You bought some delicious apples and kale at the store and can’t wait to eat them all up. A few days later your heart sinks when you realize they are already spoiled. This is a common occurrence and very frustrating. Produce, especially organic, isn’t always cheap and you want to enjoy your fruits and veggies for as along as possible. Here are some tips to help keep those fruits and veggies bright and tasty in your fridge:
1. Start with a clean fridge…and keep it that way. Fridges see a lot of use which equals a lot of dirt. Any excess mold or spores (that word gives me the heebie-jeebies) can cause your fresh food to spoil faster. A monthly fridge clean-out is a great habit to keep. Most fridge drawers and shelves can be removed for easier cleaning.
2. Protect produce from itself. Fruits and veggies release ethylene gas which can really cause harm when certain produce is stored together. Store your produce in airtight glass containers if possible. If you don’t want a ton of containers in your fridge invest in an ethylene gas absorber like this one.
3. Don’t forget the lemons!
Lemons are best stored out of the fridge, but lemon juice can help keep certain cut/chopped produce fresh longer. Squeeze it on leftover sliced apples or even avocado.
4. Herbs need a little extra t.l.c. Herbs are best stored in vases of water. This keeps them colorful and flavorful for days to come. If storing a vase of water in your fridge seems weird to you, you’re not alone. In that case, wrap them in a damp paper towel and seal them up in a baggie or glass container.
5. Tomatoes and greens do not a friend make.
Tomatoes release a whole lot of ethylene gas. This excess gas creates a chemical reaction that wilts those greens faster. Keep them apart until it’s salad time. Also, avoid washing your greens until you need them. Wrap them in a dry paper towel before sealing them up to ensure no excess moisture can reach them.
6. Cut your carrot tops off. Those beautiful carrot tops will cause your carrots to go bad faster but don’t just throw them away! There are lots of yummy recipes to be made with carrot tops, like these.
7. One bad apple truly spoils the bunch. A bad apple will ruin all the other apples. Make sure you throw out any bad apples when you find them. Store your apples loose and not in a plastic bag. They need some room to breathe.
8. You can wash those berries before you store them.
For years I was too scared to wash my berries right after buying them since washing them made them mold faster. But alas, I was proven wrong. You can wash berries and keep them fresh for even longer. Use 1 cup white vinegar and 8 cups water. Voila! Your berries are ripe and ready until you need them.
9. Don’t forget to freeze!
Most fruits and veggies, including herbs and roots (like ginger), can be frozen. If you know those bell peppers are about to go bad, dice them up and throw in a freezer friendly container for later. Don’t know what to do with that last bit of basil? Throw it in the food processor, add a little olive oil, and freeze it in ice cube trays for easy access later.
What are some fool-proof ways you’ve found to keep you produce alive and kicking in the fridge?