If you’re like me then you absolutely hate when you go out and buy some nice fresh produce, only to find yourself throwing it away the next day or so when you were preparing your favorite meal. Having lived in various places, I forgot how fast vegetables and fruits wither in Texas. Regardless of your location, finding the right balance of temperature, humidity and long term storage is key to keeping your fruits and vegetables tasting great.
Best Practices for Fresh Produce
There are three basic best practices one should follow when storing your food and include:
- Keep It Clean – While most of us dread cleaning out our refrigerator, keeping your storage space clean and tidy is one of the easiest ways to preserve your favorite foods. By removing leftover crumbs and and residue, this can prevent the increased degradation of your food.
- Keep It Roomy – Another common mistake people make is stuffing their crisper area packed full of newly bought vegetables. Like most living things, your fresh fruits and vegetables need room to breath (especially your leafy greens), and the less areas of touch your food sees, the longer it will last.
- Keep It Maintained – We’ve all heard of the phrase, “It only takes one bad apple to ruin the whole bunch”, and that saying relates specifically to food gone bad. Checking in on your fruits and vegetables periodically is mandatory to keeping them fresh. Once you see a trouble spot on a single piece of food, remove it immediately to prevent contaminating the rest of your food storage.
Favorite Food Tricks
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, understanding that each fruit and vegetable can require a unique storage practice is another important aspect of your happiness. There are a ton of ways to wrap, treat, and store your food, but here are some of my personal favorites.
- Avocados – I absolutely love this green, creamy super food, but nothing irks me more than when I get ready to slice up my toppings only to find half of the avocado is black and nasty. Not to mention having to “salvage” what I can and making a complete mess of it. Avocados are only good in the refrigerator for about 3 days, and should only be place in the fridge after they have fully ripened. That said, the best way to preserve this tasty treat is to plan on buying and eating it right away.
- Potatoes – I always wondered why my parents had potatoes in a rack in some dark room, come to find out, that’s the best place to store them. Potatoes don’t go in your refrigerator, at least uncooked whole ones. The best place to store them is in a paper bag in a cool, dark location.
- Tomatoes – Who can eat an avocado sandwich without the accompanying tomato? Not me! Keeping a tomato fresh has been a long heated debate, keep the stem up or down? But while the fight continues, finding the easiest way to store and keep your tomatoes fresh is actually quite easy. Keep them out of the refrigerator! That’s right, tomatoes are not friends with your fridge.
With so many different things to eat and enjoy in life, we couldn’t cover all the foods out there, but this gives you an idea on the best way to house your fruits and vegetables and the variations that come with each food group. So if you live in Texas, or just have a hard time keeping your food fresh, take some time to do a little research on your own and you might be surprised at how easy it is to keep your fruits and veggies tasting great!