When it comes to fresh produce, the biggest concern is how to store it to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Each different type of fruit and vegetable has various recommendations as far as how it is stored. Learning how to keep produce fresh will save you money and will make great meals.
When you understand a little more about proper storage, you will be able to reduce waste and have the best-tasting fruits and veggies possible.
How to Keep Produce Fresh: Know Your Ethylene Produce
According to BMCBIOL:
“Ethylene gas is a major plant hormone that influences diverse processes in plant growth, development and stress responses throughout the plant life cycle.”
That being said, some fruits give off a gas called ethylene, which is naturally produced from ripening fruit. You probably have not noticed it much, but other fruits or vegetables spoil more rapidly if an ethylene-producing fruit is near it.
Some produce that gives off this gas include:
It’s important not to keep these near foods that are sensitive to ethylene because they might spoil a lot faster. It’s necessary to know what they are. Here are some veggies that are sensitive to ethylene:
What Can You Store in the Refrigerator?
Let’s start with produce that does best when stored in cooler temperatures in the refrigerator. The best way to store green leafy vegetables in the fridge is for you to wash them, dry them, and then get a brown paper bag and store them in the fridge.
Learn how to keep fruit fresh in mason jars by washing and drying them first. Then get a mason jar and put them inside. Seal tight and you can store them in your refrigerator.
The produce that does better in the refrigerator includes:
- Bell peppers
- Lettuce and greens
What Can You Store at Room Temperature?
If you don’t have space in your fridge, that’s okay. There are also some types of produce that do better when they are at room temperature.
This doesn’t mean you can’t put them in the refrigerator, but it is often unnecessary. Of course, keep them away from moisture or extreme sunlight.
You may wonder, does washing fruit make it last longer? It does. We want to remove chemicals and dirt, but make sure you dry them completely before storing them.
Quick Tip on How to Preserve Vegetables
Do you want to know how to keep lettuce fresher longer?
In storing your fresh greens, including lettuce and leafy greens like spinach and kale, you want to make sure you reduce moisture as much as possible. The moisture is going to cause it to spoil more quickly.
Remember, if you are rinsing it before storing it, use a salad spinner first to remove excess water, then place it in a paper bag or storage container lined with paper towels.
Those will soak up any remaining excess moisture and help it last a little longer.
Sometimes, it is about experimenting and seeing how your produce does when stored in various ways. Don’t be afraid to do your research on how to keep produce fresh, and once you’ve tested it, you can share this with your family and friends.