Love fruits, veggies, and herbs, but never seem to use them all up before they go bad? Then, these money saving ways to keep fruits, herbs, and vegetables fresh longer will definitely help you out.
Keeping Herbs Fresh Longer
Nothing is quite like having fresh herbs to jazz up a dish. They bring another whole level of tastiness to food. Whether growing your herbs in pots or purchasing them in packages from the grocery store, you want your herbs to last as long as possible.
The University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension recommends that you:
- Snip off the ends of the stalks of your herbs diagonally.
- Put the herbs in an inch of water in a tall glass (think flower arrangement).
- Place a plastic bag with some small holes in it over the herbs and keep in the refrigerator.
- Change the water daily to keep herbs fresh for approximately a week.
This method works especially well for herbs such as cilantro, dill, and parsley. The Kitchn recommends that you store woody stemmed herbs such as oregano, rosemary, sage,and thyme wrapped in a damp towel in a resealable bag or plastic container in the refrigerator crisper.
Keeping Fruit Fresh Longer
- Speaking from personal experience, I find that the best way to make avocados and bananas last longer is to buy them a bit ripe and let them finish maturing on your countertop. Buy them in small quantities and be sure not to drop them or let them get otherwise roughed up on their way home from the grocery. You can store avocados in the refrigerator for a few days if you want to slow down the ripening process.
If you are one of those lucky, lucky individuals who has an avocado tree in his or her yard, I am incredibly jealous. I am game for a field trip to your tree anytime you like.
- Fruits such as blackberries blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, grapes, honeydew melon, raspberries and strawberries, should be kept refrigerated. Do not wash the fruit until ready to eat, otherwise the excess moisture will shorten the time the fruit will stay good. Watermelon can be stored in a cool dark place or when whole, but should definitely be stored in the refrigerator when cut.
- Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges, tend to last longer when refrigerated. Store them loosely in the refrigerator crisper bins if possible (American Heart Association).
- Peaches, nectarines, and other stone fruit, should be ripened on the countertop and then placed in refrigerator for additional storage. I have found it necessary to watch these suckers like a hawk, because you have got to get these guys in the fridge the minute they ripen to get extended life out of them. (American Heart Association).
- You can really stretch the life of an apple by wrapping it in newspaper and storing it in a dry box or basket in a cellar or in the refrigerator. It is a good idea, as well, to store your apples away from other produce so as not to interfere with the ripening. For detailed instructions, check out this article from The Balance.
- Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature.
Keeping Vegetables Fresh Longer
- Keep many vegetables fresh longer by refrigerating. Bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and zucchini all benefit from being kept in the fridge. For a closer look at each of these veggies, check out Real Simple’s article on How To Store Fruits and Vegetables.
- Mushrooms store best in their original container or in a dry brown paper bag in the refrigerator (Better Homes & Gardens).
- Get the max life out of garlic and potatoes by storing them in cool, dry, well ventilated places. Winter squash can be stored the same way, but for a considerably shorter time than garlic and potatoes.
- Fresh corn should ideally be eaten or cooked as soon as possible, but can generally be stored in the fridge for a couple of days if recently picked (Barbecue! Bible).
By using these tips for keeping your fruits, herbs, and vegetables fresh longer, you can have great tasting food and get the most value for your dollar.
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