Then you need expert storage hacks to ensure they last longer! Not only is it the best move for both your wallet and stress levels, but also your health.
Failing to store your fruit and vegetables safely and properly shortens their quality, leaving you at risk of getting sick from a foodborne illness.
We’ve all been there. The time comes to finally make that delicious veggie omelette you’ve been fantasising about all day, only to find that your mushrooms aren’t mushrooming as they should, and the tomatoes have black spots on the skin.
Give a person a cucumber, and they’ll eat for a day…teach the person how to properly store the cucumber, and they’ll eat for up to a week!
Lettuce put a stop to this nightmare. Here we’ve put together the best storage advice to make your fruit and veg last longer.
General storage tips
If you want your fresh produce to thrive for as long as possible from the get-go, there are a few things you can do.
Sure, it might seem a little finicky in the beginning, but in time you’ll see that these additional steps make your life easier (and safer!). Trust us.
Store fruits and vegetables separately
Don’t try to merge these two families when they’re quite content being on their own.
A general rule of thumb is to keep fruits and vegetables apart in storage, so try keeping them in different compartments or containers.
This helps because fruits and veggies give off different gases that can impact the ripening process as well as the shelf life of their fellow fresh family.
For instance, apples, bananas, and peaches release ethylene gas, which can cause vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage to ripen and spoil faster.
Additionally, each fruit and vegetable has different moisture requirements, which means that keeping them together in storage can cause a damaging build-up that causes degeneration.
Use the right containers
Your best bet here would be to invest in glass jars and tubs, as they’re great for storing fruits and veggies. As long as they’re stored separately from one another, that is. Don’t forget tip number one already!
These types of containers are most appropriate as they provide excellent levels of protection, space, and convenience, which can help preserve the quality and extend the shelf life of your produce.
Okay, and what about airflow vs airtight containers? Well, this is where it can get a little tricky.
Some items require proper airflow to keep them fresh for longer, such as berries, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, whereas apples, avocados, and artichokes need airtight storage. You’ll get the hang of it all, we swear.
Check produce regularly
Storing your fruit and vegetables appropriately is only step one. From there, you must regularly check in on them to spot any signs of spoilage early on before it spreads to the rest of the produce. If you do notice any telltale signs of decay, you can then make any necessary storage adjustments before it’s too late.
Clever storage hacks
Why stop at just the basics? Incorporate some of these clever hacks into the way you store your fruit and vegetables and enjoy even more success.
- Ethylene gas absorbers
Slow down the ripening process and extend the shelf life of your fresh produce by removing excess ethylene gas from the storage environment. Available ethylene gas absorbers include sachets, strips, and containers.
- Kitchen roll in the fridge
Is there anything that kitchen roll can’t do? Cleaning, mopping up spills… even food longevity! Place a sheet in a pack of mushrooms or in your salad greens container to stop them from decaying and going soggy.
What is this sorcery, we hear you ask? Well, kitchen roll helps to absorb moisture, keeping your fruit and veg fresher for longer.
- Vinegar to preserve produce
By combining ¼ white vinegar and ¾ water in a spray bottle – and shaking well to combine – you can make a vinegar solution to keep your fruit and vegetables crisp. Simply spray across your fresh produce before rinsing with water to remove any remaining vinegar solution.
Specific fruit and vegetable storage tips
By now, you should thoroughly understand that not all fresh produce is equal. You’re welcome.
As discussed, some fruit and vegetables require a different approach to keep them looking and tasting good for as long as possible.
Apples – Keep them dry in the fridge to slow down the ripening process at a temperature of around 0 to 4°C. Another top tip is to remove all bruised apples at the earliest convenience, as damage can quickly spread to the other apples.
Berries –To preserve the quality of your berries, avoid washing them before storing (but make sure you do wash them just before eating or using) and store them in the fridge on a paper towel-lined tray in a single layer. The perfect snack for those warm summer days!
Leafy greens – Leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, and rocket) need to be washed and dried thoroughly before being kept in a cool, dry place. It will come as no surprise that the crisper drawer in the fridge is the ideal home to stop them from spoiling and wilting.
Plus, you also have our handy kitchen roll top tip.
Tomatoes – Tomatoes are a handy ingredient that can help enhance any dish. So, it’s in your best interest to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Do this by storing them at room temperature stem-side down; if you want to extend their shelf life by a day or two, only refrigerate once fully ripe.
Now you know…
Safe and tasty consumption of fruit and veggies can only be achieved through proper storage.
Wasting food is never a good idea. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that we bin around 9.5 million tonnes of food annually, which is ridiculous! This is a level of waste we can – and should – avoid.
When it comes to your fresh produce, try out the different storage techniques we’ve covered here to extend the shelf life and give you plenty of time to make use of these invaluable ingredients. Peach perfect indeed.