0017 different ways to keep fruits and veggies fresher for longer 1
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It's easy to fall into the trap of throwing away what was once perfectly good food if you don't right ways to keep fruits and veggies fresher. To avoid throwing it out, it’s important to know where to store fruits and vegetables and also which foods to keep separate from each other. Here are some tips to keep produce fresher for longer:

1. Start fresh

Selecting the freshest fruits and veggies is the first step to getting the longest storage life in your kitchen. As you browse the produce department for fresh fruit, there are a few key things to look for that remain consistent from fruit to fruit: firmness to the touch, vibrant colors, and a slightly sweet (though not overpowering) scent. When shopping for vegetables, key factors are firmness and color. Choose those that are as firm or crisp as possible and consistent in coloring.

2. Consider the conditions

When storing fresh fruits and vegetables, you have to consider “temperature, ethylene, and airflow—the big three,” according to Emily Gove, sales strategist in fresh produce at Equal Exchange. A lot of produce keeps well in the refrigerator, while some items like potatoes, onions, and garlic are best left at cool room temperatures. The factors that affect produce freshness (temperature, humidity, how long ago an item was harvested before you brought it home) can vary widely. Everyone hopes to limit food waste and you may be able to get more life out of your produce than the timelines we suggest. On the other hand, if something feels off, trust your instincts and follow the food safety adage: When in doubt, throw it out.

3. Keep tomatoes and potatoes OUT of the refrigerator

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Photo: texashomeandgarden.com

Put tomatoes, potatoes and onions in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge. One of the most common food storage mistakes is keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator, when in fact keeping them in cold temperatures rids them of their flavor and transforms their texture in just a couple of days. Instead, put them in a bowl that you have lined with a paper towel with the stems at the top. Temperature is another important factor when storing these and room temperature is preferable — keep them away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Thus, tomatoes should keep for at least a week.

4. Store unripe fruits

Store unripe fruits and veggies like pears, peaches, plums, kiwis, mangoes, apricots, avocados, melons, and bananas on the counter. Once they're ripe, move them to the fridge. Because the cold temperature also keeps the banana from ripening even further keeping the fruit perfect within. Banana peels will turn dark brown, but it won't affect the flesh. This little trick should keep them looking more palatable.

5. Onions and garlic

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Photo: vegkitchen.com

Common onions and garlic, members of the allium family, are easy to keep fresh if you keep them away from moisture, which makes them spoil faster. First, choose firm, unblemished bulbs with dry skins. Second, don't store them in refrigerate but in a cool, dry, dark place with low humidity. You can store onions and garlic together, but keep them separate from potatoes and sweet patatoes because onions and garlic thrive in low humidity (65 to 75 percent), while potatoes love cool, humid (85 to 90 percent) air.

6. Leafy greens

Leafy greens should be consumed within 1-2 days of purchase to ensure both freshness and that you are getting all the nutrients out of them you can. But if you are going to store these greens, the best way to extend their life is to wrap the unwashed leaves in a paper towel so that the towel can absorb any excess moisture — if the leaves retain excess moisture, they will rot quickly. After wrapping in the paper towel put them in plastic bags and keep them in your fridge. Remember to toss any rotten leaves from the bunch before storing, and keep different varieties in separate bags.

7. Lettuce and herbs

You can Refresh lettuce and herbs with an ice bath. If your greens have started to look a little wilted due to the cold temperature of your fridge, or from being left on the counter for a little too long, you can easily refresh them by giving them and ice bath. Simply place the lettuce leaves or herbs in a large bowl of ice water and shake the greens around a bit to revive them. A minute or two should awaken them and get them looking fresh and new!

8. Citrus fruit

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Photo: medium.com

Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes, will do fine for up to a week in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, but you can lengthen their lives by storing them in the fridge in a mesh or perforated plastic bag. You can store citrus fruits out on the countertop (so you remember to use them) or keep them fresher longer in the fridge. Oranges and grapefruits aren’t ethylene-sensitive, so you can store them with apples and pears, but be sure to keep lemons and limes separate from those ethylene producers.

9. Give them space

Don’t store fruit and vegetable together. Many fruit, such as bananas, avocados and peaches, produce ethylene gas, which acts like a ripening hormone and can speed up the ripening process of other produce. Moreover, If you like to wash, dry, and cut your fruits and veggies all at once, store them in covered glass containers linedin paper towels. You'll not only be able to see them — which reminds you to eat them — but you'll also be keeping moisture out.
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