It’s happened to all of us. That moment when you spend tons of money on fresh fruits and veggies only to toss most of it before you even eat it all. Beyond just wasted money, it honestly breaks my heart to throw out food so I had to do something different. Here are a few things that have helped me solve this dilema and I hope it helps you too!
1. Ready to eat
I don’t know about you but whenever produce is washed and ready to eat in my fridge it ALWAYS goes quickly. Things like strawberries, watermelon, carrots, pineapple etc are all great examples to do this with. As soon as I come home from the grocery store I wash, cut and store them into mason jars this way they’re ready for a convenient grab and go snack!
Another great trick to keep things from going bad is to freeze them. We do this a lot with bananas and berries to use for smoothies and homemade ice cream but you can also do it with greens. This can be done by blending the greens (I usually use a little bit of coconut water to help liquify them) and pour into an ice tray. Once they’ve hardened pop them into a storage bag in the freezer and you’ve got greens ready to add to smoothies!
3. Know where to store
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised to know that the way you store your produce can make a big difference. Things like bananas, oranges, onions, squash, watermelon, avocados, mangoes, and potatoes do better stored outside of the fridge since they ripen faster with moisture. In turn, once this foods start to ripen you can then move them into the fridge to extend their life. Foods that should automatically be stored into the fridge are leafy greens, grapes, cauliflower/broccoli, berries, carrots, herbs, corn etc.
4. Don’t bunch
Once you’ve figured out where to store things, it’s important to know how. A common mistake people make (both in the fridge and counter) is to bunch or stack things together. This actually speeds up the ripening process and can make perfect conditions for mold growth. Another thing to note is that fruits (especially bananas) release high levels of ethylene (a ripening agent) that can make things around them spoil a lot faster. Basically, don’t store veggies around/on top of fruits and vice versa.
5. Keep things dry
My last tip for extending the life of your produce is to keep things dry. Once you wash your fruits, leafy greens etc it’s important to dry them off as best as you can before storing them in the fridge. Another good idea is to make sure if they are in a produce/storage bag that they have holes in it for air flow. Vegetables and fruit actually need to breathe and should not be stored in sealed plastic. Mesh bags or bags with holes is your best bet!
Til next time,