Five Intriguing Techniques to Keep Your Produce Fresh

(Important Media) -

Tossing too much of the gorgeous produce you’ve brought home from the farmer’s market? I recently came across these intriguing ideas for extending the freshness of your produce picks. Out of 10 tips, five were new to me. Here they are — which have you tried?

Bananas. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap to keep them from ripening too fast. Banana stems release a natural gas to ripen themselves. Wrapping them snuggly retards that process. (I just wrapped up a new bunch — will keep you posted.)

Potatoes. Store them with an apple. This tip came from America’s Test Kitchen; they found potatoes in an apple-free bag sprouted in three to five weeks, while those stored with an apple stayed relatively sprout-free for eight weeks. (I store my potatoes in the fridge, which a few sources say is a no-no. I guess I’ll give this trick a try. How do you store yours?)

Tomatoes. Store them at room temp stem-side-down, and they’ll stay fresh for about a week. (Don’t store them in the fridge — they get mealy.) If you can’t store them stem-side-down, apparently a bit of Scotch tape over the stem works the same way.

Berries. Bring them home, and wash them in a vinegar-water mixture (one part vinegar to three parts water), which serves to disinfect the fruit and kill mold. Dry them thoroughly, and store them in a container lined with a paper towel.

Lemons. If you need only a few drops of lemon juice to top veggies or a salad, don’t cut the fruit in half — just skewer it and squeeze. The fruit will stay fresh longer than if you dissect it. (Love this tip, because I love lemons.)