If there is one place where good intentions are not always there, it is in the fruit and vegetable section. Of course, you know that fruits and vegetables are great for you. They help fight diseases like obesity and heart disease, as past research shows.
Prepare now to make a change to improve your health and the environment. Indeed, one of the main factors behind food waste is the lack of knowledge about storage. This contributes to food spoilage. Here are six foods that are commonly involved in the “grocery to junk” cycle, along with some tips for keeping them fresh long enough to eat instead of throwing them away.
1 Problem: Bananas turning black
Solution: Hang them.
A handful of fruits emit ethylene gas to ripen, and bananas are one of them. Some people wrap the tops of bananas in plastic wrap to reduce the amount of ethylene emitted. But that doesn’t really solve the problem. Ethylene is produced throughout the banana, not just the stem, so covering only the stem will not stop ripening. The best way to store them is on a banana hook, where there is plenty of air circulation around the bananas. This reduces the amount of concentrated ethylene in an area. Bonus: storing bananas separately this way separates them from other fruits and vegetables.
2 Problem: Rubbery Celery
Solution: Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.
Celery is one of those vegetables that can quickly go from crunchy to rubbery and tasteless. But you can extend its life by taking a few extra minutes to store it properly. After separating, washing and drying the stems, wrap them in foil with a small opening. This keeps most of the air out and the moisture in, but also allows ethylene gas to escape. This slows down the ripening process and keeps the vegetable fresh for up to a few weeks.
3 Problem: Soft Lettuce
Solution: Line the bottom of your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with a towel.
We all catch large lettuces with the intention of serving light and healthy salads. But a few days pass and suddenly those crisp leaves become soft and soggy. To extend the shelf life of leafy greens and other produce in your refrigerator, line the crisper drawer with paper towels. Another, more eco-friendly option is to use washable terry cloth towels.
Humidity in the refrigerator is the cause of loss of crispiness in most fruits and vegetables. By lining the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, you absorb excess moisture and keep produce crisp and fresh for a long time. No matter what you use, change your paper towel every week, as it will start to get wet over time and may promote mildew if left in the drawer too long.
4 Problem: moldy berries
Solution: Soak briefly in hot water and dry before refrigerating.
Berries can be an expensive investment, especially in the winter. It is therefore important to ensure that you do not lose any. Even in the summer, when it’s peak season, you want to make the most of these treats. Although some people use a vinegar bath for berries, it can leave a taste residue even when rinsed off. Just give the berries a warm water bath for about 12 seconds to inhibit mold growth. Another important step is to let the berries dry completely before storing them in the refrigerator. This can prevent mildew, keeping your berries fresh longer.
5 Problem: sprouting potatoes
Solution: Store in a cool, dry place.
A big bag of potatoes can be a life saver on busy weekdays. The starchy vegetable can be quickly turned into a baked potato, French fries or hash browns to feed a hungry family. The downside of keeping a large bag handy is that potatoes that have been stored for a long time start to sprout. Keep your potatoes ready to eat by storing them in a cool, dry place. Because sunlight and humidity promote germination.
6 Problem: Slime Mushrooms
Solution: Keep them in a paper bag, not a plastic one.
Mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious ingredient that can be used in all sorts of things. From chopped salad to morning omelet to vegetable stir-fry. But nothing is more unpleasant than grabbing the vegetable and pulling out a viscous, pasty mixture. To keep mushrooms fresh and plump for as long as possible, you need to know how to store them. Many of us look for plastic bags when bringing home vegetables, but for mushrooms, paper has to be the way to go. Plastic traps moisture, which causes fungus to rot. The choice of paper allows vegetables to breathe and moisture to escape. This slows down the rate at which they begin to break down. No paper bags on hand? You can always prolong their life by keeping them in their original packaging. But cover them with a protective film pierced with holes for better air circulation.