Tips for Keeping Produce Fresher and Longer
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Tips for Keeping Produce Fresher and Longer

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at 10:07 am
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Fruit & Vegetable PlatterFresh 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.

 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.