Produce hacks: Tips for keeping fruits and veggies at their peak

The best tricks and tips for keeping their supermarket-purchased fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

You open the refrigerator and find a ton of food, but some of it has already started to turn. The asparagus is going limp, the celery is turning brown and the lettuce you cut for salads is already past its prime! You paid good money for fresh produce with every intention of feeding it to your family, and now you have to throw it away.

I can relate to this frustration! So I asked around and got some great ideas from women who are moms, wives, sisters, daughters and girlfriends. They shared their best tricks and tips for keeping their supermarket-purchased fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

Fruits

  • Wrap plastic wrap around banana stems to slow ripening.
  • If you want bananas and pears to ripen faster, place them in brown paper bags.
  • Don’t throw away apples that are too old to eat fresh. Peel, seed and chop them to use in muffins or other baked goods. You can freeze them to use later.
  • To keep apples from turning brown after you cut them, soak them for about 10 minutes in a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons honey. Pat the apples dry when you remove them from the honey water.

Vegetables

  • Keep avocados in brown paper bags to ripen them faster or to make them last longer, just leave them on the counter (but not too close to your bananas, togetherness causes both to ripen very quickly).
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil to keep it fresh longer.
  • Place limp celery upright in a container of ice water for about 20 minutes to make it crispy again.
  • If you have produce that you won’t have time to eat before it spoils (maybe you’re going on vacation), use it to make smoothies and then freeze them.
  • Keep asparagus and bunches of fresh herbs fresh longer by setting them upright in a glass or jar with an inch of water and placing in the fridge.
  • Avoid cutting lettuce with a metal knife. Tearing it is best, but if you must cut, use a plastic knife to keep the cut edges from turning brown.
  • Store lettuce that’s been washed and torn in a plastic bag with a folded paper towel. The towel will absorb moisture and keep the lettuce fresh longer.
  • When you have leftover vegetables after dinner is over but not enough to save for another meal, start a vegetable soup bag in your freezer. Add leftover vegetables such as carrots, peas, corn and green beans as you have them. You’ll have mixed vegetables for soup ready when you need them.

What great produce-saving tricks do you use? Share them with us in the comments.


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