How To Make Product Last Longer?
Produce is expensive.
There is no way around it.
But with some planning and tools, you can figure out how to make produce last longer and eliminate the dreaded “it went bad before we could eat it and now I feel wasteful” feeling.
Invest in Produce Saving Storage
I own Rubbermaid Produce Saver Square Storage Containers and Lock and Lock Storage Containers.
My strawberries, blueberries, romaine and iceberg lettuce, and watermelon last at least 50% longer when stored in these containers vs. original packaging. And getting an extra week or so out of fruits and veggies allows these storage containers to pay for themselves in a couple of grocery trips.
I own the Rubbermaid Containers for smaller size produce (blackberries) and the BIG Lock and Lock Storage Containers for organic salad and carrots from Costco.
Water is Your Enemy (If you are a fruit)
Putting water on any fresh fruit will speed up deterioration by 50 percent.
Do not wash a fruit until it will be eaten or used in a recipe. (Especially with berries and grapes.) Want to have fruit on-demand for the kiddos – then only prepare a small amount at a time.
Water is Your Friend (If you are a leafy green item)
On the other hand, lettuce, herbs, or green onions will last longer with a little water.
- Wrap stems of romaine lettuce in a wet paper towel and place in a resealable bag.
- Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of your lettuce produce saver.
- Place herbs or green onions root end first in a small glass with water and wrap with a plastic bag and rubber band to increase freshness.
Not all Fruits and Veggies Get Along
Certain fruits and veggies give off a gas that makes other fruits and veggies ripen faster.
- Apples are not friends with broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, greens or cauliflower. Apples release an ethylene gas which make these veggies spoil faster.
- Onions are not friends with potatoes because each one produces a gas that makes the other one spoil faster.
Luckily, we don’t have to remember all the tips and tricks to making our produce last longer because there are produce storage guides to help us out.
But making a small investment in produce keepers and following a few simple tips can help lengthen produce’s life a couple of days, if not a couple of weeks.
What other tricks do you have to how to make produce last longer?
If we don’t use berries w/in 3 days, I simply wash them, flash freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, I place them in either food saver bags or freezer bags, and freeze to use in pancakes, waffles, smoothies, or cereal.
I also do this with bell peppers and onions.
Sara – we also do a bit of flash freezing too. But I’ve found the produce savers help me keep the fresh stuff longer (which is how I prefer my fruits and veggies).
You recently spoke to our MOPS group on this subject, but I was curious if you remember the specific name of the containers you use for fruit (specifially, the containers that have the raised lines/strips in the bottom that prevent the fruit from resting on the flat bottom of the container)?
Jen – I mention both (with links) in the article above. Rubbermaid and Lock & Lock.
My daughter loves bananas, but they spoil so quickly, even when I buy green bananas. Any ideas to keep them fresher longer? Thank you! 🙂
Hanging them up vs laying them on the counter makes a big difference. Also, don’t store them near other fruits and veggies.