Now that my gorgeous wife and her friends are doing the juice fast challenge and all of our fridges are stocked to the brim with vegetables (and some fruit), this issue becomes very relevant.
We’ve all experienced fruit and vegetables we’ve bought spoil earlier then we’ve managed to consume them. It is estimated that we throw away about 20% of all the fruit and veg we buy due to spoilage.
Here are a few tricks that will help you keep your fruit and veg a while longer.
Store fruit and veg that emit ethylene gas in the process of ripening separately from fruit and veg that are sensitive to ethylene gas. The following are ethylene gas producers:
You could also get an ethylene gas absorber to place in your fridge.
The following are sensitive to ethylene gas:
Basically, keep potatoes away from onions and apples away from bananas etc. Fruit and veg that are bruised will produce ethylene gas quicker.
Additional tricks include eating berries as soon as possible or refrigerating them. Remove the mushy ones and if the berries are damp or wet dry them with a paper towel. Wash the berries just before eating them. The cloudy coating on blueberries is a natural part of the fruit (known as bloom). It is also a sign of freshness as it fades with passage of time (but still rinse before consuming).
I regularly freeze berries to save them from spoiling and to stop growth of mould. You can also rinse them in a vinegar solution (3 parts water to one part white vinegar) which will help kill the mould spores and keep the berries fresh for longer. Wash with fresh water and dry with a paper towel before freezing.
Avoid refrigerating tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash and garlic because they tend to lose their texture and become watery. These should be kept in room temperature and not in cool places.
Fruit and veg should not be kept close to anything heat producing (including windows exposed to the sun) because that will speed the ripening process.
Remove as soon as possible any fruit and veg that that have gone bad from the refrigerator to avoid others going bad too. Make sure the drawer in the fridge are clean and dry to keep everything crisp.
Half avocado should be stored in an air-right container with the pit inside it and for added freshness rub some lemon juice on the flesh.
Green leafy vegetables should be stored in plastic bags (blow some air into the bag to force co2 into it and tie it in a knot before placing in the fridge.
If you store apples with potatoes it will prevent the potatoes from sprouting.
Last but not least, spray lemon juice on cut fruit like apples and pears to make them last longer and looking fresher.
If you have any additional tricks that you tried and tested please post them on my page.