So, you know that feeling when you are digging around your crisper drawer looking for that rogue mini carrot and you stick your finger knuckle deep in mystery veggie slime?
Cleaning your fridge out at the end of the week (or month, we don't judge) and tossing those soggy vegetables and bruised fruits feels like you are just throwing your money directly in the trash. And that is awful because you could have spent that money on more pellets or a cold smoker. To save you from slimy fingers and help you save up for a salmon fillet to smoke, we have compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help increase the lifespan of your paid for produce.
1-Store your root vegetables (garlic, onions, potatoes) in a dark, dry and cool environment like a covered basket or root cellar. Don't store potatoes and onions together. The onions will cause the potatoes to rot much faster.
2- Leafy greens should not stay wet. If you bring them home damp from the grocery store, spin them or dry them with a towel. Store them in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel or paper towel to absorb any extra moisture.
3- Wrap watery vegetables (think celery, carrots, and cabbage) tightly in aluminum foil before putting them in your fridge. This will keep the moisture in and prevent them from turning floppy and rubbery.
4- Trim the bottoms of your herbs and store them standing in cup of water, then cover them with a plastic sandwich bag.
5- Only rinse bell peppers right before you plan on using them. Be sure to dry them before you put them in the fridge because any wetness will speed the growth of mold.
6- Make sure any citrus fruit has good ventilation. Never store it in an airtight container (like in a fridge drawer) as it encourages decay.
7- Berries are super fragile! Try and store in a single layer instead of stacked. This will prevent any berries on the bottom from getting crushed and spreading mold through your entire container.
8- Apples are fine at room temperature for up to two weeks, but if you need to store them longer keep them in a cardboard box in the fridge. Avoid the storage drawers in your fridge, apples will roll around and bruise easily.
9- If your fruits or veggies come home from the store wrapped up in any tight rubber bands or twist ties, take them off before putting them away.
10- Hard winter squashes (acorn, butternut, etc) are sweeter after they have been stored in a cool, dark place for a week.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your produce budget! If you do happen to end up with some veggies that are close to their expiration date, use them in a recipe made for ripe produce like this Old Fashioned Beef Stew.
If you have a question about how to store a specific piece of produce, check out this alphabetical guide of the best way to store your fresh fruits and veggies.