Even though shopping has changed, our dietary guidelines haven’t. We still need to eat more fruits and vegetables. But it seems like they simply don’t last. We either go to the store and stock up on them only to see them go bad without eating them – or we end up making more trips to the grocery store to buy smaller amounts.
Learning how to properly store your fruit and vegetables can help you prolong their shelf life, so you don’t have to choose between wasting time and money. And we’re here with some tips to help.
Prolong the shelf life of your vegetables.
How long do vegetables last in the fridge? Usually not as long as you need them to. But with these tricks, you can extend their shelf life – and their freshness.
There’s nothing quite as delicious as fresh broccoli. But keeping it fresh means giving it plenty of air and moisture. There are a few ways to do this. You can either stand your broccoli stem-side up in a vase of water, or you can loosely wrap it in damp paper towels while it’s in the fridge. If you need to freeze your broccoli, make sure you blanch it first because freezing it raw results in drab, shriveled broccoli. Fortunately, blanching is easy. Just boil for three minutes or steam for five.
To keep your carrots orange, fresh, and delicious, remove their leafy tops, which tend to draw moisture out of the carrots. Then seal them, unpeeled, in a plastic bag and place them in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. This will keep them fresh for up to two weeks.
If you’re buying pre-trimmed or baby carrots, submerge them in water and keep them in a tightly covered container. Just make sure you change that water frequently.
When extending the shelf life of your carrots, here’s a pro tip: peel and blanch them first. And never store your carrots next to your fruit.
One of the biggest tips to storing your onions is keeping them out of sunlight. Like complete loons, onions tend to crave dark cool spaces that are well ventilated and dry. If you take this one tip into account, your onions can actually last up to six months. The other watch-out when storing your onions is to never place them near ripening fruits due to the strong sulfur compounds that can end up tainting those fruits. And never store them in a fridge. Dark, dry, well-ventilated. Easy.
Prolong the shelf life of your fruits.
Enjoying fresh fruit, longer, might actually start with buying fresh fruit in the first place. Consider buying seasonally, or at farmers markets, for example. These tips can also help you extend their shelf life.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching a delicious apple go bad. To avoid this, the anguish, never keep apples on the counter. They’ll go bad after a few short days. Instead, place your apples in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. For best results, seal and store them in a plastic bag to block out moisture. Also, it’s a good idea to keep your apples far away from vegetables due to the ethylene that apples produce.
Planning for fresh avocados can seem like playing the lottery. You wait days for them to become ripe and then fifteen minutes later they’ve spoiled. If your avocados are still hard and green, leave them on your counter until they’re ripe. But once those avocados are ripe, stick them in the fridge. This slows the ripening process.
To freeze avocados, slice them into cubes. Then place them onto a wax-papered baking sheet in the freezer for about thirty minutes. Once they’re frozen, place your avocados in an airtight container for longer-term freezer storage.
Bananas can go bad quickly because of the amount of ethylene that escapes. To slow the process, consider separating them and then wrapping each stem in plastic wrap. If you’re not going to be able to eat your bananas in time before they go bad, peel them, cut them, and store them in your freezer for delicious smoothie. Whatever you do, don’t store your bananas in the refrigerator. This is a rookie mistake that will turn them brown. And nobody wants to eat a brown banana. Nobody.
Fresh berries taste incredible, but they tend to go moldy quickly when placed in a fridge. This, in turn, is a big letdown when you just want a handful of blueberries. To prolong their shelf life, give them a vinegar bath and then store your berries on paper towels and drain well. Next, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. Once your berries have hardened, place them in freezer bags or plastic containers. How long will frozen berries last for? Around three months.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to get the most out of your food – and your dollar. Plus, spending a little extra effort storing your fruits and vegetables the right way can go a long way toward helping you save some extra time waiting in line at the grocery store.
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