How To Keep Your Fruits And Veggies Fresher For Longer
Posted on June 14 2022
Filling the refrigerator is a strategic game, a balancing act of what you can eat now and what you can eat later. The end goal is that you want to keep your fruits and veggies nice as fresh for as long as you need them to be. This may seem like a lot to think about, especially if you're also trying to make the most of whatever you have in your eco kitchen.
Running a sustainable kitchen isn’t just about reducing packaging waste it’s also about not wasting food that could otherwise stay fresh. Here are some tips to help keep your fruits and veggies fresher for longer in your eco-friendly kitchen.
Store your produce dry
A little humidity is excellent for vegetables, but too much is bad. A small amount of moisture will keep the produce fresh; too much moisture can cause mildew or mushiness. Before putting away everything you've washed, be sure it's completely dry. This rule does have a few exceptions: Scallions prefer to be kept upright, roots down, in room-temperature water, and they'll keep growing that way indefinitely if you change the water now and then. Asparagus is more like a fresh flower bouquet:
- Trim the ends.
- Put them in a glass of water.
- Store them in the fridge until you're ready to use them.
You can store whole carrots and half celery stalks in a covered water container to keep them firm. Change the water every few days.
When in doubt, bag it
A plastic bag – preferably a biodegradable bag or a reusable zip lock, can help keep the moisture in your vegetables from evaporating, which means your produce won't become limp after a few days. It also works with hardy greens: remove the thick stems and place them in a bag or a reusable container with a lid.
Swaddle your herbs
Herb storage is a meditation on patience and gentleness. Remove any rubber bands or twist ties from your herb bundle to begin. If your herbs are dirty, clean them first; otherwise, consider just washing as you use them to add as little moister as possible. To dry, roll between two layers of clean, dry dish towels or spin in a salad spinner. Using a dry paper towel or, better yet, some eco-friendly FreshPaper, gently bundle the now-dried herbs. Place the herbs in a sealable, reusable plastic bag.
Keep certain foods in the fridge
Avocados, pineapple, and mango are examples of fruits that should be left out at room temperature to ripen. When it's ready, put it in the fridge to put the ripening process on hold. This is only a temporary fix—everything goes bad eventually—but it'll buy you two or three more days with that perfectly ripe avocado.
In every kitchen stock photo, you'll always see that there's a bowl of lemons on the counter. Sure, that looks great, but those lemons aren't going to stay long. If you keep citrous in the fridge, it will last much longer, stay firm and juicy, and won’t shrivel up. The same goes with ginger and raw turmeric root if you have it.
Care for your lettuce
Transfer the leaves to a bowl or storage container, top with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper, and then carefully wrap the whole thing in a compostable wrap to keep as much air out as possible. This will keep it crisp in the fridge and prevent the leaves from wilting.
Remove the individual leaves from whole lettuce and soak them in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours. Rinse the leaves, shake off any excess water (or spin them in a salad spinner), and spread them out on a clean muslin or tea towel before rolling it up. Put everything in a large, airtight food storage box and store it in the refrigerator. You'll be astonished at how long the leaves stay crisp and fresh, and you'll always have a supply of pre-washed leaves on hand for a green salad.
Urban ethos has you covered
Keeping your fruits and veggies fresher for longer in your eco kitchen can be tricky but not impossible! Head here for more products you can use to keep your food fresh in your sustainable kitchen.