How to Store and Save Your Produce

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One of the most important things about the food you buy is store it and saving it for future use. Going to the store is a time-consuming process. If you know how to buy and store ingredients, you can go to the store less often, thus saving time and money because you won’t be buying last-minute eye-catching purchases.

  • Bananas – To properly store bananas, you’ll need to keep them in a cool, dry place. This means they cannot be in your fridge but need to be out in the air somewhat. A good place for bananas is in a hanging basket. Once they are ripe, peel them, and put them in a container and pop in the freezer for use in smoothies or banana “nice†cream.
  • Potatoes – Many people erroneously put potatoes in the fridge. The problem with that is that when they get cold, it activates the starch and makes them sweeter, thus making the flavor off for your meals. Instead, store them in a cool, dry, dark place. If you don’t have a root cellar put them in a brown paper bag and keep it rolled down tight and in a cool, dry place in your home.
  • Lemons & Limes – Believe it or not, these should not be put in the fridge. They should be kept out, in a hanging basket works great, in a cool and dry room. You can put them in the fridge if they are getting overripe to stop the process, but you should use them as soon as you can once they get soft. You can juice and freeze in an ice tray for recipes too. Just freeze, then pop out and into another container.
  • Tomatoes – Another fruit that should not be stored in the fridge. For the best flavor, keep your tomatoes out on the counter or in a bowl on your table. Keep them in a cool, dry place without too much sunlight unless they need to ripen more. In that case, sunlight is what they need.
  • Apples – The best place to keep apples is in your fridge in order to avoid them getting ripe too fast. They’ll stay crispy right in your crisper drawer without any packaging on them. You can also put them in a paper bag if you prefer.
  • Asparagus – Keep this in the fridge wrapped with a moist paper towel or stand them up in a glass of cold water, also wrapped with a paper towel to keep the moisture in. They’ll stay fresh a couple days longer if you take the time to put them away this way.
  • Carrots – Always keep them in their packaging in the fridge until it’s time to use them. Some carrots, you will need to peel, but you can also just wash them and use them as they are if you’re not worried about looks and uniformity of color in your recipe.
  • Berries – Keep in the fridge and don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them or use them in a recipe. When you wash berries, it’s essential that you do it gently. Fill a large bowl with water and toss the berries gently in the water, then drain them in a strainer and rinse again.
  • Lettuce – One of the best ways to save lettuce is in a special lettuce saver. But you can make your own. Just use a glass bowl, put a folded paper towel on the bottom, put the head of lettuce root side down, and then cover with another paper towel in the fridge. If you are buying specialty lettuce, the idea is the same, control moisture and keep cool. Only wash when you’re ready to use it.
  • Garlic – Your garlic (and your onions also) need to be kept in a hanging basket at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. This will keep your onions and your garlic much longer than if you put them in the fridge.

When you’re not sure how to properly store any given ingredient that you use a lot, take some time to look it up, and research the right way. There are numerous tricks that can ensure you have less waste.

How to Store and Save Your Produce (1)

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