Making Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer!

Cancer Fighting Power Greens
June 9, 2016
Yes to Chocolate…Dark Chocolate!
August 23, 2016

 

Fruits and veggiesSince I recommend a plant-based diet of fruits and vegetables  (at least 80%) and juicing for my clients dealing with cancer (as well as for cancer prevention and optimal health), I wanted to share some storage tips to reduce wasting produce due to spoilage.  This is especially important because I also recommend as much organic produce as possible. (Make sure you know the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 below.)  I know when I first began daily juicing, it took a while to figure out just how much of what produce I needed for a week’s worth of juicing.  I could have cut down the amount of spoilage my learning curve created – if I had known more of this – then.

1. Beets

You can store them for 2-4 months in the refrigerator. Cut off the greens leaving an inch of the stems, and then store them unwashed with the little tail still attached in a closed plastic bag, and then in a vegetable crisper.  Use them in a week for the sweetest flavor.
2. Cabbage

Cabbage comes self-packaged. Just stick dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for more than a month. Once cut, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and continue to refrigerate; it will keep for several weeks. (If you make sauerkraut, you can keep it up to 6 months in the refrigerator!)
3. Carrots

The way to keep carrots fresh for months is to keep them dry. Wrap the carrots in a paper towel, and put them in a plastic bag.  Change the paper towel whenever it gets saturated.
4. Cucumbers

Most cucumbers found in grocery stores have had their skins waxed to stop them from drying out during they typical long journeys to get there. If you are fortunate to get unwaxed cucumbers, they need refrigerated sooner. Store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin and they should last at least a week. Note: Keep away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus, which give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.
5. Celery

Wrap unwashed celery tightly in a plastic bag and place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator where it can keep for up to two weeks. You can also refrigerate it upright in a container filled with an inch of water.
6. Cooking Greens

Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator. Thicker greens can be kept up to two weeks, but tender ones like spinach and beet greens should be eaten within a week.
7. Garlic

A temperature of 60-65 degrees in moderate humidity is enough to make them last for months. Store a whole bulb in the refrigerator in a paper bag. Don’t take them out of the fridge until you’d like to use them.
8. Parsley (and Cilantro)

First, snip off the bottom of the unwashed stems. Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Then Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar. You can cover with a plastic bag or use an herb savor container.  They will at for 2 weeks.
9. Parsnips

Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or in perforated plastic bag. Stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, they can keep up to two weeks
10. Winter Radishes (like Daikon)

Remove the greens from the radish, and put them in a plastic bag lined thickly with paper towel. Don’t store too many radishes in one bunch. They will last for almost a month.
Fruits and Veggies to Store in Cool Dark Area (not in refrigerator)
1. Apples

For long-term storage (like for a month+), wrap each apple in a ¼ piece of newspaper and place in cardboard box in cool dark place (above freezing) like a basement or cellar. Short-term storage could be in a plastic bag in your fruit crisper drawer but it needs to be totally kept away from other fruits and vegetables if you do so.
2. Onions

Store them in a dry area with temperature between 30-50 degrees. This way, they will stay fresh for close to a year. Keep them in mesh bags, and store them in a dark cabinet to make them last for longer than a month.
3. Potatoes

Store them in a place maintaining 40 degrees of temperature. Keep them away from light to avoid them from turning green. Basements or cellars are the perfect places for potato-storage. In such a condition, they will stay fresh for up to 2-4 months.
4. Winter Squash

All varieties of squash will last between 2-6 months if stored in a dark cabinet. Keep all your squash in a single layer in your cabinet to let air circulate around them.

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