Tips to make your fruit and vegetables last longer

Eleven clever tricks to keep your produce fresh. Photo / Getty
Eleven clever tricks to keep your produce fresh. Photo / Getty

If your fridge has turned into the place where veggies go to die, and your fruit bowl is busy growing a hearty crop of mould, check out these tips to help keep those healthy essentials fresher for longer.

Not only will it make fresh produce more appealing, it will save you cash and prevent waste too.

Keep salad leaves crispy

Place the leaves into a bowl, put a couple of kitchen towels on top, then wrap tightly in cling film. This prevents a salad's biggest enemy, moisture, settling on the leaves.

Get more out of garlic and onions

Keeping them out on the bench or anywhere exposed to sunlight will promote sprouting, and make them go off faster.

A bamboo steamer makes the perfect home for garlic and onions, providing lots of ventilation to prevent mould, and zero light.

Keep spring onions sprightly

To stop these slender stalks going brown at the back of the crisper drawer, chop them into small pieces and freeze them into an empty water bottle.

This way, when you need them for your salad or stir fry, you can simply shake out the amount you need.

Aid your asparagus

Wrap damp paper towels around the base of an asparagus bunch, and place them upright in a glass with about 3 cm of water at the bottom. Sit them in a secure spot in the ridge, and those spears will stay crunchy.

Potato power

Pop an apple or two into a ventilated bag with your spuds, and store them in a cool, dry place.

Gasses emitted by the apple will prevent them from sprouting.

Freeze those herbs

If you have leftover fresh herbs, chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays with water. When cooking, simply throw in a cube or two and the water will evaporate, leaving you with fresh, herbaceous goodness.

Cover carrots

Initially it may seem like nothing but added labour, but if you peel fresh carrots, cover them with aluminum foil and keep them in the fridge, they will last up to two weeks. The same trick applies to celery.

You can also try storing peeled carrots in a plastic bag, just make sure you have squeezed out as much oxygen as possible.

Watch your washing

Don't wash berries until you are ready to eat them, as excess moisture will get that dreaded mould growing fast.

If you're using the berries for smoothies and sauces, keep them in the freezer to prolong freshness.

Give pineapples the chop

Extend the life of the spiky fruit by cutting off the leafy top and storing it upside down. This will help to redistribute the sugars that sink to the bottom during shipping, and will keep your pineapple pristine.

Keep apples separated

They may keep the doctor away, but they are the playground bullies of the fruit bowl. Ethylene from apples makes other fruit go off faster, so store them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Just don't wrap the plastic too tightly, the gasses need to escape or the apples will spoil.

It's a wrap

Cover the stems of a bunch of bananas in cling film to slow down the ripening process.

Ethylene gas is released from the crown, so wrapping is the best way to prevent spoilage.

- nzherald.co.nz

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