When summer comes, the warm weather comes with a lot of delicious seasonal fruits. However, it is challenging to keep these fruits and vegetables for long. Most people do not have the time to get fresh fruits and vegetables from the market every day. Instead, people buy fruits in bulk and keep them to consume for a few weeks.
After a week, you might come home to wilted greens, moldy berries, and fruits with bruises. However, the food doesn’t have to end up in the compost as there is a way to keep it safe and fresher for longer. Below are simple tips to keep your fruits fresh for longer.
Clean Berries with Hot Water Before Storage
Berries can go moldy overnight if not stored properly. But you can prevent that by giving the berries a hot bath before storing them. The treatment is referred to as thermotherapy and involves immersing the berries in hot water and swishing them while in their plastic basket. The hot water will kill mold spores to reduce the formation of mold for longer.
Most berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries fare best at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds. Spread the berries on a clean towel and leave to breathe for a few minutes before storage.
Keep Tomatoes Under Room Temperature
Wooden and plastic crates are very useful when you are storing and transporting tomatoes. If you stock crates of tomatoes to use for several months, you can build a simple wooden crate at home with a few simple tools and amateur wood skills. Keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator might seem like a sure-fire way of preventing them from rotting. However, they need to stay off the refrigerator and instead under room temperature. The cold temperature in the refrigerator will rid tomatoes of their flavor and change their texture within a few days.
If you only have a few tomatoes to use for a week or so, you can keep them in a bowl lined with a paper towel. The stems of your tomatoes should face the top as they are the parts most likely to get bruises. Keep your tomatoes away from heat sources and away from direct sunlight.
Freeze Your Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruits will keep fresh for a week or more. If you can eat all your purchases within that period, you do not need to refrigerate them but instead place them in a cool airy place. However, if you overestimate how quickly you can consume your fruits; do not let them go to waste. You can chop the fruits and freeze them for the future. You can freeze apples, berries, bananas, and many more. Before freezing them, dip them in hot water and then cold water to neutralize the bacteria present in them before storing them in below-freezing temperatures – this is called blanching.
Freeze Your Bananas
There is a common belief that bananas will go bad fast when refrigerated. However, while the peel develops black spots in a few days after refrigeration, the fruit inside keeps fresh for long. As such, if you have a lot of bananas, you can keep them fresh for longer by refrigerating them.
If there is a continuous supply of fresh fruits and vegetables in your local market, you do not need to buy so much that you will need to find ways to store them. Fruits and vegetables offer their best nutritive value when fresh. If you need to stock seasonal fruits, however, you need to find a way to keep them fresh for longer.