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How do you Keep Produce Fresh?

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One of my biggest pet peeves is finding rotten/moldy fruits and vegetables in the bottom of my refrigerator. I hate the thought of throwing away food and am always consumed by guilt when I forget about the grapes or strawberries that get pushed beneath the other fruits/veggies only to be discovered when they resemble a hairy beast. Yuck!

This brings me to the topic at hand. How do you store your produce? What are your tips to extend the life of your produce? Do you buy produce in large quantities at warehouse stores like Costco or do you shop for produce every few days at your local grocery store or farmer’s market?

In an effort to prevent the hairy beasts from growing in my refrigerator, I have found some helpful tips to extend the life of my produce (please share any additional tips that you may have in the comment section below):

*Keeping a paper towel lining the drawer of your crisper will keep moisture from accumulating and over ripening your fruit as fast.

*Keep cut fruit fresh without it turning brown by adding lemon juice when storing it in the fridge; the juice of half a lemon is enough for a quart or two of cut fruits.

*Prevent fresh fruit from getting crushed in your grocery bags. Simply blow air into the plastic bag containing the fruit and tie it so that the air cannot escape. When the fruit is packed in the paper bag, the air in the bag acts as a cushion for the fruit on its ride home.

*Prevent fruit from turning brown by dissolving two crushed vitamin C tables in a bowl of cool water before adding fruit.

*Ripen fruit quickly by placing it in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple. Set in a cool, shady spot and make sure there are a few holes in the bag. The ripe apples gives off a gas, ethylene, which stimulates the other fruit to ripen.

*To keep apples crisp and other countertop-stored produce fresh, store them out of direct sunlight, either directly on the countertop, in an uncovered bowl, or inside a perforated plastic bag.

*Keep produce in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. (To perforate bags, punch holes in the bag with a sharp object, spacing them about as far apart as the holes you see in supermarket apple bags.)

*Keep fruits and vegetables separate, in different drawers, because ethylene can build up in the fridge, causing spoilage.

*When storing herbs (and asparagus, too), snip off the ends, store upright in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and cover with a plastic bag.

*If you are unsure about the best place to store your favorite fruit and veggies (i.e. countertop versus refrigerator), click here to view a helpful chart.

(Thanks to SparkPeople and RecipeGoldMine for some of these helpful tips!)

Join The Discussion

Comments 110

  1. Loretta

    KEEP APPLES AWAY FROM OTHER FOODS! Apples give off ethylene as they ripen and it causes other foods (esp fruits) to ripen faster. It is true what they say, one rotten (or too ripe) apple can and does spoil the whole barrel (or crisper drawer as it were).

  2. Dallas

    What is the best way ti freeze strawberries?

  3. Emily

    Those green bags are all fun and games until they take 10-20 years to decompose at the land fill. Not to mention all the chemicals and such leeching into your food!

  4. Alisha

    On mealplanningmommies.com there are a couple of posts that tell you how to freeze produce so that it is good to use later. A few things they show how to freeze are onions, strawberries, bananas, and potatoes. Worth checkin out.

  5. Monica

    the tab at the bottom that usually says older posts is no longer viewable.

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