We all know that the shelf-life of vegetables and fruits is very short and sometimes, we have to deal with miscalculated wastage.
While it is heartbreaking to throw away those judiciously purchased greens and reds, fear not! Follow these steps to not only store veggies responsibly, but also get them to stay fresh for longer.
1. As you need, so shall you buy:
The very first step to ensure that your veggies and fruits do not decay is to purchase them according to your needs and buy organic. Don’t buy additional vegetables, when you still have some leftover stock.
Pro tip: Mixed vegetable curries and fruit salads are easy, healthy and tasty ways to utilise the last bits in a single go.
2. Plastic killeth your vegetables:
We are all guilty of purchasing vegetables or fruits in plastic bags and chucking them in the refrigerator.
That is a massive problem because the plastic is suffocating your fresh purchases and killing them.
Switch to canvas or cotton bags instead and make sure you carry them wherever you go. With these around, you can actually afford to be lazy and dump them in the crisper.
3. Be careful with storage
Not all vegetables belong in the refrigerator, and not all fruits must be washed as soon as you purchase them.
So, if you want to increase their shelf-life, make sure you store them appropriately.
For instance, although onions and potatoes must be stored at room temperature, they should not be kept together. The gases and moisture that onions release catalyses the sprouting of potatoes and decreases their shelf-life.
So, store them separately in an area that has good airflow, is dry and somewhat cool.
4. Keep it under wraps:
Another way of ensuring that the moisture released by certain vegetables or fruits doesn’t affect their neighbours is to use fruit-friendly wraps.
Beeswax wraps are one such example, and the reusable kinds are easy on both the pocket and the produce. Wrap your half-cut onions, watermelons etc. in the beeswax wraps and store them safely.
5. Cleanliness is next to freshness:
A clean fridge and countertop will keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for long.
Well, as they say, a rotten apple spoils the entire basket. Regularly cleaning the crisper and the corners where you store your greens will ensure that all the spoilt bits are thrown out, which will keep the microorganisms from spoiling the fresh veggies.
Make sure you wipe the surfaces at least once a week. Go a step ahead and replace your plastic containers with glass ones to have an eco-friendlier kitchen!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)