Tips to Keep your Fruits and Vegetables Fresh in Summer

Summer has begun and the availability of fruits and vegetables are in abundance but keeping them fresh for long can be a challenge. Commonly seen issue at every home. Due to time constraints vegetables and fruits are usually bought on the market day or picked from the groceries once a week. Maintaining the quality for a whole week is something each one look forward to. It is observed that the veggies gets crushed or the leaves are bruised, fruits are moldy and you feel sorry for the money that has been wasted.

External heat makes vegetables wilt and lose its freshness. You can try the tips to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh in summer. Extend freshness of veggies in the following ways:

Avoid keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator

Tips to Keep your Fruits and Vegetables Fresh in SummerTomatoes are a basic necessity all year round. Keeping them fresh in summer can be difficult. Most of us store tomatoes in the refrigerator. But did you know that keeping tomatoes in cold temperatures inside the refrigerator rids them of their flavor and transforms their texture in a couple of days. The ideal way to store tomatoes is to put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel with the stem portion on top. Basically the portion around the stem is the softest part in a tomato. If this area gets bruised ,it leads to rotting. Temperature is an important parameter to watch out. Room temperature is ideal, keep away from heat sources and direct sunlight. If the consumption is slow then move around the tomatoes in the bowl to avoid bruising. Your tomatoes will remain fresh for a week.

Carefully wrap your leafy greens

Tips to Keep your Fruits and Vegetables Fresh in SummerPlan for consumption of leafy greens within 1-2 days of purchase to ensure freshness and also you get maximum nutrients out of them. In case you need to store the greens, you can ensure freshness by wrapping the unwashed leaves in a paper towel and storing in the refrigerator. Place leafy greens on top. Do not compress the pack or place other vegetable covers / containers over the green leaves wrap .The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture that adheres to the leaf. Replace the paper towel as excess moisture will make leaves rot quickly.

Give a hot water bath for your strawberries

Tips to Keep your Fruits and Vegetables Fresh in SummerCome summer and children love strawberries. Berries can go moldy overnight. One way to stop the onset of the fungus is not with pesticides, but by giving your berries a hot bath before storing them. The process known as ‘thermotherapy’ simply involves immersing and swishing berries in in a pot of hot water. The hot water kills off mold spores and keeps them fresher longer. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries fare best at 125 degrees for 30 seconds. After bathing the berries spread them out on a towel to allow them to breathe and then store.

Freeze your fruits and veggies

If you have purchased larger quantities of fruits and veggies and due to some reason the consumption is not there, you can avoid wastage of the groceries. Simply, chop those ripened fruits and veggies up and freeze them for use on a future occasion. You can freeze items such as bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, onions, brinjal, mushrooms, strawberries, blueberries, bananas… and the list goes on! Just make sure you blanch them in hot water before transferring them to cold water. The process is also known as shock treatment. When water is completely drained, these blanched veggies and fruits can be freezed for later use. Blanching neutralizes bacteria present in foods, delaying spoilage.

A few guidelines for storing Veggies and fruits in the refrigerator:

  • Do not store fruits and vegetables together.

Fruits that release high levels of ethylene ( the ripening agent) can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding vegetables.

Storing Vegetables:

  • Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer they are, the quicker they will rot.
  • Cut the roots end of the coriander leaves. Remove strings / rubber bands and stored in a container lined with paper towel.
  • Green chillies will rot faster if the stems are not removed. Remove the stem and place it in a container lined with paper.
  • Store Potatoes, Elephant foot(Yam) ,Sweet potatoes, garlic out of the refrigerator.
  • Curry leaves (Karyapak ) will remain fresh if stored in a container lined with paper towel. Curry leaves can be washed in cool water prior to storing in the refrigerator.
  • Soft herbs and mushrooms should not be washed until just before they are used.

Storing Fruits:

Avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a countertop, while bell peppers, grapes, all citrus, and berries will only deteriorate and should be refrigerated.

refrigerate ripened bananasBananas in particular ripen very quickly, and will also speed the ripening of any nearby fruits. Refrigerate ripened bananas. While a banana in the fridge may find a brown or black skin in just a few hours, what lies beyond the peel remains perfectly edible. The cold temperature of a fridge encourages an enzyme found in bananas (polyphenyl oxidase) to polymerise phenols in the banana skin into polyphenols, which in turn blackens the banana skins. However, the cold temperature also keeps the banana from ripening even further keeping the fruit perfect within

Children avoid eating bananas which has a black skin, try out this trick. Thaw it for 2 hrs atleast prior to consumption.

Read on: Best Insect free Storing tips for Rice and Dhals

Watch outs while buying leafy greens:

  • First, when buying greens, make sure they are very fresh.
  • Look for vibrant dark green leafies that are crisp and full, not wilted or yellowish.
  • Tender leafy greens are typically a little sweeter than more mature, aged leaves.
  • Go organic when possible. Non-organic leafy vegetables are high in pesticides.

Certain vegetables are worth buying organic, and greens are one of them.

Read Menu planning saves time in the kitchen.

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