Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to Keep Produce Fresher Longer

Today is my birthday! I love my birthday. It has always been my very favorite day of the year. So in honor of my birthday I am writing a short post, rather than my super long posts. It is also the opening day of my CSA and I can't wait to find out what they have for us! So this is very much on my mind.

The average American refrigerator has two small drawers for fruits and vegetables. If you are really going to live and eat properly, there is never enough room for a week's worth of groceries. Not everyone has time to shop 3 times a weeks like we really should for fresh food. So rather than get all processed foods so that they stay fresh, use the following few tips to keep produce fresh.

Keep cruciferous vegetables in the drawers. That's things like carrots and broccoli and radishes. They really need to be in the drawer.

If you have large heads of greens that are too long to fit in the drawers, I do one of two things. I either a) chop them up and store them in a large zipper bag with a folded up damp paper towel to regulate moisture or b) leave them whole and keep them in a clean plastic grocery bag on the shelf, not the crisper. Of course everything is better in the crisper, but space is limited. The above works for heavy greens like kale and bok choy, but also for tender greens like baby spinach. You can use tupperware too for the chopped greens if you are environmentally conscious (I am getting there, but I have miles to go before I sleep).

String beans and peas can live in tupperware on the shelf with really no prep.

Onions, potatoes, garlic, bananas, mangoes can all live outside the refrigerator.

I have heard several folks say to keep tomatoes outside the fridge. I have found you can do this for a day or two, but they really turn if left out too long. In the summertime I keep them in a bowl in the fridge. But CSA tomatoes have a very very short life in my house.

Of course, shopping at farmer's markets helps too. Find the area grocery store with the highest turnover in veggies and you'll get a few extra days out of them! And that's all she wrote! Have a great day!


  1. do you know about the green bags? i don't usually pimp products, but the green bags work, and they are reusable.

  2. Thanks! I had heard of them, but I didn't know anyone who used them...I will have to find some and do a product review!!