Storing Your Fruits And Vegetables
You know that feeling… opening the crisper at the bottom of your fridge and seeing that old head of lettuce you forgot to eat right next to the rotten bag of tomatoes and broccoli. This is one of the main reasons people hate spending money at the market on fresh food and end up getting products that have been tampered with to last longer. When really all you need to know are a few simple things to make your fruit and veggies last.
The first thing you need to know is what belongs in the fridge and what belongs on your counter or table.
Fruits for the fridge
- Citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, limes
- Berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc…
All these types of fruit have already been ripened to the max once they have been picked, so think of them as going bad as soon as you buy them. But yes it is hard to chuck an entire melon or pineapple in the fridge, so cut them up and put them into a container and then store.
Fruits for your counter
- Cantaloupe and honey dew
- Peaches, pears, plums
These fruits will keep on ripening even if they are still on a vine or in your home, remember to make sure you keep a close watch on them and test there firmness to see if they are good to go. Once you cut them up then you can store them in the fridge to prolong the life.
Vegetables for the fridge
- Summer squash
Its easy to see the common factor here (Green), store these immediately when your unpacking your goods and try to keep them organized in separate clear bags so that you don’t forget about them.
Vegetables for your counter
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes (should be stored in dark area)
- Regular squash
- Garlic and turnips (should be stored in dark area)
Most of the vegetables have a long life span if kept fresh, so try and store them in air tight containers or freshness bags.
The hardest thing is knowing when to put your produce that’s on your counter into the fridge, apples for example will deteriorate 10x faster when left out. Once they are to your liking place them into the crisper for a longer lifespan. The other important fact about storing your fruits and vegetables is that fruits give off a gas called ethylene which can rot your vegetables at a very high pace. This is another reason why your fresh food has been going bad so fast, remember to keep your crispers full of only fruit or vegetables, not mixed together.
This ethylene gas can also work in your favor, especially if your trying to get your fruit to ripen faster because your ready to eat it. You can put the non-ripened fruit into a loose brown bag and then add either a banana or apple inside and this will increase the ripening process.
The health factor
Fruits and vegetables are a vital part of your healthy daily diet and you should be getting a significant amount into your daily meals. They can help fight and prevent cancer, along with giving your body the essential vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system at its peak. Remember to add that healthy apple to your lunch or banana to your whey shake and keep your fruit and vegetables stored correctly.