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Learn how to store fresh produce properly in your kitchen to avoid food waste. These tips will make wilted lettuce and moldy strawberries in your produce drawer a thing of the past.
Eating lots of produce is one of the best things you can do for your health. A recent study suggests that eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. That means we all have to bring lots of fresh produce into the house to keep up with our daily servings.
Learning how to store fresh produce properly is essential if you want to avoid throwing away wilted lettuce and moldy berries. Here are five tips that will help you to keep your fruit and veggie supply fresh until you’re ready to eat it.
Storing Fresh Berries
One bad apple spoils the bunch, and it can be true of berries, too. If you leave berries in their supermarket containers and forget about them for a few days, the moisture in the berries can cause them to get moldy.
To avoid this, line a large, shallow storage container with a paper towel. Place the unwashed berries in the container in a single layer, and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. Don’t wash the berries until it’s time to eat them.
Storing Fresh Greens
Lettuce and other greens can wilt quickly if they’re not handled correctly when you bring them home from the market or farm. To store leafy greens and fresh herbs, wash their full leaves in the bowl of a salad spinner. Keep washing until the grit is gone, and dry them completely.
Store each set of greens in the refrigerator in its own airtight container with a paper towel on the bottom and the top of the pile of greens. With this method, lettuce should last for a week and herbs can last up to two weeks.
Some produce should be stored in the refrigerator. The crisper drawers at the bottom of the refrigerator have more humidity than the rest of the fridge, and they keep most refrigerated produce fresher than the dry main compartment would.
As fruits and vegetables ripen, some of them give off ethylene gas, which can bother other produce. For this reason, it’s generally best to keep fruit in one drawer and vegetables in the other drawer.
Store these fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator:
Greens and herbs
Room Temperature Produce
Several types of fruits and vegetables do best when stored at room temperature. Many of them are harvested before they’re ripe, so they need a little more time to get ready to eat.
Once the fruits on this list have ripened, they can be placed in the refrigerator for a couple days if you’re not ready to eat them right away. Onions, potatoes, and garlic do best in a cool, dry, dark cabinet or drawer.
Store these fruits and vegetables at room temperature:
How to Store Fresh Produce Before It Spoils
Check your fresh produce supply every few days to make sure nothing is spoiled. If something is approaching the spoiling stage, find something to do with it.
Many fruits can been frozen or dehydrated. Even if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven at a low temperature to make fruit leather or other dried fruit. Vegetables can be stashed away in the freezer and saved for the next batch of homemade chicken broth or vegetable broth. Also, many fruits and vegetables can find a happy home inside a muffin or other treat. Here are several suggestions:
How do you store fresh produce in your house? We all have different ways of storing things, so I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.