We all pick up produce with great intentions to use it immediately, but sometimes our veggies, herbs and fruits linger at the back of the fridge for too long. Good news: there are practical ways to store produce to make it last longer. Here are a few.
Plan your produce strategy before you buy
Let’s get this one out of the way, even though it’s not a storage tip. If you plan your meals ahead of time (which we know is not always possible), and you don’t buy produce without a plan for how you’re going to use it, you’ll have more room in the fridge, which will help everything stay fresher longer, since you’ll be able to store everything where it needs to be, rather than jamming lettuce on top of apples, etc.
Dip (some) herbs in water
Some herbs, such as cilantro and parsley, will last longer and stay fresher if you trim the bottoms and put them in a glass with water. And you can leave them out on the counter—they don’t need to go in the fridge. Keeping these herbs hydrated keeps the stalks firm and the leaves vibrant, and helps prevent wilting. Just cut a bunch off the top when you need a garnish or to add flavor to a dish.
Invest in decent vegetable storage containers
For a long time, I found it hard to keep lettuce from wilting in my fridge. But my wife and I got a few vegetable containers, and it has made a huge different in extending the life of lettuce, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and much more. Our bins have buttons that can be opened or closed, depending on how much air should be let in, and the bins provide suggestions on which veggies like airflow and which don’t. They really work wonders.
Keep carrots and celery slices in water
Celery likes water; so do carrots. If you like to eat them as small snacks, cut up your celery and carrots into sticks soon after you buy them, and store them in water in the fridge. They’ll last longer and you’ll have them ready when you want them, encouraging you to reach for a healthy snack.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark place
Potatoes are the moody loners of the tuber family. But giving them their own space will help the stay happy.
Store cut avocados with slices of onion
This is a cool one. After you cut an avocado, store the half you don’t need in a container on a bed of slices of red onion. Here’s a vid from Chowhound explaining the process.
Leave tomatoes on the counter, until they’re fully ripe
Everyone knows you’re supposed to store tomatoes on the counter? But the trick is that fully ripe tomatoes can go in the fridge or a cool place for a few days and not suffer any ill effects. Just make sure to take them out a day before you want to use them, and they’ll taste just as good as you expect. Here’s an article by Serious Eats arguing for some fridge time for ripe tomatoes.
What are your tricks for storing produce to last longer? Let us know in the comments section and be sure to sign-up for Luvo’s newsletter for more nutritious recipes and exclusive giveaways.