(WWBT) - With people making fewer trips to the grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic while under “stay-at-home” orders, Del Monte Fresh Produce has some tips and tricks to help you keep your produce fresh and last longer.
Have a storage plan
Many shoppers have to throw out fresh produce before they can use it simply because it was not stored properly.
- Avocados – Avocados should be stored in a cool, dark place in an open plastic grocery bag. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for short periods of time but don’t wait too long because they will get black areas in the pulp. Once cut, they can be stored in the refrigerator. Rub some lemon or lime just on the pulp before storing to prevent discoloring.
- Bananas – This potassium-packed fruit should be stored in a cool, dark place in a paper bag. When fully ripened, bananas can be stored for longer periods of time in the refrigerator, or even the freezer if you plan on using them in a smoothie or for bread. The peel will turn brown or black, but the fruit will still be good to eat.
- Limes – Limes should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, but brought to room temperature before eating. They should be dry when stored to prevent mold and rinsed off right before eating. When refrigerated, limes and other citrus can last up to a couple of weeks.
Buy some ready to eat now fruit and some that will last longer
- Pineapples – Pineapples are already ripe and packed with vitamin C when purchased, so they don’t benefit from aging at home. They can be enjoyed immediately, and when cut into chunks and kept in the fridge, they can last up to a week.
- Brussels Sprouts – Brussels sprouts can last for several weeks when refrigerated, as they like cold temperatures and high humidity. Unwashed sprouts can be washed in a damp paper towel and placed in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer to maintain freshness.
Refresh leafy greens – Leafy green vegetables that are beginning to wilt can be brought back to life by submerging them in a bowl of ice water for 15 – 20 minutes.
Chop and freeze fruits & vegetables – Many veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower and fruits like berries, grapes and mangoes can be prepped and frozen in a zip-top bag to not only extend freshness but to make for easy meal prep when you are ready to use them.
Make a smoothie – Smoothies and smoothie bowls are good ways to use fresh fruits and vegetables that are beginning to turn.
Practice “root to stem” cooking – One of the best ways to get the most out of produce and avoid food waste is to use each and every part of the produce. Try slicing broccoli and cauliflower stems into matchsticks for a light snack or delicious stir fry addition, or mixing cooked carrots or beet tops into recipes for added flavor.
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