12 Helpful Hacks for Making Your Produce Last Longer
Ditch the Rotten Apple
If you've ever bought a bag of apples, you know some of them rot much more quickly than the others. What you may not know, however, is that the one rotten apple really can spoil the rest of them. As they ripen, some fruits produce a hormone called ethylene. A high concentration of this gaseous agent will over ripen (or spoil) all of your fruit. Get rid of a bad apple as soon as you spot it to help the others stay fresher longer.
Bathe Your Berries
To keep your berries from going bad, give them a hot bath before storing them. This thermotherapy will kill off mold spores and keep them fresher longer. After swishing them around in hot water, lay them out to dry on a towel and then store in the fridge.
Use a Vase For Asparagus
When you want your asparagus to last longer, try treating it like you would cut flowers from your garden instead of just throwing it in the fridge as is. Take a clean vase or glass, fill it with water, and stick the asparagus into it. Put a plastic bag over the top for extra freshness. Place the entire vase into the fridge until you are ready to eat the asparagus.
Wrap Your Bananas
If you enjoy bananas, you know they can turn brown really quickly. If you don't like them overly ripe, try this little trick: take a piece of plastic wrap and secure it around the top of the bananas where the bunch connects. This keeps them from turning too ripe for at least a few days.
Store Onions In Pantyhose
If you have some old pantyhose lying around, you can use them to keep onions from going bad for up to six months. Place an onion into the leg, tie it off, add another, tie it off, and repeat until you run out of room or onions. Hang them in your kitchen and just cut one out any time you need to cook with it.
Put Mushrooms In a Paper Bag
Mushrooms keep longer if they are dry, and the plastic bags and containers they come in at the grocery store often trap moisture, causing them to go bad before you can eat them. Instead of storing mushrooms in plastic, try putting them into a paper bag, folding it up, and placing it into the refrigerator. The cooler and drier they stay, the better.
Know Where To Store
Sometimes it's simply a matter of knowing where to store your produce. Some items do better when kept in the fridge, such as berries, corn, broccoli, celery, leafy green veggies, cucumbers, and grapes. Others do best when you keep them out on the counter, such as pears, onions, tomatoes, garlic, pineapple, potatoes, and bananas.
Refrigerate Ripe Bananas
Despite what you've heard about bananas going bad in the fridge, this only applies to the appearance. Although a banana peel will turn brown in the fridge, the fruit inside is still edible. This is the because the cold temperature keeps the banana from further ripening. If you don't like the look of a black banana, put it in a sealable plastic bag first.
Clean the Fridge
Over time, your refrigerator gets dirty, especially when it houses fresh food, such as fruits and vegetables. Bacteria and mold build up, even if you can't see it, and when you add new foods, it starts to eat at them, which makes them go bad even more quickly than normal. To avoid this, clean your fridge out and disinfect it at least once a month.
Wrap Cheese In Wax Paper
If you keep cheese in your fridge, you know it can get crusty and moldy within days of opening it. To avoid this, remove the plastic cover and use wax paper to wrap it up after each use. Aluminum foil also works, but the wax paper is better. This keeps the cheese from becoming exposed to the air and going bad.
Use Glass Containers
If you do have food that is already cut or sliced, store it in glass containers or mason jars to make it last longer. Plastic has pores and over time, it gets worn down so it might expose your food to the elements. Glass is also easier to clean and many people believe it's healthier.
Line Your Veggie Drawer With Paper Towels
How many times have you bought fresh veggies only to watch them go bad in the fridge? To absorb moisture and keep your veggies fresher longer, line your crisper drawer with paper towels.