How to make your fresh fruits and veggies last longer
Eating more of the food that we buy sounds like an obvious goal, but we know it can be a lot more challenging than it sounds. Especially when we try to eat healthy and fill up on nutritious fresh fruits and veggies, it can feel like a race eating blueberries before they get fuzzy. But don’t worry, there are simple tips that can make your produce last longer — so you save waste and you don’t have to force yourself to eat a pound of lettuce in one sitting!
How to make your fresh fruits and veggies last longer – 6 simple tips
1. Dry produce after rinsing
Have you ever been SUPER frustrated by how quickly strawberries get moldy and cucumbers get slimy in the fridge? Your problem might be too much moisture, which is luckily preventable. We recommend drying your produce items on towels before transferring them to the fridge.
Another option: store the produce dirty and then rinse it right before you eat it.
2. Know what belongs in the fridge (and what doesn’t)
As a general rule, most fruit lasts longer in the fridge than it would on countertops — especially oranges, berries, pre-cut melons, and leafy greens. Note: 40 degrees is a good temperature for your fridge at all times.
However, there are some major exceptions. Here’s a list of fruits and veggies that should not be put in the fridge — and instead, should be kept in a cool, dry place:
- Un-cut melons
- Cucumbers (some disagree on this one, but we find our cucumbers last longer at room temperature than they do in a fridge)
And a quick note on apples: apples emit a gas called ethylene, which can speed up the ripening/decaying process of other foods nearby. So, avoid sticking apples next to citrus fruits, bananas, and celery — all of which also produce ethylene.
3. Store herbs and asparagus in water glasses
One of the best ways to keep herbs and asparagus fresh for as long as possible is to store them in a cup with an inch(ish) of water in the fridge and a loose, breathable bag on top. Plus, it’s an easy way to make use of an extra plastic bag you have lying around.
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This is how I store #herbs – #easypeasy and you will keep them nice for a longer time! Put them like this into the inside of your fridge door! Obviously! 👍🌱 #individualisten #andersesser #storeherbs #sage #organic #plantbased #wholefoods
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However, if you don’t have any plastic around (go you!), you can gently wrap herbs/asparagus in a cloth and put them in an airtight bag in the fridge.
4. Freeze with ease
Not all vegetables are freezer-friendly (looking at you cucumbers and raw potatoes), but most can survive for months — and sometimes even a year — in the freezer. So, if you don’t think you’re going to eat those strawberries anytime soon, save the waste and plop them in the freezer.
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✨❄️ Prevent fruits and veggies from clumping together by freezing them on a baking sheet before stashing them in the freezer! 📷: @more.plants.less.waste #mealprep #smoothieprep #mealprepper #healthysmoothies #reducefoodwaste #saveforlater #freezerbags #freezersafe #foodprep #gymdays
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5. Rotate food in the fridge (oldest in the front, newest in the back)
This is a golden rule for storing all food, but it’s especially important when it comes to fruits and veggies that tend to go bad quickly!
6. Use it or lose it
Seriously, sometimes it just takes a little creativity to rescue food that’s on the verge of needing to be thrown out!
- Wrinkly tomatoes → Roasted tomatoes or Phis pasta sauce
- Wilting greens → Pesto (remove the parmesan if you want to keep it vegan)
- Soft berries → Jam
- Brown bananas → Banana bread (see below for our Banana Bread Recipe from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook!)
Banana Bread with Candied Pecans
Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: 5-7 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 cup vegan yogurt, plain or vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup candied pecans
- Vegetable shortening for coating bread pan
- 1 tablespoon ener-g egg replacer plus 4 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9×5 bread pan with vegetable shortening.
- In a large bowl, mix together butter, yogurt, mashed bananas, sugar, egg replacer plus water, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
- Add in flour and beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in candied pecans.
- Pour batter into bread pan and bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Check out more recipes from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook, here:
- The best basil and avocado toast
- Recipe: Vegan chana masala
- The best vegan chocolate macadamia nut cookie recipe
And for more food tips, don’t miss:
- 12 freezer-friendly hacks to up your meal prep game (and fight food waste)
- The best plastic-free ways to store all your food
- 8 simples ways to stop throwing out food