Scientific Tips To Keep Your Produce Fresher Longer
Tomatoes + cucumbers = faster decay rate
The reason is that ethylene, a gas found in some fruits and vegetables, accelerates ripening. It’s also a major cause of food waste. So when storing foods that release ethylene, stay away from foods that are sensitive to it.
Producers of ethylene.
Sensitive to ethylene.
Leafy vegetables such as spinach and brussels sprouts, Romaine, red leaf lettuce, and other types of lettuce will stay fresher longer if you rinse them in cool water before refrigerating them. Discard any wilted or discolored leaves. Dry the lettuce with a salad spinner, or shake off the water and wrap them loosely in paper towels. Seal them in a plastic bag or container.
Keep the wax in place.
Many fruits and vegetables, especially those grown in warm climates, have a natural waxy outer layer to prevent shrinkage. Some crops are coated with a layer of artificial wax. Wash it off only just before you are ready to eat it. This helps prevent bruising and premature decay. Coated produce includes apples, lemons, nectarines, oranges, cucumbers, bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant.
Trim the carrots.
Those green tops may be pretty, but they suck the nutrients and freshness out of the rest of the carrot. But they will suck the nutrients and freshness out of the rest of the carrot. Before storing, cut off the green tops. Loosely store the trimmed carrots in a plastic bag in a freezer drawer to chill. They should keep for several weeks. TIP: Save the greens for pesto, salsa or salad toppings.
Keep bananas cool.
Your sunny kitchen is probably one of the worst places to store these tropical fruits. Moist, warm air can accelerate browning. Keep them away from other produce. Once they have ripened to your liking, refrigerate the bananas to extend their shelf life by a few days. The skin may become mottled, but the interior should remain delicious.
Love the spicy taste of fresh ginger, but can’t always use it fast enough before it becomes ground or moldy? Ginger, also known as ginger root, can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks. To keep it longer, toss it in your refrigerator. Chop, grate or slice the ginger (no need to peel it). Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or a freezer bag to keep air out. It will keep fresh for at least 3 months.
Let the onions breathe.
Good air circulation is the key to keeping them from decaying. Don’t use plastic wrap when storing onions, keep them in a cool, dry place. If they are sold in mesh bags, you can hang them on a hook in your pantry. Or make your own ventilated pantry out of an old, clean pair of pantyhose. Put an onion down on one leg and push it up to your toes. Then tie a knot in the top and drop an onion. The chopped onion will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
Strawberries are one of the sweetest harvests of summer. But these tender fruits are actually cold hardy. In fact, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries should be refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or even up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit to extend their shelf life. Moisture can cause them to spoil or mold faster, so wash berries only at the last minute.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil.
Like most vegetables, celery is almost always water. It is also sensitive to the mature gas ethylene. Help keep your celery from going limp by covering it tightly with aluminum foil and storing it in a crisper drawer. Or you can wrap it in dry paper towels and put it in a plastic sleeve. The celery should keep for a few weeks.
Bag the lemons.
A pile of bright yellow citrus will brighten up any kitchen counter. It’s also an ideal place to dry your lemons and limes into stiff globes. But you can keep them juicy for up to a month. Seal your lemons tightly in a plastic storage bag to get all the air out, then put them in the fridge.
Keep your herbs vertical.
Process the parsley, parsley and mint as if they were cut flowers. Place them in a jar with water and refrigerate. Bouquets of other soft-stemmed herbs like basil may prefer the warm temperature on your counter. Or try this method. Put the fresh dried herbs in a plastic bag and blow into the bag like a balloon. The carbon monoxide you breathe in is a known food preservative that can help keep greens alive.
They are not fruits or vegetables, but fungi. Mushrooms like to be kept in a cool, well-ventilated place. Porous paper bags are a good choice. Free mushrooms from plastic-wrapped grocery containers, which can trap moisture. Mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before cooking, rinse them under cool water.
Deep Clean Your Refrigerator
Several things can affect the rate at which food spoils, including light, air, temperature, and time. They include light, air, temperature, and time. What you can control are microorganisms such as bacteria, mold and yeast. So wipe down the inside of your refrigerator regularly. White vinegar or soapy water will do. Avoid packing too much food on the shelves and drawers so that air can circulate.