[mkdf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”e31c3d” background_color=””]I[/mkdf_dropcaps] was becoming so disappointed with the number of veggies I’d thrown away all because I hadn’t eaten or cooked them soon enough. I could feel my mother’s penny-pinching side-eye from the spirit world glaring at me with every leafy green I tossed in the trash. We’re all in the same boat when it comes to having to make our produce last a bit longer nowadays. If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you probably heavily rely on fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel your diet. It can be difficult to stay stocked up these days and ain’t nobody got time to spend all day in grocery stores defending our 6 feet of social distancing space! Here are 5 quick and easy ways to keep your produce nice and fresh for weeks at a time.
1. Vegetable Boutiques
This method is used to prolong the life span of vegetables such as celery, green onions, herbs, carrots, and asparagus. All you have to do is fill a jar with a few inches of water, slice off the bottom of the vegetable you are going to be storing and stand them up in the jar with a plastic bag over the top. By doing this you will help these vegetables to last longer as they will stay hydrated and crisp.
2. Know Where to Store Produce
One very important way to keep your produce fresh for longer periods of time is to know where they need to be stored. Store produce such as avocados, bananas and stone fruit in the fridge then move them to the counter to ripen. Root vegetables, onions, and tomatoes should be kept out of the fridge in a dark cool place. Produce like apples, broccoli and cauliflower should all be kept away from other produce. As they can cause each other to ripen too quickly and go bad.
3. Use a Vinegar Rinse
This method is used for berries one of the hardest kinds of produce to keep fresh. To keep your berries fresher for longer wash them with one-part white vinegar to four parts water. Rinse them thoroughly then pat dry and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Doing this can help to increase the lifespan of your berries for a few days.
4. Using Containers to Store
Most of us find ourselves with the problem of having leftover cut vegetables and fruit after cooking. If you want to keep your produce scraps fresh until you next need them, you will need to store them in a sealable container. Try to not store more than one type of produce in one container at a time or they might expire faster.
5. Paper Towel Method
This is a very common method of preserving food where a paper towel is used to soak up moisture. Preventing early spoilage of produce. This is especially handy for leafy greens as you can wash them and allow them to air dry. Before placing them in a plastic bag with a paper towel. You can also place a paper towel in the bottom of your vegetable crisper to preserve your produce.
The only thing missing from this list is grace; give yourself some. Maybe start a compost for veggies that didn’t make it to the plate? We won’t be ‘perfect’ but we will get better. I hope these tips help you save your money, keep your peace, and stay safe during the quarantine.