With budgets getting tighter, it’s never been more important to economize in the kitchen. With these six simple tricks, you can easily prolong the life of the fruit and veggies you buy; reducing food waste, saving money, and enjoying a clear conscience to boot.
1. Chill Out
Keep the temperature of your fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will keep produce fresh for as long as possible. Most modern fridges have a temperature gauge as standard, but the accuracy of those found on cheaper models can be questioned.
Make sure you invest in the best refrigerator you can afford, as this will save waste and cash in the long run. Consult a fridge buying guide, whether it’s one you find online or in an electrical retail store – it will help you make an informed choice.
2. Freeze Your Assets
Many of us start the week with good intentions and end it with a still-bulging salad tray. Luckily, the majority of fresh produce can be frozen and saved for later. For convenience, wash, peel and chop your fruit and veg before bagging individual portions. Just remember to blanch in very hot water before freezing, as this neutralizes bacteria and therefore delays decay.
3. Water of Life
Are your carrots, broccoli or celery looking a bit limp? Don’t automatically chuck them in the bin! A quick dip in a bowl of iced water will quickly revive and ready them for consumption. Fresh herbs also last a lot longer if propped up in a glass of water rather than being stored in their original packaging.
4. Keep Your Greens
Bagged salad leaves are the items that families admit to wasting most frequently. With a little preparation, you can extend the life of your leafy favourites by several days.
Simply remove the salad from its plastic bag, wash gently in cold water, pat dry with a towel, and store in a brown paper bag in your fridge. Similarly, most fruits and vegetables fare better when immediately unwrapped from plastic supermarket packaging and stored in a paper bag instead. Try it with mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and peppers.
5. Say “Bye-Bye” To Bananas
Banish bananas from your fruit bowl and store them separately. These family favorites release a chemical called “ethylene” which has a ripening effect on other fruits. If you want to ripen a bunch of bananas gradually, just leave half in their original bag where they will be trapped with the ethylene they release. Store the rest separately, and they will ripen more slowly.
6. Get in a Pickle
A huge variety of vegetables can be pickled, jarred and used as relishes, garnishes or snacks at a later date. Indian cooking staples such as onions, cauliflowers, lemons and chilliesare popular pickling choices for many.
Why not be a little more daring and try this preservation technique on beetroots, pineapples, pears, grapes and even watermelon rind? The pickling process is quick and inexpensive – all you need is the vinegar of your choice, empty lidded jars and standard kitchen equipment.
These 6 Simple tricks will help to Make Your Fruits and Veggies Last Longer!