The struggle between keeping produce edible in the fridge before cooking and eating is real. You don’t have to settle for reaching into your produce drawer and discovering a wrinkled pepper or slimy greens. Even though produce from the farmer’s market is longer-lasting than supermarket produce, there are some methods to help your fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer.
Check out these important tips on keeping fresh produce longer to keep those veggies crisp!
Humidity is good for produce, but moisture is not; wetness promotes the growth of mold and mildew. After washing, be sure to dry vegetables thoroughly before putting them in the fridge. Generally, you should store your produce dry, but there are some exceptions to this rule:
- Keep scallions upright with the roots submerged in room temperature water
- Asparagus should also be kept upright in a glass of water with the ends trimmed off
- Keep carrots and celery in covered containers of water to retain their crispness. Be sure to change the water every two or three days.
Even though this may seem counterintuitive, keep produce inside plastic bags or containers with a lid. The enclosed space helps to prevent moisture from evaporating—basically, you’re creating an ecosystem for your lettuce.
Herbs are delicate little guys and they need to be swaddled. To keep herbs fresh, remove any twist ties or rubber bands. Wash if they are dirty and dry with a salad spinner. Wrap the herbs in a dry towel (paper or cloth) and place them inside a resealable plastic bag or container.
Some fruits and vegetables ripen at a higher rate than others. As produce ripens, a gas called ethylene is released and will cause other fruits and veggies to ripen faster. Items like apples, bananas, pears, and potatoes ripen quickly and release ethylene; they need to stay away from other produce.
But what if you need to age an avocado in a hurry? Store it with your apples for a day!
These important tips on keeping fresh produce longer will hopefully help you keep your fruits and vegetables tasty and crisp!