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3 Tips to Keep Your Produce Fresh

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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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