Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Plastic-Free Ways to Store Fall Produce

You try to use those recyclable / reusable Trader Joe's or Whole Foods bags so this is an extention of plastic-less-ness. You'll be surprised how easy it is to make a few easy switches that will really help the Earth, without making your life any more difficult. And here are a few...

  • Store apples on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer periods of time, place them in a cardboard box in the fridge.
  • Place avocados in a paper bag at room temp. If you want to soften them, place an apple in the bag with them.
  • Cauliflower will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but tastes best the day after it's bought.
  • Eggplant does fine if it's left out in a cool room. Don't wash it until you're ready to use it; eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage, place it loosely in the crisper.
  • Figs don’t like humidity! Don't put these fruits in closed containers. Although a paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, you can place figs, unstacked, on a plate in the fridge for up to a week.
  • For leafy greens, remove any bands or twist ties. Most greens need to be kept in an air-tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
  • Keep herbs in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week; any longer might encourage mold.
  • Wash peppers right before you plan on eating them. Store them in a cool room for a few days, or put them in a crisper if you need longer storage.
  • Pomegranates don't require refrigeration. Instead, keep them up to a month on a cool counter.
  • House sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate them; these guys don't like the cold.
  • Tomatoes don't need chilling, either! Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. Just like avocados, if you're looking to speed up the ripeness, put them in a paper bag with an apple.
  • Zucchini does fine for a few days if it's left out on a cool counter (even after it's cut). Wrap it in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

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