Fruits and veggies are crucial for a healthy diet. But do you ever feel like they are just too bland and tasteless?
How do you feel when you buy some fresh produce and later find it rotten in your fridge?
In this post, we will cover some innovative ways to enhance the life of your fruits and vegetables.
This way, you can enjoy them for longer, and there will be less rotten produce to throw out.
1. Store Fruits and Veggies Separately
Some people store fruits and vegetables together in a fridge as it’s an easy option. However, keeping them separately can have an incredible effect on longevity and freshness.
In some fruits, there are bundles of ethylene gas which are released slowly over time. The gas often rots other produce because ethylene has the property to ripen some fruits quicker which will eventually lead to rotting.
Therefore, to keep them fresh, it’s a good idea to store fruits and vegetables separately.
2. Use a Water Filter to Wash the Produce
Washing fruits is critical for both health and better taste. Unfortunately, fruits and veggies travel a long way before they end up in your home. As a result, they may collect heaps of dust and dirt on the way.
But is it a good idea to wash the produce in standard tap water? Untreated tap water may have contaminants that will absorb into your vegetables and fruits.
That’s one reason why bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria are commonly present on fruit and vegetable skin.
Ensuring Clean Water
The water should wash away the contaminants, but what if the water itself isn’t clean? It’s easy to ignore water health because we generally assume water to be clean. Yet, clean water is essential for healthy fruits and vegetables.
When you wash the produce with filtered water, it removes contaminants, dirt, and micro-particles.
For instance, you can use an under-sink water filter to ensure your fruits and vegetables are well-washed and hygienic. The best under sink water filter will remove the contaminants more efficiently than others, and it’s not too expensive either.
Since these filters go under the kitchen sink, they save a lot of space on the kitchen counter while doing an essential job of keeping your produce fresh and healthy.
3. Boil Veggies Before Consumption
Boiling vegetables is an incredible hack for good health. On top of that, you don’t need to be a kitchen expert for boiling. All you need is some water, and you can reap some fantastic benefits such as:
- You can lose weight because boiled veggies are low on fat and have high fiber.
- Boiled veggies consume less stomach acid for digestion. Therefore, they prevent acid buildup in your stomach.
- They can promote skin health because of their water-rich properties, keeping your skin hydrated and well-nourished.
- Boiled vegetables help kidney stone patients because there have fewer oxalates than raw veggies.
4. Store Your Produce in the Refrigerator
Keeping most fruits and vegetables in a fridge can reduce the ripening process and protect them from rotting away.
Moreover, the controlled temperature in a fridge means no bacteria buildup that often causes shriveling on the fruit skin.
5. Wrap Leafy Green Veggies
Leafy green vegetables are tough to handle because they lose freshness quickly. Therefore, it’s recommended to use them within two days of purchase. But if you want to store these vegetables for longer, wrap them unwashed in a paper towel.
Note: Before storing leafy green vegetables, make sure to remove any rotten leaves.
The paper towel absorbs any moisture to prevent instant rotting. Next, put the greens in a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge.
6. Tomatoes Don’t Go Well in the Fridge
Refrigerating your tomatoes can be a blessing and a curse. Although it increases their shelf life, cold temperatures can reduce the flavor and texture of tomatoes. So, a better idea is to store them in a bowl with a paper towel lining underneath.
Make sure to keep the stem at the top to avoid bruising which gradually leads to rotting. Moreover, store your tomatoes at room temperature away from direct heat or sunlight.
Another tip is to move the tomatoes around to prevent bruising. If you let them stay at one place for longer, they will eventually rot quicker.
7. Ice Bath for Lettuce and Herbs
When the greens start to wilt in your fridge, you can refresh them through an ice bath.
Take a bowl full of ice water and dip the greens inside. Shake them around for a couple of minutes or until they regain their color.
You’ll be amazed how much fresher your green vegetables look after a quick ice bath.
8. Hot or Vinegar Bath for Berries
Berries are a delicious, healthy fruit we all love. But they’re also delicate and prone to mold if not stored properly!
Vinegar bath? It sounds weird, but vinegar is a great way to keep your berries fresh!
Here are the steps:
- Pour 1 cup apple cider vinegar into a bowl or container with 3 cups of water and add your washed berries.
- Let them soak for 10 minutes to eliminate mold and bacteria.
- After draining the diluted vinegar, wash your berries with cold running water to remove the traces of vinegar.
- Dry the berries completely with paper towels before putting them in a refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can dunk your berries in a hot bath to remove bacteria and mold spores. Use water between 120°F and 140°F for around 30 seconds. After that, dry and store your berries in a fridge.
9. Kitchen Counters are Perfect for Citrus Fruits
You can put citrus fruits on a kitchen counter as they are pretty low maintenance when it comes to preservation. Their skin isn’t sensitive to ethylene, so they won’t rot when kept with ethylene-producing fruits.
Although you can store oranges and grapefruits with apples and pears or any fruit with ethylene, this isn’t the case with every citrus fruit. For example, limes and lemons have thin skin and will only stay fresh if stored separately.
You can also place citrus fruits in the fridge to improve their lifespan.
10. Store Some Fruits and Veggies in a Cool Dry Place
While most fruits and veggies stay fresh with refrigeration, it’s best to keep bananas and potatoes away from the fridge. Similarly, mushrooms and eggplant also require a cool and dry area for storage.
Furthermore, you should only wash mushrooms before use and try to consume your eggplant within two days of purchase.
In all cases, look for well-ventilated spaces when storing the above fruits and veggies.
Keeping your produce fresh and healthy isn’t as hard as it sounds. The simple techniques mentioned here should help you get the best out of your fruits and vegetables.