The 11 best tricks to extend the shelf life of vegetables

Oh how awful! That putrid, rotten smell that invades your nostrils as you rummage through the fridge at 3 am in search of a snack. How could you let the vegetables get to that state?

A few days ago, you filled your drawer with a veritable rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables, proud as a peacock of your decision to buy healthy food. But within days, half of those wares had turned into a tangle of colors, each item clinging to its last vestiges of identity amidst the ruin.

Growing vegetables and fruits nowadays is not cheap. An apple or avocado is practically a gold coin compared to what it cost. And yet they died quicker than George Washington crossing the Delaware, spoiling faster than you can tell.foodborne illnesses“. Its short shelf life may also be printed on the label along with the best before date.

Never fear, tight-fisted growers: salvation has arrived in the form of 11 tricks to help your fruits and veggies last longer. Use these hacks to keep them from going bad and your hard-earned food dollars from rotting in a pile of unappetizing junk. Preserve your produce and your budget with these clever little tricks to extend the shelf life of everything from kale to cantaloupe.

When saving money and food feels like an Olympic sport, every tip helps. Expand your repertoire and downsize your wastebasket with simple solutions to combat spoilage. Your taste buds will thank you and your wallet too. Now go out and start shopping! Supermarket quest awaits you!

Choose the right ripeness of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Depending on when you expect to eat the fruits or vegetables, you will need to selectively choose the ripeness to match your consumption. For fruits that you expect to eat later, choose fruits that have not yet ripened. Fruits that continue to ripen are bananas, avocados, peaches, plums, blueberries and tomatoes.
This trick does not apply to fruits that do not ripen after harvesting, such as strawberries, pineapples, watermelons, grapes and citrus oranges. For these fruits, it is recommended to choose the most ripe selection.

Do not wash the grapes until they are ready to eat.

Stored grapes have a waxy coating that increases their shelf life. Before serving the grapes, toss them in a bowl with a few teaspoons of baking soda and salt. This acts as an exfoliant for the grapes and removes the waxy coating. Wash the grapes and serve immediately.

Wash the berries before storing.

To store the berries longer in the refrigerator, you need to disinfect them from microbes in a solution of white vinegar and water in a 1:3 ratio. Soak strawberries and blueberries for up to 8 minutes and raspberries for up to 4 minutes. After rinsing and drying thoroughly, store the berries in closed jars in the refrigerator. This trick will substantially extend the shelf life of your berries so you no longer have to worry about mold!

Separate fruits and vegetables

Fruits like apples, bananas and avocados naturally release ethylene gas, which ripens much faster. Ethylene sensitive vegetables such as sprouts, lettuce, broccoli and leafy greens should be kept in separate containers in the refrigerator from fruits that release ethylene.

Trim green leaves and green root tips

Trim the tips of the green leaves and place in an airtight container lined with a dry paper towel to absorb moisture and extend shelf life. For roots such as carrots, beetroots, radishes and turnip greens, the green tips absorb moisture from the root part and must be quickly trimmed before storing.

Revive withered vegetables

Do your vegetables seem a little mushy and weak after being stored? For wilted vegetables, you can apply an ice water bath for 10 minutes to recover them.

Leftover apple slices

Apple slices turn brown quickly. If you want to keep the apple slices for a few more days, soak the leftovers in cold water with half a teaspoon of salt for five minutes.

Refrigeration or room temperature?

Not all fruits and vegetables should be kept in the refrigerator. This may surprise most: Tomatoes actually degrade in texture and flavor when stored in the fridge. It is best to store tomatoes at room temperature with the stem down, as this is the last part to ripen. Since each product has its own specific rules, it can be difficult to remember them all.

Store nuts in the freezer instead of the pantry

With a high content of unsaturated fat, nuts are really sensitive to exposure to air, light, humidity and heat. Place the nuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Natural antimicrobial washes for vegetables

These washes contain extracts of herbs, spices or plants that help prevent spoilage and extend the shelf life of your products while killing bacteria that cause food poisoning such as E. coli, salmonella, staph and listeria.

separate the bananas

Your bananas do they brown faster than you can eat them? Try to separate each banana from the bunch when you bring them home so that the ethylene content doesn’t affect each other.


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