One of the goals of anyone passionate about nutrition is to get people to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into their daily food routine. This is because fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that help our body perform at an optimal level; starting at the cellular level and radiating out to how our organs and body function as a whole.
One key aspect to achieving this goal is finding ways to make the fruits and vegetables that people buy last longer. Nobody wants to stock up on fresh and wholesome food only to have it go bad before it can be used - it is a waste of time, money, and valuable resources.
Here are some tips:
1. BUY FROZEN
One way to always have an array of fruits and vegetables on hand, and not at risk of rotting, is to have them in your freezer! Here, they last a very long time and can be defrosted and/or steamed (depending on the item) and ready to go in no time. As an added benefit, most fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen at their peak freshness, when nutrients are at their highest levels.
I used to buy fresh broccoli and cauliflower but found that I never finished the whole head before it started to go bad. I always feel sad and defeated when I have to throw food in the garbage. Now, I almost exclusively use frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets in my dishes. When I need them for a meal, I just lightly steam them and then often sauté them to use in whatever dish I am preparing at the time.
2. USE GADGETS that help fresh fruits and vegetables to last longer.
There are a few ways to do this.
3. PLACE PRODUCE IN THE CORRECT REFRIGERATOR DRAWERS
Those pesky drawers in our refrigerator with the dials that slide between low and high humidity are a mystery to most, including myself, until I became familiar with how they work. You can look at the graph below to get a general sense of what to place in these drawers so that your produce lasts as long as possible.
Certain things like strawberries can be a bit more confusing. It would seem they should go in the low humidity drawer since they rot. However, it is often recommended that they be placed in the high humidity drawer. Since they are so sensitive to ethylene gas, it is best not to have them around other high ethylene-gas producing produce. Berries in general do not have a long life-span and they can just be kept in the main part of your refrigerator, being mindful that they should be eaten fairly quickly.