Farmers markets are amazing. The tasty bread and cheese, the freshly-squeezed orange juice, the handpicked veggies, and the organic pasture-raised eggs – what’s not to like?
Here’s the thing, though: most of us don’t have a clue about how to take care of the produce we buy at the farmers market. What’s the best way to keep it all fresh?
We’ve got a few tips for you:
Potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. You want these cool, not cold, as the cold ruins their flavor. Store them someplace cool and dark.
Unripe fruit and veg, like pears, plums, bananas, and mangoes, can be kept on the counter in a fruit bowl; it’s only once they’re ripe that they need to be stored in the fridge - except for bananas, keep them at room temperature. If the bananas are too ripe: peel them, freeze them, and mix them. Voila! Ice cream!
While it can be more convenient, unless you’re going to be using things pretty quickly, cut fruit and vegetables tend to spoil faster.
Trapped moisture makes mushrooms go bad. Keep them in brown paper bags in cool, dry places to prevent them from spoiling
Leafy herbs and greens - ever wondered why they die so quickly? They need water. Who knew? Placing your herbs and greens in water, covering the containers they’re in with a lid, and keeping them in the fridge will help them last a heck of a lot longer.
Ethylene gas is a type of gas that is produced by some fruits and veggies like bananas, avocados, and kiwis as they ripen, and they can prematurely ripen other sensitive foods around. There are two options: separate the ethylene-producing fruit and vegetables from non-ethylene-producing fruit and vegetables, or simply buying an ethylene absorber for your fridge or fruit basket.
There’s always a debate about whether or not they need to be refrigerated. Ask the farmer you’re buying the eggs from if they’ve ever been refrigerated and washed; if they have, they need to be kept in the fridge. If they haven’t, you can keep them out of the fridge– just make sure to rinse them before using them. Also, refrigerated eggs do last longer, so if you’re not eating them quickly, then you might as well store them in the fridge.
Have you tried any of these tips? What do you do to make your fresh produce last longer?
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