Got a lot of party leftovers? Or a bunch of fruits and vegetables from the Farmer’s Market that need to stay fresh for a salad you plan to prepare in the middle of the week? Here are some ways to store food properly so that the flavors and texture stay intact.
Divide and conquer
Many refrigerators come with a “crisper” that will keep fruits and vegetables at an optimum temperature. But here’s an additional tip: keep fruits and vegetables in separate compartments. That’s because fruits can emit ethylene gas, which tend to make vegetables wilt faster.
If you have already washed fruits, such as berries, then keep them in a container that is airtight. Buying smaller containers, with fruits divided into daily servings, will also make it easier to grab fruit as you need it.
Some vegetables should be allowed to ripen on the counter. This includes tomatoes. However, cherry tomatoes should be treated like berries and kept in an airtight container.
And as a general rule, avoid washing fruits and vegetables until they’re ready to be eaten or cooked, since the water that clings to them will hasten deterioration.
Divide meat into portions and then wrap them in freezer paper or store in bags or plastic containers. To make your life easier, label the container with the type of meat and the date of purchase. It helps to put the “older” meat in front of the freezer, and the newer purchases at the back.
Read more tips on the safe handling of fruits and vegetables.