How to Properly Care For Your Produce

With everything going on in the world right now, everyone is being a little bit more cautious about ensuring there are no germs, viruses, etc. coming into contact with ourselves or our families! One thing people are doing more than they probably are used to is- washing your produce when you get home from the grocery store.

So, let’s begin with the proper way to wash your produce that is safe for us and our families to ingest.

  1. Mix a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.
  2. Let soak for 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
  3. Rub soft skinned fruits by hand to remove any dirt and debris and use a scrub brush on any hard produce items like potatoes
  4. After 10 minutes, rinse the produce under running water and lay everything out on clean dish towels to dry.
  5. Make sure to let everything dry completely before storing, to avoid any moisture build-up.

It is so important to NEVER use any chemical disinfectant products or soap to wash your produce!!! Those chemicals will remain on the surface of your produce and can be directly ingested by us, causing toxicity issues.

As for when your produce is all clean and ready to be stored, I have some tips on how to make them last much longer!

First let’s begin by talking about those crisper drawers in your fridge. Most people (including me) just shove whatever fruits and veggies fit into them and don’t think about whether their produce would do best under certain temperatures and humidity levels. Well, I have been doing some research and there is actually a reason we can change the humidity settings on those drawers!

The general rule of thumb is rot-low, wilt-high, meaning fruits and veg that will ‘rot’ -do best in a low humidity setting and fruits and veg that will ‘wilt’- do best in a high humidity setting.

High-Humidity Drawer:
-broccoli
-green beans
-Brussels sprouts
-leafy greens
-cabbage
-peppers
-carrots
-strawberries
-cauliflower
-watermelon
-cucumbers
-eggplant

Low-Humidity Drawer:
-apples
-avocados(once they are ripe)
-cantaloupe
-figs
-honeydew
-kiwi
-papaya(once they are ripe)
-pears
-plantains(once they are ripe)

Some fruits and vegetables do best outside the fridge: bananas, mangoes, papaya, persimmons, pomegranates, stone fruits, tomatoes

I have also learned a few other tips and tricks to make your fresh food last much longer!

Celery and Carrots
These veggies do best in a lidded jar filled with water, to ensure they don’t dry out! Make sure to change the water every 2-3 days.

Nuts and Seeds
Because of their delicate nature and high fat content, it is best to keep all nuts and seeds stored in airtight containers in the fridge to prevent the possibility of them going rancid

Cauliflower and Broccoli
These cruciferous veggies do best when wrapped in a paper or cloth towel and put in a resealable bag to absorb any moisture.

Leafy Greens
After washing and letting your leafy greens lay out to dry on a towel, simply roll up the towel when it is still slightly damp and pop it in the fridge!

Potatoes, Onions and Garlic
This is news to me but apparently you shouldn’t store potatoes and onions together because the gases the onions omit can increase sprouting on your potatoes. They are best stored separately in a cool, dark spot in a well-ventilated container. Garlic should also be stored in a cool, dark location.

Mushrooms
These little fungi should not be put into a vinegar bath with the rest of your veggies. Instead just give them a wipe with a damp paper towel. Store them in a paper bag or cloth bag in the fridge that has lots of air flow.

Herbs, Green Onions and Asparagus
All of these beautiful veggies can be stored like flowers, in a glass jar with water and then placed in the fridge.

Berries
After their vinegar bath and once they are fully dry- store them in a towel lined container that has air flow and place in fridge! You can use the containers you bought them in, just make sure to line them with a paper or cloth towel and either cut the plastic lid off or make bigger air holes!
*keep in mind raspberries should not be washed until you are about to eat them, or else they will rot very quickly 🙁

Citrus:
Citrus begins drying out when left on the counter, so you can place them in the fridge to slow that process from occurring.

Tomatoes:
Tomatoes are also meant to stay on the counter! Refrigerating actually damages the fruit and causes them to lose their flavour.

That’s all the tips and tricks I have for you today, I hope this blog post helps save your precious produce from the garbage for a few days longer than before! Thanks for reading 🙂

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