How to Make Your Fruits & Veggies Last Longer

Just about everybody loves fruits and vegetables. And knowing how good they are for us adds another positive dimension to eating them.

But there is a downside. If you don't eat fresh fruits and vegetables during the first few days after you buy them, they usually go bad.

We promise ourselves we won't let it happen again, but a week later we look in the fruit bowl and see dark brown bananas or soft oranges. Or we open the veggie drawer in the fridge and smell something we know doesn't belong there.

Today I want to provide you with two valuable pieces of information. The first is tips on how to make your fresh fruits and vegetables last longer. The second is an easy way to always have delicious and long-lasting fruit on hand and ready to eat.  

Let lettuce leaves go AWOL

If you buy bagged salad at the grocery store, you know how great it looks when you place it in your refrigerator. But after it's opened and you use some of it, watch out. The lettuce will start wilting quickly.

A good way to avoid this is by removing the lettuce leaves from the rest of the salad items, washing them off, and placing them in an airtight, zippered bag.

If instead you purchase a head of lettuce, remove the individual leaves and soak them in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours.

Then rinse them off and put them in an airtight, zippered bag, then place it into the fridge. Your lettuce leaves will stay crisp and fresh much longer this way.

Onions, asparagus & herbs 

Onions are another item that can go bad, sometimes even before you use them. To avoid this, chop them up when you get home from the store, put them in a resealable bag, and place them in the freezer.

Remove the bag and grab what you need next time you're preparing a salad, then return the bag to the freezer.

One of the reasons other vegetables such as asparagus start wilting too soon is because they lack hydration. To offset this, store them upright in a glass with about an inch of water in it. Or, wrap a damp paper towel around the base of the asparagus. 

You can do the same thing with herbs including parsley, basil, coriander, dill, mint, and others. If you want to be frugal, you can store leftover herbs in an ice tray in your freezer and pour water over them. Other herbs such as rosemary and thyme can go in an airtight bag in the fridge.

Fruitful strategies

If you'd like items such as tomatoes, apples, pears, melons, avocados, and mangoes to ripen because you want to use them in the next day or so, leave them in a bowl on a countertop where you'll see them and not forget about them. 

But items such as grapes, berries, and citrus should be refrigerated so they don't deteriorate too quickly. 

If you cut fruit and only use some of it for a meal, protect the remainder from softening too quickly with an airtight seal.

Then place that bag or container in the fridge. This will help your fruit last much longer.    

Bacteria-fighting vinegar

One thing to keep in mind when ensuring that fruits and vegetables last longer is not storing them together in the same bag or container. 

Some fruit produces ethylene gas, which can make vegetables (and other fruit, for that matter) ripen too quickly.

When you get berries and other fruits back to your home from the store ‚Äď or from picking them outdoors ‚Äď wash them in a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar. The vinegar will help kill any bacteria found on fruits.

Let them dry on parchment paper, then store them in a container with the paper. But leave the lid slightly open to give moisture a chance to escape.

A few more tricks 

  • ¬† For fruit that has not ripened yet ‚Äď such as apples and peaches ‚Äď put them in a paper bag and place it on a windowsill.
  • ¬† You don't need to wait until you're ready to eat your fruits and vegetables to wash them off. Do it as soon as you return from the store or your garden and they'll be ready to eat as soon as you want them.
  • ¬† Most fruits will last longer in a fridge than in a bowl on a table or countertop. Including apples, berries, grapes, apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines, and cherries.
  • ¬† But some fruits will do better at room temperature. Such as bananas, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, watermelon, lemons, and limes.
  • ¬† If you wait a little too long to eat fruit but you're still not ready to eat it, chop it up, place it in airtight bags, and toss it in the freezer. You'll want to use it later for smoothies.

Utilizing these tips and tricks to making fruits and vegetables last longer will reduce food waste and help you save money by preserving precious resources.

Freeze-Dried Berry Super Pack 

A moment ago I mentioned berries. They are among the many fruits that are both tasty and nutritious. Picking your own berries while hiking is a fun activity ‚Äď as long as you know which ones are safe and which ones aren't.

But if you'd prefer a one-stop shopping experience for berries, I've got one for you. It's the Freeze-Dried Berry Super Pack from 4Patriots.

It gives you 96 servings of freeze-dried blueberries and strawberries (48 servings of each) designed to last 25 years under proper storage conditions.

Packed in triple-layer Mylar pouches, the freshness and flavor stays in. Eat them right out of the bag or combine them in your favorite recipes. To cook, just boil, simmer and serve.

Here's how to get yours…

Comments

  • Eric Schraner - February 03, 2023

    I can’t stop saying, WOW!! :-D

  • Charlotte Holidy - February 03, 2023

    Live most all

  • Charlotte Holidy - February 03, 2023

    Live grape tomatoes and other ttomaties

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