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Storing Your Produce: Dos and Don'ts

By Ali Struhs
August 10, 2015

Are you tired of throwing away expensive fruits and vegetables because they spoiled after a few days? Fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and successful weight loss, so don’t let money well spent end up in the trash! Storing your produce correctly will not only save you money, but you’ll have nutritious items at the ready for when you need a healthy snack. Here are the dos and don’ts of keeping produce.

Do:
Keep your tomatoes out in the fruit basket. Putting tomatoes in the refrigerator not only makes them mushy, but they will also lose their flavor.

Don’t:
Leaving any wilted, slimy lettuce leaves in your salad bag will cause the rest of the salad to spoil quickly. When you get home from the store, sort through your pre-washed, bagged lettuce and remove bad lettuce before storing the rest in your crisper drawer.

Do:
Keep bananas separate from other fruits and vegetables on the counter. Bananas ripen very quickly and will cause the rest of your produce to ripen quicker as well.

Don’t:
Storing fruits and vegetables together is a no-no. Fruits produce ethylene gas, which causes vegetables to ripen and spoil faster.

Do:
Remove all of your fruits and vegetables from those plastic bags you put them in at the grocery store. Have you ever kept tomatoes sealed up in the plastic bag and found mold on your tomatoes the very next day? Prevent having to throw them out, and let your produce breathe!

Don’t:
Even though bananas come in a bunch, don’t keep them this way at home. To prevent bananas from ripening too quickly, pull them apart! You can also wrap each stem in plastic wrap to slow down ripening.

Do:
If you have unripened peaches or avocados, store them in a paper bag that is folded over the top. Your peaches will be ready to eat a lot sooner than if they were left out with other fruits on the counter since the natural ethylene gas is trapped inside of the paper bag.

Don’t:
Potatoes, onions, and garlic don’t belong in the refrigerator. Sensitive to cold, these vegetables will lose optimum flavor if stored in the crisper drawer. Instead, keep these items in a cool and very dark part of your pantry.

Do:
Be strategic about which fruits and vegetables to consume throughout the week. Eat the produce that will spoil first at the beginning of the week, like bananas, basil, and mushrooms, leaving fruits and vegetables, such as apples, oranges, and carrots, for the end of the week.

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