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3 Tips to Keep Your Produce Fresh

15 Comments

So you are buying your greens at the farmer’s markets and trying new recipes for the summer.  Yay! But what do you do when you get busy and days go by and your fridge if full of dying plants?

Never fear! I have some simple tips you can try to prevent this from happening (and keeping your produce looking good).

spinach
 

Tip #1: Shop with Strategy

The freshest vegetables are the ones you bought TODAY.  They are even quite fresh if bought at the farmer’s market (since they are picked the day before).  So try to get the produce as fresh as possible. The grocery store that imports produce from around the world is obviously not the best choice.  Try to shop for greens (and groceries) at least once a week.

Also, different foods have different shelf lives, so you can really take advantage of this when you plan your meals for the week (yes, meal planning is a must!). 

Always make sure you buy a few cruciferous veggies (with leaves and roots) for Thursday and Friday night dinners.  These veggies store the best and can last almost past a week in your crisper. Try kale, collards, cabbage, chard, broccoli and brussel sprouts.

The more delicate vegetables like spinach and spring greens should be eaten more quickly.

Tip #2:  Store Properly

Most vegetables maintain their crispness in the crisper (makes sense!). 

Usually greens and herbs keep best in dry plastic bags.  When you get home, rinse your greens, spin them in a salad spinner, then let them sit out for an hour to completely dry. I pat them down with a towel.  Put them in large tupper containers to store for the week.  You don’t even need the crisper if you do this trick.

Tip #3:  Revival

Sometimes despite your best efforts you end up with floppy and wilted lettuce.  This has happened to me quite often especially during hectic weeks.

If wilting is really the only problem with the produce, all is not lost!

(A little science lesson here!) The reason plants wilt is they lose water from their cells to the environment through osmosis.  But this can be used to your advantage.  You can revive wilted greens by putting them in a bath of cold water for 30 minutes.  This replenishes the water in the leaves and gives them their crispness.  You will be amazed how much they will perk up!

With a few of these tricks, you will be able to keep your goods fresh longer.

How do you keep your veggies fresh?  Which tip will you try?

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15 Responses to 3 Tips to Keep Your Produce Fresh

kathie

Well, this is a timely post as I find that many times in the summer, I’m not getting to eat my produce fast enough! I will definitely try all three tricks–the last one is the one I will try tonight. It is too bad that time of year when this stuff is freshest and most available from farmer’s markets is the time of year I am eating other places so much. I guess if I lived somewhere warm and sunny it wouldn’t be an issue…does everyone in Florida and CA have farmer’s markets all year long? Lucky folks, if so! Thanks Lisa.

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    I know, right? I just got my Maryland bag today with lots of greens, corn, blueberries…so yummy! BUT I need to be planned with my meals so things don’t spoil. Let me know how #3 goes for you. Works like a charm.

Liz Longacre

Ahh yes my fragile spinach is always going bad and kale seems to last forever (or at least a week)! Great tips Lisa!!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Thanks, girlie! Hope you try some of the tips…they really work!:)

Sheila A

Good to know! I was getting all stressed out while grocery shopping, just thinking about all these veggies and how I probably won’t be able to eat them before they go bad. Thanks for the tips!

Tiffany

Ah, FINALLY through day 3 and feeling better. (typing this on Day 4) I must say that day 2 was absolutely brutal for me. (weakness, spacey, vomiting, intense headache) But I’m so glad I stuck with it. I’ve had to move a few recipes around and have only consumed about 2/3 of the food. But I’m still in, baby!

Great tips and reminders for greens…keeping greens fresh is always a challenge.

One thing to note on the cold bath is make sure it is not TOO cold…then your delicate greens will freeze. (yep, learned that by accident.)

Another tip for fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, etc.) is to put them in a jar with water like a flower bouquet. They can be in the fridge or even out on the cabinet if you plan to use them in a day or two. The bonus is that they look so fresh and springy! …a bouquet for your fridge!

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Yay, Tiffany! GO girl! So glad to hear you are still with us…I was worrieda about you, but I knew that you would feel better in no time.:) Oh dear, I guess I never had such a cold bath for my greens! Thanks for pointing that out!whew!
    AND how beautiful!!! I never put my herbs in a vase before…so pretty AND perfect way to store those herbs. You are simply the best, Tiffany! Thanks for sharing with us.xx

      Tiffany

      I should add that I fill the jar less than half full and change the water every day or two so the stems don’t rot. Currently I have a parsley and a cilantro bouquet greeting me when I open my fridge.

      Off to make the black bean chili now! 🙂

Kay Haynes

Ok, yesterday was a tough day. But, having had house guests last week, I did not do the precleanse 3 days. Woe is me!!!

Finally figured out that I was too tired to go shopping after my 1 hr. walk, but now I know I can substitute greens, add 5 almonds for extra snack when I feel weak in afternoon. I’m eating so much better with all the veggies. I knew that from being a vegetarian years ago, but its nice to feel better today.

Back to the store today for the rest of the week. I’m focusing on more water today.

Thanks for your assistance and blog. Kay

    Lisa Consiglio Ryan

    Kay! Great update! AND detective work. You have a plan for an extra snack and you’re feelin’ good. Like the water intention too! Keep on, Kay!

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