Easy Tips to Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh in the Summer
Buying fruits and vegetables in bulk is a great way to save time and money, but you might end up with a ton of food waste if you’re not careful. This is especially true in the summer when the heat spoils fruits and veggies more quickly.
While your go to storage might be the crisper drawer of your fridge, there are better ways to store produce properly that will keep them fresh for two weeks or more. Here are helpful hacks and strategies you can try.
Keep it fresh
Choosing fresh produce is the first step to prolonging storage life. When choosing leafy greens, pick ones that are “richly coloured” without limp or yellowing leaves. On the other hand, root vegetables, cabbages, squash and onions should feel heavy for their size and free from blemishes or soft spots.
Think cool, dry and dark
Some veggies are best placed in cool, dark places like your kitchen cupboard or pantry and away from moisture and heat. These include potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, shallots, hard squash and garlic.
Storing these types of produce outside the fridge can help keep them fresh for at least a week or longer if the temperature remains cool. Keep them in a dry Swag in your pantry to prolong their life even further.
Apples and pears go into the fridge
Apples and pears quickly degrade at room temperature, so placing them inside your dampened Swag and crisper drawer is ideal.
To slow down ethylene emissions, keep them cold and inside a dampened Swag. Fruits and veggies are living and breathing, making it essential to have access to air and water. Unlike sealed plastic bags, the Swag allows fruits and veggies to hydrate and breathe, so they stay fresher for longer. Store in the fridge until the day before you’re ready to eat them, then move the fruits from The Swag into your fruit bowl when they’re ready for consumption!
Ripen fruits on the countertop
Fruits like mangoes, bananas, avocados, melons, pineapples, kiwis, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, paw paw and star fruit taste especially great in the summer but should be left on the counter as they continue to ripen this way.
The Swag dramatically slows down the ripening or rotting process of fruits and veggies, so keep them in a damp Swag in the crisper drawer. When dealing with fruit, the best way is to move the unripe ones from your dampened Swags and into your fruit bowl so they can ripen naturally and become ready for consumption. If you have not had the chance to eat the ripe fruit from the fruit bowl, you can pop these back into your dampened Swags and into the crisper to slow down the ripening process.
If you want to speed up the ripening process of bananas, put them in a dry Swag and in a sunny spot in the kitchen. Add an apple or pear into the bag, and they will ripen even faster.
Hot tip: Because fruits turn faster in the summer, skip the large fruit bowls in the hotter months. You can still add flair to a smaller fruit bowl by using a pineapple stalk to create a centrepiece. Simply cut the head of the pineapple, and leave some flesh. Pop it into a small bowl, glass or vessel of water and place it in the middle of your fruit bowl. Keep the water clean and refreshed, and your pineapple decoration will last for months!
Store roots and tubers in the fridge
Beets, turnips, swedes, carrots, parsnips and ginger are not fussy about fridge storage, so you can store them in a dampened Swag in the crisper. Ginger is exceptionally hardy and can keep well inside The Swag for weeks.
If you’re using the green leafy tops that come with carrots, turnips and beets, cut them off and store them separately since they pull moisture out of the vegetable. You can place all these long term storage superstars in a slightly dampened Swag where they’ll stay fresh for weeks (even up to several months for carrots!).
Keep everything else in the crisper drawer
A lot of produce keep well in the fridge. These include:
- Eggplant, celery, peppers, peas, artichokes, zucchini and cucumber
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Lettuce and other leafy greens
After thoroughly rinsing your leafy greens and fresh herbs, place them inside a produce bag or a dry Swag and step outside. Hold it tight and swing it around to get rid of excess water. Make sure to place all Swag with leafy greens on top of all your other Swags so it won’t get squashed inside the crisper.
For cabbage and its cousins, broccoli and cauliflower, store in a damp Swag as soon as you get home to keep them crisp.
Celeries can be kept with other long veggies like leeks and spring onions. Make sure to cut away all dead or dying bits and ends. Place in a long, damp Swag, then place in the crisper. If it doesn’t fit in the drawer, you can place it in the general fridge space so long as you put more water in the Swag, as it will dry out quicker in this area.
Determine which produce can be mixed in one Swag
The beauty of The Swag is that there’s no need to keep everything separate. Our handmade and breathable storage bags made of 100% natural, unbleached and unseeded cotton materials feature a unique multilayer design to ensure that your fruits and vegetables stay fresh for as long as possible.
The above tips and strategies can go a long way in keeping your produce fresh for longer, saving trips to the grocery and keeping you within your budget. Most of all, it helps lessen food waste, which is not only good for the environment but also your pocket. With The Swag, you can now confidently shop in bulk without worrying about throwing your hard earned dollars away!