You start the week with great intentions to do Meat-Free Monday and up your veggie intake. But, inspiration tends to flail when you're confronted with wilted or moulding greens. The result? Your plate tends to be loaded with meat, carbs or processed foods. The best way to keep your antioxidant intake on track is to ensure your kitchen is loaded with fresh fruits and veg so your go-to snacks and meals are super good for you. With January and February pushing sky-high temperatures and humidity, here's how to keep your green stuff fresher for longer.
#1 Skip the water
It seems like a good idea to wash your fresh produce before placing them in the fridge. Who wants food covered in pesticides and chemicals? However, washing your fruit and veg before putting them in the fridge can cause them to rot faster because of dampness, so instead just wash them right before eating them.
#2 Keep avos going longer
A full avocado is often too much for one meal, but the other half ends up going brown on the surface if you leave it in the fridge. To keep the other half greener for longer (preventing it from oxidizing in the air), brush over the surface with some lemon juice or olive oil.
#3 Keep berries fresh
To prevent that annoyingly premature berry mould, you can wash your berries in a solution of three cups water and one cup vinegar, then rinse and dry them thoroughly. This will kill the bacteria before they hit the fridge.
#4 Celery and broccoli
Wrapping broccoli and celery in aluminum foil can keep them crisp and fresh, not limp and soggy.
Storing tomatoes with their stems down keeps air from getting in and moisture from getting out.
#6 Leafy greens
To extend the life of bagged greens, transfer them into a plastic storage container lined with paper towels, then add another layer of paper towels before locking the lid on. An experiment by the Kitchn found that the hard sides prevent the leafy greens from getting crushed, and the paper towels serve to absorb moisture. Stalked greens like basil, parsley, asparagus or coriander are best stored upright in jars of water with the stalks submerged like flowers and a plastic bag over the top to conceal any air from getting in. This protects them from the cold and allows gas to escape.
Crazily, cucumbers have a better shelf life when stored at room temperature as opposed to in the fridge. They can last for around three days in the fridge before they risk "cold injury" (watch for wateriness, pitting on the outside, and decay), so the countertop seems to be the better bet.