19 February 2014

Are you storing your fruit and vegetables right? I wasn't!

Gosh. Who knew there were so many "tricks" (stay with me, they're simple!) to getting the most out of your fresh produce! Lord knows, there's nothing worse than waste and after you read these "Fresh Produce Storage Tips" from Aussie Farmers Direct, I guarantee you that you'll waste less fruit and veggies next week than you did this week. I know I will. Knowledge is power people!

1. Keep fruit such as applespears and bananas away from the rest of your produce as they naturally produce ethylene gas which will ripen the fruit & vegetables around them – especially if they’re in a closed environment such as a crisper or sealed container. On the flip side, if you want to ripen an avocado, place it in a paper bag with a banana to speed up the process. 

2. Cut pineapples into small pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge the moment you get them so they’re ready to eat as a snack - you’ll be surprised how quickly you get through them. You can also do this with navel oranges which are great eating at the moment. Whole oranges can be kept for up to two weeks at room temperature and even longer if you keep them in the fridge, however if you do cut up your fruit, eat it within two days – any longer and it will start to ferment.

3. If you have leftover limes or lemons, juice them and keep the juice in ice-trays in the freezer to add to drinks at a later date. 

4. Aussie Farmers Direct broccoli is harvested, packed and delivered usually within 48 hours; it’s so fresh you can still see where it’s been cut from the root. Store broccoli in a plastic bag in your fridge crisper. 

5. Onions and garlic should be stored in a dark, well-ventilated space; they can be hung in a net in a dark corner of your kitchen so they’re on hand for cooking. As Aussie garlic is only available nine months of the year you can store garlic whole or crushed with a touch of salt submerged in good olive oil. 

6. Unwashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are best stored in a cool dark place, such as inside a brown paper bag in a cupboard. However all washed potatoes that have clean skin (no dirt) such as Desiree’s or Nadine’s should be kept in the fridge crisper to stop them from going green.

7. To store iceberg lettuce, remove the core, wash and drain the leaves and place in a container or plastic bag in the fridge.

8. Capsicum will last up to one week in the fridge; given that plastic bags make them sweat, it’s best to store them in a paper bag or crisper.  

9. Mushrooms are best stored in a paper bag in the fridge. 

10. Try and buy sweet corn still in its husk rather than already cut on a cling film tray as it stores best with the husk still covering the kernels. 

11. Soft leaf herbs such as parsley, basil, chervil and coriander can be stored in the fridge for several days, they will last better if the stalks are in a tall glass of water and the leaves are covered with a plastic bag. 

12. For longer periods, herbs such as basil and rosemary can be kept in the freezer and added to your cooking at a later date. You may lose some of the texture but the flavour will still be great. 

13. Keeping bananas in a cool dark place to slow down the ripening process - if your bananas do go too ripe, use them to make a sweet moist banana cake.

14. If you don’t get through your entire bunch of spring onions, you can replant them in your garden and then just harvest them as you need. 

One of the key tricks to long lasting fruit & vegetables is to buy truly seasonal produce from a source you can trust. Most fruit & vegetables that Aussie Farmers Direct delivers is locally sourced within each state and usually delivered within 48 hours of being harvested. 

And I didn't realise, but Aussie Farmers Direct now offers organic produce boxes ($39 for a couples box, $59 for a family box). *Runs off to place an order...

To start getting fresh, seasonal, 100% Australian produce delivered direct to your door, visit AussieFarmers.com.au. 

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