I am a lover of fresh organic produce, and since I am now in a one-member household, I need to keep it fresh longer. I learned and developed these techniques over the years, beginning when I was a wife and young mother of two sons.
A Damp Towel
During the summer we used to drive from San Francisco to the Sierra foothills to visit my parents. We would drive through Lodi on our way. We discovered this farm stand that sold the most delicious peaches, melons and other vegetables. I noticed she displayed her vegetables in wooden crates with damp towels over them, keeping the vegetables cool from the heat of the day. That’s when something dawned on me.
So when I began shopping at the Alemany farmers market near our Bernal heights home in San Francisco, I would bring the vegetables home and put a dry towel on the bottom of the produce drawer in the fridge and put the vegetables in, then placing a damp hand towel over them.
This I discovered keeps everything much fresher, not allowing the vegetables to dry out from the fan in the refrigerator.
Cut Stems and Place in Water
I also figured out that cutting the stems of asparagus and standing it in an inch or so of water (in a glass) and placing a damp towel over that keeps it fresher longer. I also do this with broccoli.
Don’t Prewash Before putting in the Fridge
I don’t prewash vegetables, as the water can begin to decompose them.
Although when I was in a family, I would wash the lettuce leaves and dry them, rolling them in a damp towel. This works when you are going to use the lettuce fast.
Take Out Of Containers
I learned that strawberries last best out of the container, placed on a single layer on a plate with a dry paper towel over, then covered with a plastic bag, again to prevent the fridge fan from drying the fruit. This works well when the berries are very fresh and ripe, so they don’t get squished and bruised.
I place heads of lettuce in a damp towel, and roll it up, then placing that in a plastic bag with holes and rolling the top down. I have kept lettuce fresh for close to two weeks with this method. I also place any tender herbs like cilantro and parsley in damp towels, rolled tight in the produce drawer. This method keeps them very fresh and crispy.
It is my hope that these tips will help you keep your produce fresh longer, since food can be costly, we want it to be as fresh as possible.
For more tips like this and others, please check out my blog; Catt’sPlace – Your source of ideas for daily living at www.cattsplace.com
Image Credit: Catherine Velasquez