Tips for Keeping Produce Fresher and Longer
Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at 10:07 am
Fresh produce is such an important part of a healthy diet. We spend a lot of money on produce, especially if we choose organic produce. There’s nothing worse than throwing out soggy, moldy produce that spoiled before we could even enjoy it. When we find great sales on produce at the store, it makes sense to stock up and buy larger quantities but who would want to do that when it goes bad in just a few days? We’ve come up with a helpful list that will keep your produce fresher and allow you to always have some on hand when you need it.
1. Freeze Your Produce
Did you know you can freeze many fresh vegetables and fruit? Some vegetables can be frozen like raw onions and bell peppers. Simply chop them up into whatever size you use and freeze them in a plastic, freezer-safe bag. This makes cooking a breeze! When you recipe calls for chopped onions or bell peppers simply use the frozen ones. They don’t even need to be defrosted. Most fruits can also be chopped and then frozen raw. When you need fruit for a smoothie or recipe, you’ll always have delicious fresh fruit on hand. Other garden vegetables are best to blanch first and then freeze. Simply chop your vegetables to the desired size, boil a pot of water, drop the vegetables in for 1-2 minutes and then put them straight into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Let them dry briefly and then freeze them in a plastic, freezer-safe bag. The next time you need fresh vegetables for your meal, they’ll be ready to use!
2. Use Paper Towels to Absorb Moisture
Paper towels are a lifesaver for keeping your produce fresh, especially with herbs and greens. When you bring home fresh herbs, lettuce or other greens, wash them thoroughly and then lay them out on a clean towel to dry. Once they are mostly dry, take 2-3 sheets of paper towel, wrap the paper towels around the produce, and then place them in a plastic bag or covered dish. Save time by prepping your greens for salads. You can even place the paper towel over the lettuce in a bowl with a lid to keep the greens fresh. The paper towel will continuously absorb any excess moisture from your produce and will extend the life of the item as much as 10-14 days!
3. Regrow Your Vegetables
Did you know you can regrow some vegetables, right in your kitchen? Green onions and celery are the easiest. Simply cut off the bottom 2 inches off your green onions or celery where the roots are or were attached. Place each item in a small bowl of water so that the roots are fully covered and the cut side is facing up. Place them in a sunny spot in your kitchen and in a few days you’ll begin to see roots growing and new onions and celery will begin to grow. The celery should be moved to a garden at this point. In the future you can just cut off the celery you need and leave the roots in the ground and it will continue to grow back each time. The green onions can actually be left in your kitchen. Simply snip off the green part of the green onions whenever you need them and new green onions will continue to grow back each time. Click here to learn more about vegetables you can regrow.