Increasing the amount of fruits and veggies we eat will undoubtedly aid in our efforts to lose weight and be healthier. Therefore, one of the first things we do when we decide to start eating healthier is loading up on fruits and veggies. The problem is that about 75% of the produce we buy will go bad before we get a chance to eat it. Since fruits and veggies are not necessarily cheap, it is very important that we store them in a way that helps us save them. Every produce has an ideal storage method and I’m going to tell what is the best way to save your fruits and veggies.
Location, location, location!
I know I might sound like a real state agent but the first thing to keep in mind when trying to keep your produce fresh is the location where you keep it. Don’t keep it in the door of the refrigerator where temperatures fluctuate. Keep them in the middle or bottom drawers to keep temperatures more consistent and avoid spoilage. Most fridges have a special area for you to keep your produce but not every fruit and veggie is meant to be kept in the fridge, and if they can be kept in the fridge, there are special ways to store them so as to avoid spoiling too quickly.
Let’s start with veggies
Fresh heads of lettuce, spinach, kale and other leafy greens should be washed really well with water before refrigerating. Dry the leaves and store them in a clean plastic bag with a few paper towels. Keep an eye on the paper towels and switch them as needed. Asparagus will last longer if wrapped with a moist paper towel or if you stand them up in a glass of cold water wrapped with a damp paper towel.
Garlic and onions should be kept at room temperature and in a well-ventilated area.Store your mushrooms in a brown paper bag in the fridge or a cool, dry place. Don’t use plastic or glass, as this will trap in moisture and shorten their shelf life. Finally, place fresh herbs in a jar or vase of water, just like you would a bouquet of flowers. They’ll last longer and you’ll have beautiful green decor for your kitchen!
Now for the fruits
Tomatoes (yes, they are a fruit) should be stored at room temperature away from sunlight and washed just before using. Be sure not to store your tomatoes in plastic, as this will trap moisture and increase the likelihood of spoilage. Fruits from the “drupe” category such as mangoes, plums, peaches, avocados, and nectarines can be ripened at room temperature in a brown paper bag or wrapped in newspaper, and should then be refrigerated for longer storage. Avoid putting them in the fridge before they’ve ripened as that would delay the process. Clean your berries in a mixture of 10 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. It will help remove excess dirt and help them last longer by preventing mold growth. The you can out them in the fridge.
If you find yourself surrounded with ripe produce remember that freezing fruits and veggies at home is a fast and convenient way to preserve them at their peak maturity. Peel and freeze your bananas, mango, papaya, cooked cauliflower, beets or sweet potato in a clean plastic bag. Use them later in baking or for delicious smoothies! If you want recipe ideas don’t hesitate to ask any of the coaches here at Celebration CrossFit. We are all committed to your success!
By coach Keren