You go to the store and purchase salad makings with the best of intentions. Like the busy time-saver you are, you pre-chop your lettuce and your veggies so you can toss a healthy meal together on the go. But, a few days later your lettuce and veggies are mushy and gross. What gives?
A combination of natural gasses, moisture build up, and the act of chopping your veggies can speed of decomposition. But, with a few handy tricks you can make them last long enough to get your money’s worth!
Cucumbers are tasty when they’re crispy. When they turn mushy … not so much. To keep cut cucumbers fresh longer, try this tip from The Slow Roasted Italian on Ebay: Cut your cucumbers into about 1/4-inch slices. Stack the slices in a sealable container. Then, place a folded paper towel ontop of your cucumbers and put a lid on your container. Store your cucumbers upside down (so that the paper towel is on the bottom). The towel will soak up extra moisture.
Need to keep your chopped bell peppers fresh a few days more? Try this hack from Livestrong: Use a sharp knife to cut your peppers. A dull knife could damage the exterior of the veggie. Remove the stem and seeds. Then cut into slices or chunks. Lay your pepper slices on a paper towel and wrap the towel around the peppers. Place the paper towel-covered peppers into a bowl and add about 1/2 inch of cold water. This will keep your peppers fresh for about a week.
Do you buy baby carrots just to avoid trying to slice, dice, and store full grown carrots? Try this hack from The Kitchn and save a little extra cash at the grocery store. Trim off all of the green tops from the carrots. Store the tops in a separate container if you want to use them for soup later on. Store your newly trimmed carrots in a bowl of water for several weeks. Bonus points: this actually works for baby carrots too.
Pros at The Kitchn tried three different ways to keep lettuce greens fresh in the fridge. Method 1: Storing leaves in rolled in a paper towel then placed in a plastic bag. Method 2: Storing leaves in a hard, re-sealable, plastic container with a paper towel. Method 3: Storing the greens in a plastic produce bag with a puff of air and sealed.
Surprisingly, all three methods yielded still-fresh veggies after 7 days. At 10 days, the clear winner was method 2: Line a plastic storage container with paper towels and line the towel with greens. Don’t pack them down. Seal with a lid and store. The hard container protects the leaves from getting bruised and extra space in the container provides enough air flow to keep the greens … green!
What are some tricks you use to keep your food fresh longer? Share your tips in the comments below.