10 Storage Tips to Keep Your OrganicBox Produce Fresh, Healthy and Delicious!
1. How to Store Your Herbs
Our herbs store well in the fridge, but if you find that you have leftovers at the end of the week you can slice them and either put them in a freezer bag or put them in an ice cube tray with olive oil and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
Keeping your basil, cilantro, and parsley in a small mason jar with a small amount of water at the base is great. However, this method doesn’t work for all herbs.
Rosemary, thyme, and chives prefer to be put in an airtight (preferably glass) container with a sheet of paper towel to absorb moisture and placed in the warmest part of the refrigerator.
Ginger and Turmeric can be stored in a dry mason jar in the fridge.
Oregano, mint and thyme can be hung out to dry and then stored in a jar in the cupboard. Otherwise they can be layed out in an air-tight glass storage container and stored in the fridge.
2. Storing Salad and Leafy Greens
Most vegetables will spoil faster if stored unwashed due to the formation of bacteria. However leftover moisture will encourage leafy greens and herbs to go slimy. The solution is to wash them with a 10% vinegar bath and dry them well with a good quality salad spinner to ensure you can store your produce dry. If you don’t have a salad spinner, a clean tea towel is another (more time consuming) option. Then you can store them in the fridge in the spinner or place them in an airtight (preferably glass instead of plastic) container with a piece of paper towel lining the base.
3. Separate to Avoid Ethylene Gas
Some fruits such as apples and bananas release a gas that hastens the ripening of certain types of produce that are ethylene-sensitive (cabbage, leafy greens, lettuce, and broccoli, just to name a few). Whether you refrigerate or not, you should keep ethylene-sensitive fruits and veggies separate from the gas-emitting ones.
Most refrigerated produce stays fresh longer when sealed, whether in zip-top plastic bags or air-tight glass containers. These containers maintain humidity preventing produce from dehydrating, and they help protect sensitive produce from the effects of ethylene gas.
4. Freeze your vegetables if you can’t eat them right away or at the end of the week. Simply blanche them (boil for 1-2 minutes and then place in ice cold water), drain and then place in freezer bags for up to a year.
5. Keep Your Paper Bags Handy
Wrap avocados in a sheet of newspaper or a brown paper bag to brown them, and then move to the fridge and consume as soon as possible.
Mushrooms should only be washed immediately prior to use. Keep mushrooms in the brown paper bag you buy them in — this helps absorb excess moisture to prevent bacteria attack. You can put this paper bag in an unsealed plastic bag in the fridge to keep the mushrooms from drying out.
Store your potatoes and root veg in paper bags (never plastic) in a cool dark spot. Storing them with an apple stops them sprouting.
When storing root vegetables remove any leafy greens beforehand (you can store these with your other greens if you wish to keep them as they are actually delicious and nutrient rich).
6. Stone fruit and tomatoes should be stored stem end down to prevent over ripening and mould.
7. Asparagus should have its ends trimmed and then be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped with a moist paper towel or you can stand them up in a glass of cold water wrapped with a damp paper towel.
8. Putting bananas next to apples will speed up the ripening process. You can separate and wrap banana tips with newspaper or a bit of paper bag to slow down the ripening process. Peel and freeze your overripe bananas in a clean plastic bag. Alternatively you can freeze in its skin (which will blacken, but the banana inside will be fine). Use them later in baking or for delicious fruit smoothies.
9. Store celery and peeled carrot sticks submerged in water in a tightly covered container in the fridge.
10. Rather than throwing out veggie scraps or unused vegetables at the end of the week, why not make a vegetable broth? Simply boil it all up with some water and herbs and then strain and freeze.
11. (Why not?) Jams, Chutneys and Canning are a great way to use produce that is soon to expire.
Happy fruit and veg storing! Share some of your fruit and veggie storing tips on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook this week for your chance to WIN a free salad bag with your next order.