Wouldn't we all like to eat a little healthier? When it comes to fresh produce, though, the inconvenience of cleaning and storing it is enough to make us turn to more convenient processed items. If you've been in charge of a home for a time, you've probably already devised some methods for keeping your fruits and vegetables clean and fresh for as long as possible. This article is for you whether you're looking for more information or just need to brush up on the basics.
When you bring home a large amount of produce, it's tempting to clean all of the vegetables at once to save time, but this isn't necessarily the ideal strategy if you want your greens to stay crisp and fresh for more than a couple of days. Wilting and rot can occur in leafy vegetables like lettuces and chicories due to either too little or too much moisture, so be careful how you handle and store them in the refrigerator.
When you arrive home from the farmers market, the first thing you should do is take a fast inventory of everything you bought and make a broad timeline for when it will be used. Lettuces and other greens are divided into two categories: immediate usage and long-term storage.
Between buying and keeping our fruits and veggies, cleaning them is arguably the most important step. Since washing these organic goods with soap isn't a smart idea, how can you get rid of the pesticides and grime that's on them? When it comes to leafy greens like lettuce, Cappucci, spinach, and other similar vegetables, it's generally better to soak them in cold water. After that, place them in a basin with some water and a dash of vinegar. The vinegar will function as a cleaning agent, scrubbing them clean.
The most fragile products should be processed and cleaned first, while the more resilient ones can be dealt with later, unless there are items that must be cooked right away to save refrigerator space. It's preferable to store goods that won't be consumed for a few days whole and unwashed until you're ready to use them. This reduces the amount of moisture in the air, which can cause rotting, as well as over-drying after washing, which can cause wilting.
Ideas for Storage
One of the most important things to remember about organic food storage is that it is divided into two types: ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive. These are two gasses found in various vegetables and fruits; however, they cannot exist in the same place at the same time. This is why it's crucial to keep them apart. Because ethylene is released by tomatoes, mango, apricots, melons, pears, avocados, and peaches, it's preferable to keep them in the same drawer. Because they are ethylene-sensitive, carrots, apples, cucumbers, leafy greens, eggplants, and potatoes can be stored together.
Using a paper towel, wrap the heads of lettuce completely in a sealed clear airtight food container or a zipper lock bag. The paper towels absorb moisture, and the Snowflake Double Square Round keeps the freshness of ingredients chilled in your refrigerator.
Remove any rubber ties keeping a bunch of produce together before putting it in the fridge. Rubber bands make it easy to sell and buy veggies, but they're poor for storage since they can weaken cell walls and speed up decay. Set those bands aside to keep track of your sourdough starter's progress, and then go over everything again to remove any slimy leaves that could harm the remainder.
Put your vegetables in the fridge in a box or bag. Zipper lock bags work nicely in refrigerators with crisper drawers; just be careful not to crush the vegetables inside by cramming them into a full crisper or stacking heavier items on top of them. The Snowflake Medium Square Round is the best bet for preserving veggies when space is restricted and there is no crisper. Depending on the fruit, separate products can be placed in individual zipper lock bags in the same box, or loosely stacked between paper or cloth kitchen towels in the boxes.
The sturdy plastic design allows you to stack goods on top of the boxes without destroying the contents, which is excellent if you don't have a lot of shelf space in your fridge. Loose or bagged vegetables can be easily crushed by other products, or worse, pushed to the back of the refrigerator where greens go to turn into sludge until you find them a couple of weeks later. You can easily discover and pull out what you need with the airtight food storage containers instead of having to rearrange the entire fridge.
Lemons and salt can also be used to clean any kind of soiled fruit or vegetable. All you have to do is soak them in water with salt, lemons, or both of these ingredients. Then, store them in food storage containers for the fridge and keep them in the refrigerator. This holds true for herbs as well, so you can enjoy fresh herbs for weeks. You should also be aware that things like onions, potatoes, and bananas should be kept in the kitchen, where they may be kept at a reasonable room temperature. Do not store them in the refrigerator as this may lead them to spoil.
Overall, cleaning and preserving fresh produce is a pleasurable experience. At your own speed, you may learn more about the food you eat as well as how to clean and store it. It's also easier to keep them once you understand why they should be kept out of the fridge or why some fresh food can't be stored together and must be divided. Finally, instead of soap, use organic cleaning agents such as vinegar, salt, and lemon to clean your food.