Hacks to Make Your Produce Last

Produce Haul

Each week in your farmbox, you receive a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. Although it’s tempting, it’s (nearly) impossible to eat them all in one day. So, how do you keep your bounty in tip top shape for as long as possible? We’ve put together a few of our best hacks for storing your fresh fruit and veggies at home. Crunch away, you’re about to have a very fresh week!

1) Do remove tops from root veggies like carrots, radishes, and beets.
Ever have a wilty carrot? Yuck! Those green tops are actually pulling the moisture out and should be removed ASAP. Twist and remove these bushy tops off before storing your root vegetables. Keep the washed beet and carrot tops in your freezer for use later on. They make a great base for pesto or addition to your next batch of stock.

2) Don’t place onions, bananas, or apples near other produce.
These fruits & veggies release a higher amount of ethylene. The ethylene released will make these ripen faster, potentially faster than you’d like.

3) Do remove any fasteners or twisty ties that may have come around your veggies to group them together.
Give the produce some room to breath! The ever so slight pinch from these binders can cause veggies to bruise. Bruising shortens produce lifespan surprisingly quickly. So much like dropping or roughly handling produce, twist ties, rubber bands, and other fasteners should be quickly removed to prevent bruising.

3) Do place bananas in a paper bag with avocados.
Avocados most often come too firm to eat and have a notoriously sneaky windy of ripeness. You can control when and how quickly your avocados ripen by placing them in a paper bag with bananas. The ethylene gases the bananas release will help your avocados ripen faster, making you able to enjoy them sooner. An avocado can ripen in as quick as a day when in a bag with bananas. Watch them closely so as not to miss the avocados peak level of ripeness.

3) Don’t store bananas in a bunch.
Are you seeing a trend with ethylene in relation to produce ripeness? Again, the ethylene gas each banana releases can make the rest of the bunch speed up its ripening. Pull the bananas apart to extend their lives a bit longer. Make sure not to pull apart too aggressively and potentially open or bruise any of your fruit.

4) Don’t pre-wash produce.
Washing fruits & veggies adds excess moisture, which speeds up produce decay. Additionally, washing removes a bit of the natural protection produce has against mold and decay. Wash produce just before eating it.

5) Don’t skip washing produce, even organic produce.
Although organic produce will not have the pesticides conventional produce will, you’ll still find it brings home plenty of the farm with it. Small local farmers’ produce tend to have a bit more dirt than large scale farms, so make sure to give produce a good rinse to avoid the grit.

6) Don’t rush to use a commercial vegetable cleaner.
Studies have shown that a simple water bath can eliminate 98% of residues on produce. Especially with organic produce, you’ll find you just need to rinse off a bit of soil. Commercial vegetable wash solutions are simply not necessary.

7) Do be strategic about the order in which to consume your produce haul.
Items like leafy greens, stone fruit, or berries tend to need to be eaten within just a day or two of being picked. Heartier items like squash, artichokes, potatoes, citrus, or apples could be saved for the end of the week as they’re more likely to still be in great condition. When you receive your farmbox, make a mental checklist of which order to eat your haul in.

8) Do store herbs, celery, and asparagus in a mason jar with an inch of water to keep them fresh as long as possible.
Trim off just an inch or two, and your produce will be able to absorb some of the water, keeping them fresh, longer.

Have any other helpful hacks for making the most of your produce haul? Let us know on Instagram @GrubMarket!