Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You went to the grocery store or the farmers market with a well-planned shopping list and the best of intentions. Your produce was thrown into a bowl on the kitchen counter or in the corner of your fridge. Life got busy, and before you knew it all of your beautiful fruits and veggies turned moldy and gross. Noooo!
Here are some of my favorite produce-storing hacks that will help extend the life and quality of your precious produce so you can shop less, waste less, and support your healthy eating goals:
- Cut and store your produce in glass/see-through containers lined with paper towels. This is an excellent hack for a few reasons. First, it makes it just as easy and convenient to reach for a veggie or piece of fruit as going to the pantry and grabbing a bag of pretzels or chips when hunger strikes or you need to make a quick meal. Second, the paper towels help protect against moisture and allows produce to stay fresher longer.
- Keep ethylen-producing foods separate. Some fruits and veggies produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. This gas can prematurely ripen foods that are sensitive to it, so keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods. Avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, pears, plums, and tomatoes, for example, should be stored in a different place than your apples, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and watermelon.
- To maximize the flavor of your potatoes, onions, and tomatoes, keep them in a cool, dry place but NOT the fridge.
- To extend the life of your berries, do not wash them until you’re ready to eat them (this will keep mold at bay).
- To keep leafy greens and herbs fresh, store them in a bag (or use the bag they came in) and blow a little air into it before closing it up. It’s a weird trick but I swear it works like a charm!