Tossing too much of the gorgeous produce you’ve brought home from the farmer’s market? I recently came across a post with intriguing ideas for extending the freshness of your produce picks. Out of ten tips, five were new to me. Here they are — which have you tried?
- Bananas. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to keep them from ripening too fast. Banana stems release a natural gas to ripen themselves. Wrapping them snuggly retards that process. (I just wrapped up a new bunch — will keep you posted.)
- Potatoes. Store them with an apple. This tip came from America’s Test Kitchen; they found potatoes in an apple-free bag sprouted in three to five weeks, while those stored with an apple stayed relatively sprout-free for eight weeks. (I store my potatoes in the frig, which a few sources say is a no-no. I guess I’ll give this trick a try. How do you store yours?)
- Tomatoes. Store them at room temp stem-side-down, and they’ll stay fresh for about a week. (Don’t store them in the frig — they get mealy.) If you can’t store them stem-side-down, apparently a bit of scotch tape over the stem works the same way.
- Berries. Bring them home, and wash them in a vinegar-water mixture (one part vinegar to three parts water), which serves to disinfect the fruit and kill mold. Dry them thoroughly, and store them in a container lined with a paper towel.
- Lemons. If you need only a few drops of lemon juice to top veggies or a salad, don’t cut the fruit in half — just skewer it and squeeze. The fruit will stay fresh longer than if you dissect it. (Love this tip, because I love lemons.)
Why waste food unnecessarily? Give these techniques a try — and please report back with your results!
Image Credit: Steve Hopson via flickr/CC