How to Keep Produce Fresh Longer May 29, 2020
Tired of throwing out moldy food? Our chef’s are sharing their top tips on how to keep produce fresh longer.
No soft carrots or rotting tomatoes allowed. Here at HelloFresh, we’re all about reducing food waste. That’s why we send you only what you need for your meals, so you don’t have any veggies sitting around in the fridge going bad. But we know that HelloFresh isn’t your only source of food. So, we’re sharing our top tips to help keep produce fresh longer.
Each item has its own preferred storing method, which is why we’re breaking down how to keep produce fresh longer for 10 common cooking ingredients you’ll find in your fridge so you can reduce your household food waste and save a little money in the process!
1. Soft Herbs
There are a lot of things that can turn your herbs – from moisture to sunlight and airflow. Treat soft herbs (such as parsley and cilantro) like a bouquet of flowers. Trim the stems and store in a jar with a little bit of water, in the fridge. Don’t forget to change the water every 2 days. If storing basil, do the same but store it on your countertop. This should extend your herbs’ life to at least a week.
2. Hard Herbs
Hard herbs are those with woodier stems like rosemary and thyme. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and store in an airtight container in your crisper drawer. The damp paper towel keeps moisture in the leaves and keeps oxygen out. This should extend your herbs life to at least 10 days and up to a couple weeks.
Asparagus will stay fresher for longer if you stand spears in a glass with a little water, cover loosely with a plastic bag, and keep chilled. Your asparagus should last about a week with this technique.
A ripe avocado is notorious for going past its prime quickly. As soon as you notice it’s ripe, transfer it to the fridge to slow or stop the ripening process. If you need to store for longer, freezing is a great option! Peel and dice a ripe avocado, toss in lemon juice, and freeze in a single later on a lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag for use at a later date. You can use these in a smoothie from frozen or allow to thaw in the fridge for guacamole.
Cool, crisp cucumbers actually don’t love to be that cool. Cucumbers can be stored at both room temperature and in the fridge. If storing in the fridge, wrap in paper towel (or reusable kitchen towel) and place in a bag. No need to seal the bag, airflow is good. The key is to keep condensation at a minimum, which means storing them in the warmer parts of your fridge (top shelves, toward the front).
Wrapping carrots in a damp paper towel and placing in a cold place of your fridge can make them last up to a month. If the carrots are already on their way out, you can revive them by placing them in some water.
7. Bell Peppers
Whole bell peppers, should be stored dry, in a bag and in your fridge crisper drawer. If your bell pepper is partially cut, it’s best to store them in a sealed container with the stems and seeds still intact. Placing a paper towel inside the container will help keep excess moisture from rotting your produce.
If your tomatoes are still ripening, it’s best to keep on the counter at room temperature. Placing an unripe tomato in the fridge can halt flavour development and actually damage its membrane. If your tomato is ripe, you can place in the fridge to stop the ripening process but it’s good practice to remove from the fridge at least 24 hours before use to help flavour develop again.
Mushrooms should be stored in a brown paper bag with the top of the bag folder over. Then keep this bag in your fridge, but not in the crisper drawers. The paper bag will help keep moisture from rotting your mushrooms. If your mushrooms are nearing the end of their life, you can use up large quantities of mushrooms by adding them to your pasta recipes or making a rich mushroom gravy.
A staple in many recipes, there’s a good chance you have celery sitting in your fridge right now. We’ve had success storing celery at room temperature, upright in a jar with a little water to keep it from drying out. You can also store in the fridge in your crisper drawer in a cloth bag.