5 Easy Tips for Fruits & Veggies to Last Longer
Caring for fruits and vegetables at the farm is only step one, keeping your produce fresh for longer is step two. There are easy ways to ensure your fruits and vegetables don’t spoil too quickly. You can think of it as habits that can be easily adopted. For example, did you know there is no need to wash fruits and vegetables in advanced before storing? Or that it is ideal to store fruits separate from vegetables? Keep reading to learn 5 easy tips for optimal storage to keep your produce fresh and long lasting. Before you know it, you will be saving money and throwing out less food.
1. Ideal Temperature:
The best storage conditions for most of your fruits and vegetables is between 32 and 37 degrees. Fruits ripen faster than most vegetables, so in order to lengthen their storage life there are two basics to keep in mind: low temperature and a bit of humidity. Many refrigerators include a special drawer for fruit that allows you to set the humidity level. You should use this and store your fruits there.
2. What not to Refrigerate:
There are many fruits and vegetables that shouldn’t be refrigerated, but rather stored at room temperature to prevent damage and induce proper ripening. A good example is bananas. Storing bananas in the refrigerator causes loss of flavor and good texture. If left at room temperature, they will have better taste, color, and firmness. Fruits and vegetables that should only be stored at room temperature include: apples, bananas, mangoes, tomatoes, papaya, potatoes, cucumber, lemons, eggplant, pineapple, and pomegranates.
3. Don’t Pre-wash
The level of moisture affects the quality of fruits and vegetables. Moisture helps speed up the spoilage of produce; it can turn into a playground for microbial growth. Vegetables and fruit that show mold after a few days is a good example. Always try to dry your veggies and fruit with a paper towel to prevent from rotting before storing.
4. Store Fruits Separate From Vegetables
It is best to keep fruits separate from your veggies. If you’re like most people, you’ll find it easier to just stack everything together. After you read this, you might want to take that extra step. Fruits ripen faster than veggies; this is due to their higher levels of ethylene – a ripening agent. Veggies can’t but help receive this ripening agent and in turn spoil quicker.
5. Encourage Air Circulation
In order to keep your fruit and veggies fresh, avoid using plastic bags. You may choose, however, to use bags with holes to allow air flow. It is important for air to circulate around your produce in order to keep things cool and avoid warm and moist areas that would lead to spoilage.
And there you have it, 5 easy tips that you can easily adapt for long lasting and fresher fruits and vegetables!