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Tips for Keeping your Groceries Fresher, Longer

If you're eating healthy food then fresh produce and other foods that spoil easily will be a large part of your diet. So part of being a savvy grocery shopper is knowing how to properly store your fresh foods so you actually get the chance to eat them before they spoil!

Make sure your fridge is kept cold enough -- below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius. This will ensure food safety. Leave enough space in your fridge for cold air to circulate. If your refrigerator is too tightly packed, your food will spoil faster.

Store food properly. This varies with the food. Here are some examples:

  • Beets are best stored by removing the green tops and refrigerate the beets and the greens in separate plastic bags.

  • Many foods are best left on counter to ripen, i.e. tomatoes, bananas, mangos

  • Citrus fruits can last up to two weeks right on the counter.

  • Garlic and onions need to be stored in a dark, cool pantry where they will stay fresh for up to four months.

  • Berries Keep the best when refrigerated unwashed in their original container.

  • Herbs can also be notoriously tricky to keep from wilting, but if you keep them in an air-tight container wrapped in a moistened paper towel, they'll maintain their freshness for up to 10 days in your fridge.

  • Leafy greens can also be extended by as much as three extra days if you don't wash them before putting them in your fridge.

  • Asparagus should be stored upright in the refrigerator in a plastic bag in an inch of water, or with a damp towel wrapped around the base.

  • Make a limp celery, carrots and radishes crunchy again by placing them in a bowl of ice water with a slice of raw potato.

One of my all-time favorite tricks, which works for most produce, is to create a "vacuum pack" to help protect it from oxygen that will accelerate its decay. Leave the produce in the bag it came in from the grocery store, place it against your chest and use your arm to squeeze the excess air out of the bag. Once the air is removed you can seal it with a twist tie and thus minimize exposure to oxygen. This simple technique can easily double or triple the normal shelf life of your vegetables by keeping oxygen away from them.

June 2022


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