Do you ever feel like your fruits and vegetables go bad too fast? With these 5 DIY tips, you can keep your produce looking and tasting great without spending a lot of money.
Plan Your Meals
Don’t waste money on groceries. I will only buy celery if I know I have 2-3 recipes throughout the week that I will use it in because otherwise, I know it will go to waste.
I make my meal plans based on what I’m purchasing. If I’m buying an extra vegetable that I maybe wouldn’t always have in the house, I’m going to have at least a couple of recipes that I can use it in.
I have a veggie dish, and any leftover veggies go in there. I suggest cutting up your vegetables and storing them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them.
Prevent Slimy Vegetables
The first thing you want to do when you cut vegetables is to leave them out for a bit and let them dry. You don’t want to cut them wet and throw them into a container, because the moisture is going to accelerate the rotting process.
I always keep a paper towel in a container with the vegetables, and I replace it every couple of days. You can also get a floured towel, which will suck up the moisture, instead of leaving you with soggy, wasted vegetables.
For vegetables, I recommend freezing them while they’re fresh or buying them in bags and placing a paper towel underneath them.
For herbs, you want to cut off the bottoms and put them in a cup in the fridge. However, don’t do this with basil, because it will make it go rotten faster.
Soaking Fruits With Vinegar Water
Mix vinegar and water in a container and throw the fruit in. (You can do this with anything because you’re just washing them, but I mostly do this with fruit.)
You don’t want too much vinegar, but let the fruit soak for 5-6 minutes, then lay it out to dry completely on a paper towel. Once it’s dry, put it back into the container you bought it in, along with a paper towel. Most plastic fruit containers have vents in the top that allow moisture to escape.
I don’t always wash my fruits and vegetables this way; sometimes I only wash them when I’m ready to eat them, and leave them in the container I got them in.
Long vegetables such as celery, large carrots, and asparagus can be cut up and left in a container of water. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach, you want to keep dry. For fruits, soak them in vinegar water, and soak vegetables in water.
Vegetables & The Power of the Avocado
When you buy avocados, you typically want to buy them depending on when you’re going to use them. If they’re hard at the store and you need to use them faster, put them in a brown paper bag, with a citrus fruit or an apple that will help speed along the process.
It won’t be immediately ripe that day, but it will probably be the next day. You’re utilizing the ethylene (a plant hormone that initiates the ripening process) to speed up the softening of it.
I always buy a minimum of a bag of six avocados for our family. If I know that I’m going to waste some of them, I’ll put them in the fridge in a bowl of water, and they’ll last all week that way.
If you know that you’re not going to use them for even longer than that, avocados are fantastic in smoothies. Most people do not eat enough healthy fat, so you’re burning fat by eating fat.
Avocados are a great superfood. Slice it up, and get it out of the peel, because the peel is going to be hard to get off if you freeze it. If you freeze it, you can drop it right into a smoothie. Just one-half of an avocado makes the smoothie very creamy, and you won’t even taste it. If you want to have one for dinner on a salad, you can put a frozen avocado in the fridge earlier in the day, and it will be thawed by dinner.
Ethylene Gasses & Fruit
Mangoes, bananas, and strawberries—these fruits give off ethylene gas, which affects everything around them. Citrus will last longer in the fridge, so oranges, lemons, and lime last forever in the fridge.
If you don’t like cold apples, just set one out every morning and it’ll be warm by the time you’re ready to eat them.
You’re going to want to keep things like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, mangoes, and bananas out on the counter.
You also want to keep your fruits and vegetables separate. In my fridge, I have a fruit drawer and a vegetable drawer, which have indicators for humidity level. For the fruits, you want less moisture and less humidity. For your vegetables, you’ll want more humidity in there.
You’re trying to help your family eat better. You’re trying to eat better yourself. You buy all this food, and it goes to waste. I don’t want to see that happen to you. These are some great ways that you can extend the life of your food. Freeze them and use them later so that you can get those nutrients in and make food simple.
I also have some resources to help you keep making health simple because you are the solution.