Your summer harvest is coming in and you’re doing a lot better than you thought. In fact, you’ve got so much produce that you’ve set up a few of your neighbors.
Or do you now have a bunch of vegetables going to waste? Carrots that are growing roots, potatoes going soft, bananas that are turning brown too quickly.
The easy solutions, of course, are to buy less, grow less, or eat your produce quicker. But that’s not always practical. So here are some easy ways you can make your vegetables stay longer.
Keep your fruit and vegetables away from heat sources (like the stove) and sunlight. Heat can cause them to ripen prematurely.
Store your apples and potatoes together. This will help prevent your potatoes from sprouting.
If you’re going to keep your vegetables and greens in plastic bags, blow into the bags before you seal them. Blowing into the bag will help fill the space with carbon dioxide and force the oxygen out.
However, for cabbage and lettuce, it is better to wrap them in a paper towel and then put them in a bag. Keep the bag open. If the paper towel gets wet, change it.
If you’re not going to eat the entire avocado right away, make sure you live the pit in and keep the skin. Rub some lemon juice on the exposed part and then place the skin back over the avocado so it appears whole.
Fruit and Berries
Eat them as soon as possible. If you can’t, then keep an eye on them. As berries start to get mushy, remove them. You’ve heard the saying, “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch”. Obviously it doesn’t just apply to apples. Take the bad ones out and the fresh ones will survive longer.
If your berries get wet, dry them off completely. Mold loves water. This also means that you should only was the fruit you’re going to eat.
But, there are two incredibly easy ways to help you prevent them from going bad so quickly in the first place.
You can freeze your berries. Mold won’t be able to grow on them if they’re in the freezer.
Rinse your fruit and berries in a solution of vinegar and water. Put your berries in a bowl. If you don’t have many, start with ¾ cups of water and ¼ cup of vinegar. The vinegar will get rid of the mold spores on the fruit and will help them stay fresh longer. Dump them into a strainer and get as much water and vinegar off as you can. Then lay them out in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and dry them off completely.
If you know you’re not going to be able to eat your vegetables in time, one of the best things you can do for them – and your health – is to ferment them. Fermenting your vegetables can extend their life by several months. Plus, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of probiotics in the process. You can find our guide to fermenting vegetables the right way here.