If you want to have multiple menu options and still eat delicious food every day, you should keep your pantry full of ingredients you use frequently. But, you will face the challenge of keeping your fruits and vegetables in good condition for several days.
Here are some practical tips that will help you keep fruits and vegetables, which are essential for a good diet, in top condition.
Many food experts don’t recommend washing produce before storing, but if you usually buy your produce at a local market, you may find traces of dirt and debris. If that’s the case, we recommend taking the time to clean the fruits and vegetables with a brush if necessary, then rinse well with clean water and dry before storing.
If you use them on the same day, you can store and then wash them a few minutes before starting your recipe.
Tip: It is not advisable to wash berries prior to using them. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries can be mistreated. You should only rinse them quickly before using them.
If you decide to wash your fruits and vegetables, it is important to dry them very well. Storing them wet is not hygienic since trapped moisture can develop some microorganisms.
To dry them, we recommend using clean cloth towels. By doing this you prevent microorganisms that may live in dishcloths from contaminating your food.
It is much more practical if you store your fruits and vegetables separately inside the fridge. This keeps them better organized and prevents the aromas and flavors from mixing.
To keep them separate, it is better that you use your own containers: bowls, cloth or fiber bags. This will help avoid the use of disposable plastics that pollute the environment.
Not all fruits and vegetables can remain in the refrigerator, as is the case with tomatoes, potatoes, lemons, oranges and avocados. You can keep them at room temperature in separate containers with good ventilation.
Tip: In the case of unripe fruits, you can store them without refrigeration until they have ripened.
So you don’t forget about the fruits or vegetables in your fridge, it is important to keep them where you can see them. This helps to prevent them from becoming too ripe or rotting. We also recommend that you buy your fruits and vegetables weekly or biweekly. This will make it much easier to keep them from going bad before you can use them.
Freezing fruits and vegetables is a great option if you want to keep them for longer periods of time and want to always have seasonal fruits on hand to use at any time of the year.
If you are going to freeze fruits and vegetables, we recommend you select only the freshest, best-quality produce available. The freshest and most tender fruits and vegetables will keep better for a longer time.
Most vegetables freeze well. It is also helpful to freeze them in pieces so it is easy to add them to your recipes when needed.
Keep in mind that before freezing you should:
1. Wash the vegetables thoroughly to remove all dirt and dry well.
2. Remove stems and roots. If you wish, you can peel the vegetables beforehand.
3. Optionally, you can cut them into pieces for a more practical freeze.
When your vegetables are ready, place them in separate containers and label them with the date and the name of each vegetable.
Tip: Freeze a mixture of peas, carrots, and corn that you can add directly to your favorite recipes.
The best way to freeze fruits is to clean, wash, dry and cut them (optional), then place them in trays or containers with lids. We recommend you label the containers, just like you did with the vegetables.
Tip: You can freeze a variety of your favorite fruits together to have handy when you want to prepare tasty smoothies.
Use these ideas to better preserve your fruits and vegetables at home. Let us know in the comments other methods that you use to keep your keep fruits and vegetables fresh!