicker as well.
Don’t: Store fruits and vegetables together. Fruits produce ethylene gas, which causes vegetables to ripen and spoil faster.
Do: Remove all of your fruits and vegetables from those plastic bags you put them in at the supermarket or greengrocer. Have you ever kept tomatoes sealed up in the plastic bag and found mould on your tomatoes the very next day? Prevent having to throw them out, and let your produce breathe!
Don’t: Even though bananas come in a bunch, don’t keep them this way at home. To prevent bananas from ripening too quickly, pull them apart! You can also wrap each stem in plastic wrap to slow down ripening.
Do: If you have unripened peaches or avocados, store them in a paper bag that is folded closed. Your peaches will be ready to eat a lot sooner than if they were left out with other fruits on the bench since the natural ethylene gas peaches produce is trapped inside of the paper bag.
Don’t: Potatoes, onions, and garlic don’t belong in the refrigerator. Sensitive to cold, these vegetables will lose optimum flavour if stored in the crisper drawer. Instead, keep these items in a cool and dark part of your pantry.
Do: Be strategic about which fruits and vegetables to consume throughout the week. Eat the produce that will spoil first at the beginning of the week, like bananas, basil, and mushrooms, leaving fruits and vegetables that keep for longer, such as apples, oranges, and carrots, for the end of the week.