Food & Nutrition
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How to Keep Produce Fresh: From Bananas to Blueberries and Beyond

berries on wooden table

Between farmers markets and grocery stores, there are plenty of fresh fruits and veggies to help you eat healthy the rest of summer. Here are some tips on how to keep produce fresh longer.

Bananas

Keep your bananas on your counter, preferably out of direct sunlight. Wrap the stem of your bunch in plastic wrap. As you eat them, re-wrap the remaining stem. This will help keep your bananas fresh longer by containing the gas produced naturally while they ripen from spreading to other parts of the fruit.

If you wind up buying too many, peel any extras, cut them up into small slices and freeze them. They’re a great addition to smoothies.

Lettuce

Wash your lettuce really well and then dry the leaves. Make sure it’s completely dry before storing it. Put your lettuce in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible (almost as though you are vacuum sealing it) and put it in your produce drawer.

Apples

Apples stored on your counter can last for a few days, but apples stored in the fridge can last up to three weeks. Put your apples in your produce or crisper drawer and lay a damp paper towel over them. Make sure to keep an eye on them, and remove any damaged or spoiled apples to preserve the rest.

Tomatoes

Think you should put tomatoes in your fridge? Think again. Keep your fresh tomatoes on your counter in a cool spot and avoid stacking them on top of each other as they bruise easily. If you don’t eat them within two or three days, then it’s alright to put them in the fridge to keep them edible for a few more days.

Peaches

Keep your peaches on your counter in a cool area until they are ripe. Once they are ripe, put them in a plastic bag and pop them in your refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer.

Green Beans

Store your green beans in the fridge in a plastic bag. Put a paper towel in with them to absorb any extra moisture. The paper towel trick works with a number of different fruits and veggies, helping them stay fresh longer.

Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Raspberries

When purchasing berries, make sure they look ripe and there’s no visible mold on them. When you get home, sort through the berries and throw out any you find with mold on them. Then give them a good vinegar bath to kill any spores (skip this for raspberries only).

To make the bath, mix one part white vinegar with eight parts water. Soak your berries for a few minutes then rinse them and drain well. Once they’re dry, put them in a resealable container lined with paper towels and refrigerate.

It’s OK to let a little natural air in by not sealing your container all the way. Make sure to check your berries every few days and throw out any with mold on them. If they start to go bad, freeze the ones that are still good for smoothies.

Want to know which fruits and veggies are in season? Check out Fruits and Veggies More Matters. With these tips for how to keep produce fresh, you’ll reduce the amount of produce you throw out and save money in the long run.

Glenneth Reed

Glenneth Reed

A body positive health coach and personal trainer, Glenneth Reed blogs at Your Path to Fit, which focuses on health and wellness for women 35 and older who are ready to take charge of their health. She is a native Knoxvillian and still lives there with her husband, both UTK graduates. Learn more about her transition from being a couch potato to walking over 150 5Ks at www.yourpathtofit.com.

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Glenneth Reed

A body positive health coach and personal trainer, Glenneth Reed blogs at Your Path to Fit, which focuses on health and wellness for women 35 and older who are ready to take charge of their health. She is a native Knoxvillian and still lives there with her husband, both UTK graduates. Learn more about her transition from being a couch potato to walking over 150 5Ks at www.yourpathtofit.com.

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