GREENSBORO, N.C. — Trying to stretch out grocery store trips to limit public exposure amid COVID-19? Keeping food fresh is key.
Thus, posts like this are peaking interest on social media, as food bloggers make claims about easy (almost too easy) hacks to keep fruits and vegetables looking ripe. This particular post from the Recipe Garden claims wrapping celery in aluminum foil will help the celery last for a couple of weeks.
Is the celery trick true? What are other simple food hacks to keep fruits and vegetables in their prime for as long as possible?
- Alice Smith, MS, RD, LDN, CHC - registered dietitian and certified health coach for Alice Approved
CELERY & MIXED GREENS
Registered dietitian Alice Smith confirmed the celery hack is true. You can wrap your celery in aluminum foil to keep it fresh. Just make sure you first take off the plastic wrapper from the store, as it can trap ethylene gas and make the celery go bad faster.
Or, for an even easier celery hack, just use water.
"If your celery is wilting, cut off the bottom, store in a container in the fridge with water, and it'll perk right up. When it comes to your mixed greens and lettuce, store in the fridge with a dry paper towel on top. The paper towel is going to keep the greens crisp and dry," Smith explained.
As for fruit? Bananas go brown quickly, if you buy them ripe. Smith suggests slicing them, putting them in a freezer baggie and keeping them in the freezer until you have a recipe that calls for bananas.
As for strawberries, which are in season right now, store them on a dry cookie sheet on a dry paper towel, and then cover the sheet with paper towels. That will keep them fresh longer. Don't wash them before you store them. Wash them only before you eat them.
There's a money-saving hack for avocados, too.
"Avocados are too expensive to go to waste. If you don't eat the entire avocado, keep the pit in there. That's going to keep it fresh. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and it'll last for several days."
What if you bought too many ripening avocados?
"You also can freeze your avocados. Slice them up, put them on a greased cookie sheet in the freezer and transfer to a freezer baggie. And, every time you make a smoothie, put a slice in there, and [the avocado] will make it creamy, delicious and nutritious," she said.
If you don't have enough freezer space for a cookie sheet? Smith said you need to make room only for two to four hours. After that, you can transfer the avocados to a freezer baggie.
Easy tips to preserve fruits and vegetables can save a consumer time, money and germs.
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