5 Tips for Storing Fresh Produce

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One of the farm stands at the 125th street market where I did cooking demos last season.

It’s that time of year again! Amazing summer produce is abundant and farmers’ markets are popping up every where. With the abundance of produce around, I thought I would share some of my top does and don’t with you on storing fresh produce.

Tip #1: Wash your Fresh Produce Right Before you are Going to Prepare Them.

A lot of people like to wash their produce as soon as they bring it home from market (or the grocery store). Cleanliness is awesome, but moisture and produce are not great friends. Hold off on washing your produce until it’s ready to be used.

Tip #2: Store your Fresh Produce in the Appropriate Spot.

This is a tricky one, and there are lots of different opinions on this, but there are a few basics that most people agree on. For example, tomatoes do not get stored in the fridge (until they’ve been cut). Tomatoes do much better out on the counter. When you end up in the fridge they get soft and mealy, and the flavor isn’t as strong. Don’t believe me? Do a little experiment. Buy two tomatoes (of equal ripeness). Store one in the fridge and one on the counter and do a taste test after a couple of days. And let me know the results, please 🙂 If you aren’t sure where to store something, feel free to send me an email or do a quick online search.

Tip #3: For Produce with Greens Attached, Separate the Root from the Tops before Storing.

One of the great things about shopping at farmers markets is that you get the whole food item. Ok, that was kinda cryptic. What I mean by that is when you buy the beets, you get the beets and the beet greens. Same goes for carrots and radishes. And it’s all edible! Beet greens are basically swiss chard. Carrot tops are great in soup and radish greens can be used to bulk up a salad. It’s like a two for one special! After you get your two for one special home, you want to separate the tops from the root because the tops will draw away moisture from the root and your fresh produce won’t be fresh for very long.

Tip #4: Store Salad Greens in a Bag with A DRY Paper Towel.

Everyone hates soggy salad greens. To keep them fresher longer, store lettuces in a bag with a dry paper towel. The paper towel absorb any moisture keeping your greens happy longer! Yay!

Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid of the Freezer.

Yes, I said it. We all love fresh produce. But sometimes life happens, and I end up with more produce than I can prepare or eat before it will go bad. In enters our hero for this scene, the freezer! Fruits can be stored in the freezer just as they are, and corn can also be stored in the freezer without cooking it first, just cut the the kernels off the cob. Greens and most veggies will are best to blanch or cook first, but blanching only takes a few minutes (just boil some water, throw in the produce for a couple of minutes, drain it and run it under cool water). And there is an added bonus, too! The water you used to blanch your produce is now an awesome stock ready to go! Or if you’re kinda crunchy like me, you can drink it like a tea 🙂 Just make sure you wash the produce before you blanch it, otherwise you’ll end up with some dirty water instead of stock or tea.

What about you? What are your tricks to keeping your fresh produce happy?

Thanks for tuning in!

With love,

Samantha

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One thought on “5 Tips for Storing Fresh Produce

  1. Allie

    Here are what I like to think are my secret tips: Putting avocados in a brown paper bag softens them
    Better if you’re inpatient!! I usually ask produce stores for their fruit and veggies that have gone bad and offer to pay full price!!! It’s my way of keep the little organic stores from going under whole also showing the earth some love!! They usually DONT make me full price but you get all the good karma anyway; it’s a win-win-win. Keep bananas in my
    Fridge to keep them yellow longer (duh?). I freeze any onion peels/carrot peels/ weird bones/ leftover fish in one “fun Tupperware” in my freezer and just throw it all into a stock the next time I’m making one. It’s the lazy way to compost, very American hahah. Xoxoxo

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