A few weeks ago, I got the chance to hang out with Sabine, who has created such an awesome business and service called Sabine’s Baskets. She shops for, packages and delivers a basket of market goods, straight to your front door. Along the way, she’s become quite the expert in choosing produce at their best, and making them last. If you hate throwing away rotten fruit & veggies, you know how valuable her tips will be!
Let’s take a peek into her day – plus learn her 5 expert tips to help keep produce fresher for longer!
Sabine spends her mornings at the wet market (our version of a farmer’s market). As we walked around, she talked to me about the importance of supporting our local farmers and suppliers as well as feeding ourselves fresh whole foods. I think what she’s doing is awesome. The 6 am wake-up call, not so much, but I do appreciate her energy!
I asked Sabine to answer some of the produce-related questions that I’ve received from readers, perhaps a question that you’ve had yourself! Check them out below and if you have a favorite tip – please do share it in the comments below. That way we’ll all be keeping our produce fresh, like a pro!
Sabine’s top 5 tips for storing and keeping our produce fresher for longer!
- Which fruit or veg should not be refrigerated?
It’s always hard to decide what should, and should not be refrigerated. A way to understand this better, is to know that tropical fruits do not need to be refrigerated – avocados, watermelon, papaya, dragon fruit, mangoes, etc. Non-tropical fruits, especially temperate ones such as blueberries and strawberries should be refrigerated. As a guide, fruits should be left at room temperature to ripen, after which, refrigeration would help to prolong freshness and halt further ripening. On the other hand, refrigerating vegetables, especially leafy ones, is necessary to maintain crisp and freshness. Fruits and vegetables that absolutely should not be refrigerated are: onions, garlic, potatoes, and tomatoes.
- What’s the best way to keep herbs fresher for longer?
Treat herbs like you would flowers, and they will stay fresh for longer. Place herbs like parsley, coriander, and rosemary upright into a narrow cup or jar. Fill with some water, ensure that the leaves do not touch water. Trim the stems and change the water every 1-2 days. Remove all rubber bands and let the leaves be free and fluffy. Leave it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sun. For best results, you can refrigerate it, but remember to cover with a plastic or paper bag, to prevent the the herb from drying out. Basil should not be refrigerated, and should be left at room temperature.
- How can I get my avocado to ripen faster?
Some fruits release a gas called ethylene that helps to speed up ripening process. Bananas, apples, tomatoes, mangoes, and papayas are fruits that release such gases. Place your avocado with these fruits in a paper bag and leave it on the counter. Check daily to prevent over-ripening. If your fruits have already ripened, don’t put them near fruits that release ethylene gas, and refrigerate to halt further ripening.
- What’s the best way to store leafy greens?
For leafy greens to last longer, they should be kept cool and dry in the refrigerator. Make sure your leafy greens are dry (use a salad spinner or paper towel). Next, wrap them loosely and gently in a paper towel. Line a resealable plastic bag with more paper towels, and place the leafy greens in. Push any excess air out and seal the plastic bag. The leafy greens should be able to last as long as a week. You can regularly check the plastic bag, if the paper towels have gotten damp, replace it. Remember to store vegetables and fruits separately in the refrigerator. Try not to cut or tear leaves, or remove from stem before storage.
- Whats my fav tip from keeping produce fresher for longer?
I have a few rules:
- Don’t rinse or cut unless you’re going to eat it immediately. (unless you’re cutting the greens from roots such as carrots and beetroot)
- Always put produce in a plastic or paper bag before placing it in the refrigerator
- Remove any rubber bands or fasteners
- Always keep fruits and vegetables separate in the refrigerator.
Thanks a million, Sabine! Do check out her website for more details.