Food & Nutrition

12 Tricks to Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh Longer

Purge that guilt over food waste (and save cash and time grocery shopping) with these smart tricks to make your produce last longer.

Berries: Rinse with vinegar

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Before you stash them in the fridge, wash strawberries, raspberries, and other berries with a mix of vinegar and water (think a 1:3 ratio). This disinfects against mold, which can lengthen shelf life by weeks. Then rinse with water and dry thoroughly. Here are 11 tricks to make your food last longer.

Lettuce: Store with paper towel

pattern of lettuce leaves, top viewMaraZe/Shutterstock

Prepared a bit too much lettuce for your salad? Store leftover leaves in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. The towel absorbs moisture, which is what turns leaves soggy and brown. Replace the towel when it becomes damp. Another trick: Sprinkle the leaves with a dash of salt, which also helps draw out extra wetness.

Avocado: Squirt with lemon

Avocado colorful pattern on a pastel blue background. Summer concept. Flat lay.Zamurovic Photography/Shutterstock

Avocado contains enzymes that produce a brown pigment when exposed to oxygen, which is why that halved avocado looks unappetizing so soon after its stored. To avoid this, squirt it with lemon or lime juice. (You can also do this on guacamole.) The citric acid will help prevent browning for at least a day. You could also store avocado slices with large chunks of onion. The same gasses that make your eyes burn when you chop an onion also prevent oxidation in your avocado. As long as the onion touches only the skin of the avocado, there won’t be a noticeable flavor. These are the fresh foods you should never store together.

Carrots: Store with water

sliced carrot on blue color backgroundMaraZe/Shutterstock

To avoid that dried-out look old carrots tend to get, first chop off the leafy greens if you bought your carrots whole (the leaves can pull nutrients out of the roots). Carrots do best with moisture, so put them in a container filled with water, seal with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator. Or, wrap them in bubble wrap before stashing in the fridge: It will allow just enough moisture to reach the carrots if you prefer not to soak them in water.

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