Do you ever go to the store or farmer’s market and come back with lots of beautiful produce? Then after several days the produce isn’t so beautiful? Instead it’s slimy, brown, dried out, mealy or limp? Well I decided to do some research and find the best ways to keep produce longer. And I learned some things I hadn’t known before. So here’s my findings. I didn’t do all produce, mostly just ones that I usually have trouble with. The parenthesis are where I got my info.
- Celery – Cut off the bottom of the stalks and stand up with some water in the fridge (A Thrifty Mom) or wrap it in aluminum foil. (Tammy’s Recipes)
- Asparagus – Stand it up in a little bit of water. (A Thrifty Mom)
- Potatoes – Keep in a dark and dry place and according to Passion for Potatoes by Lydie Marshallit’s best to not keep them in plastic bags, but instead in a bin or paper bag. I always just keep them in the plastic bag they come in, so I learned something new!
- Lettuce – Place a paper towel in with your lettuce. (I got this idea from my husband’s aunt.)
- Bananas – Break the bananas up separately off the bunch and keep where they can get good air circulation. (A Thrifty Mom)
- Tomatoes – Keep in a brown paper bag with steam side down, and out of the fridge. (ehow)
- Apples – Keep in the fridge, but if there’s any that have a blemish, like a cut, keep them separate. They’ll make the other ones ripen faster. (ehow)
- Cilantro – Rinse off, then pat dry. Cut off the bottom of the stems. Loosen up the bunch and wrap with a paper towel, to soak up moisture. Put the cilantro back in the pastic bag with the paper towel still around it. (ehow) Or you can try cutting the bottom of the steams off then put it in cup with some water in the fridge. (The Frugal Girl)
- Parsley – Same as cilantro.
Now no matter how well we keep our produce it will go bad eventually. Sometimes it get’s too bad to use, but sometimes, if you catch it soon enough, you can still use it. Here’s some ideas of what to do with produce that doesn’t taste good enough to eat raw, but doesn’t need to get tossed yet:
- Celery – If it’s too limp to taste good raw, you can still cook it in soups and broths (I like to use it in making chicken broth from a whole
- Potatoes – if they are growing eyes, just cut the eyes off and cook and eat the rest of the potato.
- Spinach – If it’s getting a little wilty I just steam or saute it, since steaming and sauteing is essentially making it all wilt.
- Bananas - Bananas with a little brown on their skins make the best banana bread! Or They can get peeled and frozen in bags in the fridge. You can defrost them for banana bread or use frozen in smoothies. They make the smoothie naturally sweet and thick!
- Tomatoes – You can make a sauce from them (although I have never done this).
- Apples – I’ve used mealy apples to make muffins and applesauce. You could also make a pie or crisp.
- Cilantro- I like to use cilantro in salsa, on top of burritos or quesadillas and I
really like some cilantro sprinkled on my salad! The Frugal Girl has a whole post about using up cilantro.
- Grapes – If there are bad spots on the grapes, but the whole grape isn’t bad, I cut off the bad spot and throw the good parts into a fruit salad. You can also freeze grapes for a nice frozen snack! And I’ve heard of people using grapes in smoothies, but I’ve yet to try it.
- Citrus – Make juice, or use it as a marinade. And lemons can be used in making homemade cleaners.
Do you have any great tricks for keeping produce longer or for using it up?
This post is shared at Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesday.