Knowing how to keep fruits fresh longer is a life-hack every one needs to master. With these tips, you won’t be wasting food anymore. Additionally you won’t be scared to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables during your grocery run. Get yourself nutritious fruits and make them last longer with the following tips.
1. Buy Fresher Produce
Fresh fruits and vegetables are very perishable. Increase their lifespan by buying the freshest fruit in the stores. Better yet, adopt the buy local build local mantra and purchase fresh fruits from farmers near you. You can do this by visiting your local farmers’ market. There, you will be able to find a wide range of vendors who sell fresh fruits straight from the farm. These fruits have, in most cases, only traveled a short distance to get to you. They are sweeter, juicier and fresher than those that have been imported from other countries and states.
You need to understand the relationship between travel distances, time spent on the supermarket shelf, and freshness. Transporting fruits and vegetables over a long distance causes the produce to spend more time on the road, thus reducing the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The same applies to fresh products that stay long on supermarket shelves.
2. Store Fruits and Vegetables Separately
Some fruits are known to produce higher quantities of ethylene gas that hastens the ripening process of fruits and vegetables. This can result in the rotting of vegetables within a short period. To separate these items successfully, you need to understand the properties of each fruit as far as the production of ethylene gas is concerned. Fruits like kiwi, cantaloupe, avocados, apples, peaches, tomatoes, nectarines, produce a lot of ethylene gas.
Fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethylene include watermelon, broccoli, carrots, Brussel sprouts, squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, leafy greens/ lettuce. You also need to avoid storing bananas close to other fruits.
3. Do not Overcrowd Your Fruits and Vegetables
Ensure that you have enough storage space for all your fruits and vegetables. Avoid stuffing items together in your fridge or storage counters. Overcrowding leads to increased moisture in the items at storage, which in turn causes rotting of the fruits and vegetables.
4. Rinse After Storage
Keeping your fruits and vegetables dry determines how long they will last in storage. There are some items that will rot faster when rinsed before storage. These items include berries and mushrooms. Moisture encourages the growth of molds. Therefore, you must ensure that all your products are kept dry after rinsing to increase their shelf life.
You can wash greens before storage. However, you have to wrap them nicely using a paper towel or store them loosely in an unsealed perforated plastic holder or bag. Better yet, put the greens in a salad spinner to ensure that they get sufficient supply of air and dry out.
5. Match Storage Location to the Item that Needs to be Stored
Different types of fruits and vegetables thrive best in different storage conditions. In addition to this, how ripe the produce determines the location that it should be stored. Some fruits and veggies might need chilling to last longer, while others will have a longer shelf life when left on the counter. Produce such as cut vegetables or fruit, herbs, peppers, carrots, greens, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, and berries will have an increased shelf life when they kept under low temperature.
Produce that can be stored in the pantry in open spaces include onions, potatoes, bananas, garlic, avocados, winter squash, tomatoes, melon, citrus, pears, peaches, plums, and cherries. Avocados should be left on the counter until it ripens. Other produce that should be left in the open until it ripens then transferred into the refrigerator to increase shelf life includes citrus, apples, cucumbers, stone fruits, avocados, and bananas.
6. Do Not Buy Produce that is Cut or Bruised
When storing fresh fruit or vegetable is your first priority, buying cut or bruised produce should not be in your list of considerations. In some cases, cut produce is time saviors and a great option, but not when you want to store fresh produce for long. Fruits and vegetables that are bruised or cut often rot from the point of cut or bruise. These faults are a point of weaknesses that hastens the rotting process. If you realize that you have bought damage fruit or vegetable, plan to eat them as immediately or in the near future.
7. Place Herbs in Water
Herbs should be dipped in water with their stalks immersed in water to stretch their storage life. This method is especially true for herbs, such as basil and cilantro. Think about buying mason jars that you will use to dip your herbs before storing them in the fridge or on the countertop.
Fruits and vegetables can last longer if you know how to handle them properly. Avoid crowding them together and keep all the items separately. You also need to know the maximum number of days a fruit or vegetable can be stored.