One of the biggest challenges when it comes to eating healthy is keeping your produce fresh until your next shopping trip. A lot of money and good food is wasted when it goes bad before the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your produce fresh.
How to store fruits and veggies
Most refrigerators have a crisper drawer that is designed to help keep fruits and vegetables fresh. These drawers have a higher level of humidity than the rest of the fridge. This is due to the way the drawer is built with vents. Most fridges, depending on when it was made, also have humidity controls for the vents on the drawers. When it comes to fruits like apples, avocados, pears, and other melons, you should keep the humidity low. High humidity can cause them to ripen and go bad too quickly. However, most vegetables and berries should be stored in a crisper drawer at high humidity.
However, not all produce belongs in the refrigerator. Different types of root vegetables and squash should be kept outside the fridge. This includes things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, yams, garlic, etc. Instead, these need to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place outside the fridge. This can include a cupboard, a pantry, or even a root cellar.
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How to store leafy greens
Leafy greens include things like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. With proper care and storage, these leafy greens should last a week or longer. Unlike fruit, leafy greens need to be sealed in a cool, dark place like the refrigerator. Many people seal them in plastic bags, but they also can be stored in glass containers and cloth bags. Before placing them in a sealed bag or container, rinse them thoroughly and wrap them in a paper towel or cloth. Rinsing them will also help to remove bacteria like E. coli that lives in the soil stuck to the surface of the greens. Even if they are prewashed, rinsing them again in cold water can help clean and make them crisp before storage.
When storing leafy greens in a crisper drawer, they should be kept in a high humidity setting. When filling these drawers, it is important to make sure that they are also not too full or too empty. The ideal crisper drawer will be about 2/3rds full. When too much is packed into one drawer, the produce becomes squished. This is especially harmful to leafy greens that can become wilted when squished.
Following these tips for keeping your produce fresh will help extend their lives for healthier eating. To help supplement your daily vitamins and minerals, a liquid multivitamin can be taken daily as well. Getting the proper amount of nutrients each day will help you to live a happy and healthy life.