Fruit is simply indispensable for a healthy living. Everyone should keep small baskets of fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, berries, tomatoes, and vegetables such as garlic, celery, broccoli, lettuce, and so on, ‘smiling’ at them from their kitchen counter when they return home from hard day work.
However, keeping fruit for a longer period of time needs some special attention. Why?
Simply because it seems to spoil very easily, especially when the weather gets warmer!
Almost every one of us has experienced that moment when you are looking at a blackened banana and thinking to yourselves, “I have JUST bought you, haven’t I?”
Here are 12 easy ways to ensure that the fruit you buy lasts longer:
1. Put your ripened bananas in the fridge
Contrary to the popular belief, when you put ripe bananas in the fridge, the cool air significantly stops the process of converting starches into sugars, which virtually stops the ripening process to go on.
So, do not be unnerved if you see a bunch of blackened bananas when you open your fridge door. That is just on the outside. On the inside, you will see that the banana is as fresh as a daisy!
2. Lengthen the apples’ freshness in the crisper drawer
Safely put your apples in the crisper drawer, and you can even put a wet paper towel on top of the container they are in to make sure that they retain their natural crunchy texture.
3. Keep your oranges juicy for much longer
It is known that oranges last around a week at room temperature, but each orange’s lifetime can be prolonged up to several weeks when stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
4. Make sure your spuds and garlic survive into the winter
If you want to make your potatoes last as long as possible, it is ideal to keep them in a dark cool place, at a temperature of around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 5 C).
This generally means you should store them in your basement or in your aerated pantry for instance. In these conditions, potatoes can last truly long. Similarly to potatoes, the life of garlic is extended the most when it’s kept in dark and cool spots.
5. Lemons stay fresh when kept in a plastic bag in the fridge
Lemons can last up to 7 days when not refrigerated that is on a counter. But, when they’re placed in a Ziploc bag in the crisper drawer, they can last fourfold longer. However, make sure to change the humidity level to the lowest possible setting for best results.
6. Make room on your counter for tomatoes – they are ‘meant’ to be on it
Tomatoes are gas-releasers, so they are best kept out of the fridge. They are often sensitive to the cold, and can easily lose moisture, texture, and taste.
7. Do not forget to sort out your fruits and vegetables!
Did you know that most fruits emit ethylene gas? So, it is this gas that ripens the vegetables placed around them as well. Though this can be good for veggies that haven’t ripen yet, placing them together with fruits can shorten their lifespan, so it is best to keep them separate.
8. Keep your mushrooms pristine in the fridge
Mushrooms are usually purchased in Styrofoam packages and plastic wraps. This is actually one of the best ways to preserve mushrooms’ quality, so it is important to keep it sealed until use. If the container is already open, then simply fix another length of plastic wrap and poke some small holes for moderate air flow.
9. Slice peppers and place them in freezer for maximum life
If you are really looking to optimize the life of your peppers, you can neatly slice them up, put them in a Ziploc bag, and pop them into your freezer alongside other produce.
10. Practice food-timing
We have already said that not all fruits and vegetables share the same lifespan. Thus, every week when you supply your groceries, plan ahead and think about which produce you will need to take care of most, and which you can afford to just leave on the counter. Remember that broccoli, bananas, strawberries, and mushrooms are among top priority, while oranges, tomatoes and spinach can afford to be neglected for a while!
It is easily seen that all berries are extremely fragile fruits. Thus it is highly recommended to keep them spread out, and to avoid stacking them on top of one another, as they bruise easily. Bruising makes them more prone to spoiling and ruining their taste and quality. So, keep them sealed in a plastic container.
12. Wrap green vegies to keep them vibrant
Veggies like celery, broccoli, and lettuce also need to be put in foil before storing them in the fridge.
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