When you purchase produce at the grocery store, they could be coming to your kitchen from just about anywhere in the world. There are bananas from the Caribbean, broccoli from India, and oranges from Florida. As you walk through the produce aisle of your local grocery you quite literally have the world at your finger tips. However, if you want all of those decadent options to stay fresh, then you'll need to make sure that you are storing them the correct way.
Most produce belongs in the refrigerator. The fridge is able to keep produce cold, which reduces the speed at which produce can oxidize and ultimately grow rotten. By storing produce the right way, you can keep your greens in the fridge for as long as a week-and sometimes even longer-without sacrificing flavor or nutritional value.
What You Need for the Freshest Produce
To keep your fruit and vegetables as fresh as possible after bringing them home from the store, there are only a few essential things that you are going to need. The first and most important is a functional refrigerator.
If your fridge isn't working up to par, then it could affect your produce. Fridges that malfunction may cause produce to be too warm or to freeze, and this may lead to rot or other issues with the fruit and vegetables. So, if your refrigerator isn't in optimal condition than the first thing to do is search for refrigerator repair in Las Vegas, NV.
In addition to a working fridge, you'll need:
- Plastic gallon bags
- Brown paper bags
- Paper towels
A How-To Guide to Keeping Fresh Produce
Plants are living organisms, and so the produce that we take from them are likewise living organisms. However, as they are separated from their nutrient source they will begin to decompose. To get the maximum nutrient value from a fruit or vegetable, you need to eat it while it is still fresh. That means eating it as soon as possible following its removal from the plant it came from. By storing veggies and fruit properly they will stay nice and fresh until you are ready to eat them.
Of course, there are many different types of fruits and vegetables out there, and many of the different fruits and vegetables require unique forms of storage.
Here are a few tips for storing your produce:
How to store greens
Greens such as loose leaf lettuce, kale and spinach, as well as broccoli, benefit from being stored in a plastic bag that is kept in a cool, dark place. The crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge is often ideal for these veggies. However, don't just stick them in a bag on their own. To delay wilting add a moist paper towel in the bag when you put the produce away. Your greens will be healthy in the refrigerator for about a week.
Mushrooms are a fungus, and so require different storage than most types of produce. Put your mushrooms in a brown paper bag and use a clothespin to close the bag. Then, place the bag in the fridge, in the standard area. This will give the mushrooms a chance to breathe, but the cold air of the fridge will reduce oxidation.
Squash and Zucchini
Most types of squash, including acorn and spaghetti squash, can be stored on the countertop and will remain healthy to eat for as long as three months-sometimes more depending on the average temperature of your home. Summer squash and zucchini require a bit more help, and do well in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Potatoes do well on the countertop, as well as in the pantry. Keep them in a cool and dark place, but not in the fridge. Anywhere too warm or too cold will encourage the starch in the potato to begin converting to sugar.
Use these guidelines to keep your produce as fresh as possible. If you are having trouble with produce spoiling abnormally fast, then check to make sure your refrigerator is working optimally. Refrigerator repair from a company like Certified Appliance can make sure that your fruits and vegetables have the best chance to stay fresh.