We’ve all been there. We plan on eating as healthy as possible, so we head out to the store to stock up on fresh vegetables. We buy fresh lettuce, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and more. We bring them home and put them in the refrigerator. We’re doing good, right? Sure we are-until a couple of days go by and the lettuce is now wilted, the tomatoes are tasteless, and the celery is soggy. What was the point of spending the money if the vegetables are just going to go bad right away? You even feel bad for those with vegetable picking jobs; after all, they picked your vegetables, and now they are dead!
Don’t worry- there are a few ways to maintain your vegetables to make sure they stay green and fresh. Read on to learn more!
1. Make Sure You Get Them Home Quickly
If you own a garden and are able to pull your vegetables straight from the dirt, great. You’ll be able to get them into the refrigerator much quicker. Unfortunately, the majority of the world still shops for their vegetables at the supermarket. When you are shopping, save the produce aisle for last. Bring insulated bags to keep your fresh produce in. Go straight home and put away your vegetables before anything else. The colder they stay, the longer they will stay fresh for you.
2. Store Your Vegetables Properly
As we said above, the first thing you should do as soon as you get home is to get your product in the refrigerator. However, where you place your vegetable matters when it comes to them staying fresh. You might want to quickly wash your vegetables before storing them to save time later. Once they are rinsed, wrap them up in a paper towel or a clean tea towel. Then, place them in a sealed plastic bag or container, and put them in the vegetable crisper. This method works best for leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, and bok choy.
3. Tomatoes Don’t Need To Be Refrigerated
Most consumers think that tomatoes have to go in the refrigerator, but this is a common misconception. The cold will not make them last any longer. Being refrigerated will actually make them lose their flavor in just a few days. Instead, line a large bowl with paper towels and place the tomatoes in the bowl with their stems pointing up. You can store them at room temperature, but make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. You can also move them around to prevent bruising if you are not consuming them quickly.
4. Freeze What You Don’t Use
We often overestimate how many vegetables we are going to eat, especially when we are trying to eat healthily. If you don’t eat them quickly, then you will end up with a lot of waste on your hands. Instead, grab the cutting board and chop up your vegetables to throw in the freezer for later use. You’d be surprised at what can be frozen! The list includes broccoli, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, celery, cabbage, green beans, onions, and more. Before you freeze them, blanch them in hot water to neutralize the bacteria.
5. Wilted Greens? Try An Ice Bath!
If you have done everything you could to keep your greens looking fresh but they are still wilted, there is a solution. Fill up a large bowl with water and add a number of ice cubes. Place the leaves or herbs into the ice bath and carefully shake them around. The cold water will revive them after a minute or two, leaving you with fresher looking greens. Pull them out, pat them dry on paper towels, and use!
6. Store Some Vegetables Separately
To prolong the life of a stalk of celery, you’ll want to wrap it up by itself. Get a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the whole stalk of celery before putting it in your vegetable bin. You’ll also want to make sure certain vegetables are stored away from one another. These include lettuce, carrots, and broccoli. Use separate plastic bags to store each vegetable. Make sure that they are placed in your vegetable crisper as soon as possible. You should also make sure that the product is completely dry before you pack it.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.