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5 ways to keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer

Wednesday, August 19th 2020, 9:16 am - Extend the shelf life of your food with these tips.

Food waste is a big problem in Canada. The City of Toronto estimates that over ver 50 per cent of the food wasted is avoidable, and costs the average Canadian household over $1,100 per year.

In addition to the cost, leaving fruit out on the counter once it's past its prime can attract bugs, like ants and fruit flies.

But we're here to help. Here are five ways to extend the shelf life of your fruits and veggies and keep them fresh longer.

Woman with veggies - pexels File photo: Pexels.

5. WASH BERRIES IN VINEGAR

Berries carry mould spores that cause them to go bad quickly -- and once one starts to turn, it doesn't take long to spread through an entire pint, causing your berries to go bad.

You can prolong the life of your berries by killing off mould and bacteria with a vinegar and water bath.

DIRECTIONS

  • Inspect your berries and throw out any that contain mould.
  • Combine 3 cups of cold water and 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl.
  • Immerse berries in water and swish them around for about a minute.
  • Remove berries from the mixture and rinse with cold water until the vinegar smell is gone.
  • Place berries on a paper towel and pat dry.

If your berries came in a plastic clamshell package, you can wash it with warm water and soap, dry it, and place the berries back inside.

This works best with firm berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

VIDEO: WHICH FOODS HAVE THE MOST PESTICIDES?

4. WRAP BANANA STEMS

Wrapping the stems of bananas in plastic wrap or aluminum foil prevents the fruit from releasing ethylene gas, causes the banana -- and every banana in close range -- to ripen.

For maximum effect, separate your bananas and wrap each stem individually, as tightly as possible.

3. FREEZE THEM

Let fruit ripen to your preferred taste, and then peel, chop, and freeze. You can do the same thing for veggies -- but the pros recommend you blanche vegetables first.

If you keep your produce in a freezer-friendly container, they should keep for up to three months.

GETTY IMAGES fruit and vegetables File photo: Getty Images.

2. STORE MUSHROOMS IN A BROWN PAPER BAG

Mushrooms will keep up to a week if you:

Store whoe, unwashed mushrooms in a brown paper bag that's folded closed. The bag absorbs extra moisture and prevents the mushrooms from spoiling. Keep mushrooms in your fridge's main compartment. The crisper section is often too moist for mushrooms. Don't stack anything on top of your mushrooms. This can cause bruising, which will cause them to spoil faster.

1. SOME VEGGIES KEEP BETTER ON THE COUNTER

Bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes will keep longer if they're stored at room temperature. Peppers lose their consistency when kept in a cool place, and moisture from the fridge can cause tomatoes and cucumbers to turn slimy.

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