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Don’t waste your fruit and vegies – store them better



September 8, 2014

Sweet basil

Can you believe we waste about 25% of the world’s calories by not consuming fruit and vegetables before they spoil? What could keep them fresher longer?

There are some great fruit and vegetable storage tips about but one I’ve only recently embraced is not putting things in the fridge crisper draw that I always used to. Many stem vegies will keep fresher longer if you treat them like cut flowers.

Karina's vase (left) v fridge (right) storage experiment

Karina’s vase (left) v fridge (right) storage experiment

Just get a glass, jar or vase, and put about 5cm (2 inches) of fresh water in the bottom. Use it for your shallots (spring onions/scallions) or asparagus, or you can also store celery this way after cutting off the bottom. It’s important to change the water daily, but they should keep like this for about one week. If you’re in the middle of a hot summer, putting the whole vase in the fridge will help maintain freshness.

And the same goes for most bunches of fresh herbs. Don’t smother them with plastic wrap – treat parsley, coriander leaves (cilantro) and basil like like fresh flowers. They look pretty good in the kitchen too!

If you’ve used half an avocado but want to keep the other half for later, the best way to stop it browning off isn’t cling wrap or lemon juice, but storing it in a plastic container with some fresh-cut onion rings, making sure you keep the central pip in the stored half.

And do your carrots go limp before you’ve used the whole bunch or bag? Cutting off the green tops (you can eat them in a salad) will keep your carrots crisper for longer.

Red and white raspberries ready for breakfast

Red and white raspberries ready for breakfast

Reduce rot in berries by taking them out of their plastic punnets, getting rid of any fungus by washing them in a watery vinegar solution (3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar), leaving them to dry on a clean tea towel, or spinning them in a salad spinner (protected from bruising by a covering tea towel), and then storing them in a paper bag in the fridge.

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Helen Young
Helen Young
9 years ago

I followed some advice I read about keeping raspberries fresh as they so often go mouldy quickly (especially when greengrocers annoyingly sell product that is not very fresh!) – and it really works well. Take the berries out of the punnet and lay them in a single layer on paper towel on a plate, so they are not touching. Cover with cling film and keep in fridge.