12 fresh foods to be kept separately

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You come back from the grocery store with your basket full of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables, but a few days later, they make gray mine. Here are some conservation rules to keep your food fresh longer.

Leave the cucumbers apart

Many fruits and fresh foods – tomatoes (yes, it’s a fruit), bananas and melons – produce ethylene gas, a ripening agent that speeds up their deterioration. Cucumbers are super sensitive to ethylene gas; they need a place where their ripening will not be accelerated. It’s even better to leave them on the kitchen counter rather than in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. If you insist that your cucumbers stay cool, you can keep them for a few days in the refrigerator but away from the fruit.

Treat herbs like flowers

If you’re looking for less salt or more flavor, think about herbs, but do not just put them in the fridge. “Keep them as if they were freshly cut flowers,” says Dana Tomlin, director of fresh produce at Wheatsville Food Co-op in Austin, Texas. 

To begin, dry the leaves well. Then cut the ends of the stems and place the standing weeds in a Mason cup or pot with water. Most herbs are well preserved this way in the refrigerator for two weeks. For its part, basil prefers to stay at room temperature, always in a pot filled with water. When the water becomes cloudy, discard it and replace it.

SHUTTERSTOCK / NATALIA WIMBERLEY

No squash or pumpkins with apples and pears

The gourds and pumpkins will keep a long time, but do not place them with apples or with pears or other fruit ripening. According to the Oregon State University Extension Service, squash will turn yellow and not become good anymore. Squash and pumpkins can be stored at 10-13 ° C (50-55 ° F): it’s a little cooler than the temperature of a room, but less than the fridge. The big pumpkins and squash will last up to six months, the small ones, three months.  

Put the root vegetables in bags

The carrots, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, beets and onions contain a lot of nutrients supplied by the soil. To retain these  healthy nutrients, place root vegetables in a cool, damp place away from light. A cellar or a cold room are ideal, but who has? The other option, according to ohmyveggies.com, is to place these vegetables in a paper or plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. If you put them in the vegetable drawer as they are, they will soften and mold more quickly.

A vinegar bath for berries

The small fruits mold quickly: the mold spores are easily installed in their folds. Dana Tomlin advises that they should not be washed until they are eaten, as moisture promotes mold. But if you buy a berry crate at Costco , you’ll extend their lives for several days by dipping them into a solution of 1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water. Then, quickly put them in a colander and rinse them gently. The vinegar prevents mold growth. Dry them well on paper towels, or by putting paper towels in the salad spinner and turning slowly. Then place them, without packing them, in a container with holes or in a box whose lid you will leave partially open.

Separate the apples from the oranges

still life paintings, but sworn enemies in the refrigerator. The fruits emit ethylene gas, a ripening agent that causes the degradation of the products that surround them, explains the chef Matthew Robinson author of The Culinary Exchange . Put the apples in the refrigerator if you want to keep them. As for the oranges, they will be placed in a net, so that the air circulates (a plastic bag will make them rot), but far from the apples.

Detach the bananas

A bunch of bananas, it’s beautiful to see, but they will all mature at the same time and you will have to eat them in two days or throw those that are damaged. Here is the solution: detach them from each other. Keep some on the counter and put the others in the refrigerator to delay ripening. If you have missed and are spotted, make a banana bread or ice cream. Bananas are also good for the health of your skin: mash them for a face mask .

Do not mix potatoes and onions

The potatoes and onions roasted together are a delight, but do not keep them side by side, as the potatoes will get lost. “The best way is to put them in a basket that lets the air in, in a cool place, away from the light,” says Dana Tomlin. You can put them in a paper bag, but they should not be in a box or place where condensation occurs, otherwise they will soften and you will lose them. The best friend of the onion is garlic. They keep very well together. Place them in a well ventilated place and keep the tunic (the thin top layer) of the garlic intact until it is used.

Mature avocados close to bananas

According to the poll conducted in 2017 by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitianmagazine , the lawyer ranks second on the list of 10 super foods in 2017. Since it is expensive, it must be stored properly. “Your lawyers are not mature enough? Place them on the counter near the bananas. The gases that emit these will promote their maturation, says Dana Tomlin. To keep a lawyer, put it in the fridge to slow down its maturation. If you happen to put some in a sandwich and you have some leftover, Dana Tomlin suggests placing the cut avocado with its kernel in an airtight container, accompanied by a small piece of onion.

Tomatoes hate the fridge

Unless it’s the fridge that hates tomatoes! A fresh tomato from the garden is simply delicious, but if she spends time in the fridge, she softens and loses her taste. On the other hand, an opened tomato must go to the fridge to slow down the growth of harmful bacteria. According to eatright.org , you can keep tomatoes in the fridge for two or three days. But the tomatoes put at room temperature have so much better taste! So, if it’s possible, leave them on the counter.

In water … carrots, celery and asparagus

A crunchy celery stalk with some peanut butter is a sure bet for snacking. And if you add some raisins … yum! But celery does not have to be limp! Never put it in plastic: the ethylene gas produced by this vegetable could not escape. Keep the celery in foil. After each use, re-wrap it tight. Another possibility: if you want it to be always ready to be crunched: cut it into sticks that you put in the water in an airtight container.

You can also keep the carrot sticks in a water container. For asparagus, leave the rubber bands around their stems in place, and remove the fibrous ends as they are hard anyway. Place them, tail down, in a large glass with 2 to 3 centimeters of water.

Refrigerate very little corn

The best way to consume this summer delight is to eat it as fresh as possible. If you can not eat it right away, put it in the fridge but for a short time. “Then keep the husks of the ears to maintain moisture,” says Dana Tomlin. Do not put the ears in a paper bag or plastic bag. Put them on the front of the fridge, where the temperature is less cold. “The kernels will lose their moisture if we leave the corn of India at too low a temperature,” she adds.

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