Kitchen Hacks to Keep Your Produce Fresh

My grocery store trips are few and far between these days, so I'm often thinking about how to make my food purchases last a little longer. In my house, we eat a lot of fresh food, which doesn't always equate to longer shelf-life. However, I have learned a few tricks over the years to make my fresh produce last longer, and use up or freeze produce what may be on its last leg! 

How to Store Your Vegetables

Moisture is truly the enemy of most fresh produce, so making sure that you are wrapping them well and placing in the crisper drawer is the first step in extending the life of your vegetables. Next, make sure your refrigerator is at a good temperature and not too cold, as freezing will also lead to faster wilted vegetables. 

Artichokes

To store uncooked artichokes, slice a dime width off of the stem, sprinkle the stem end with water and refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag. It’s best to cook artichokes within five to seven days after purchasing.

Brussels Sprouts

Keep unwashed Brussels sprouts in a plastic or paper bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to a week.

Greens

Store lettuce in perforated plastic bags wrapped in damp paper towels and keep it in the refrigerator vegetable crisper for up to five to seven days. 

Cauliflower & Broccoli

Store cauliflower or broccoli in plastic wrapping in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to five to seven days.

How to Save Your Vegetables

If your vegetables are looking a little sad but haven't molded, don't throw them out just yet!

Greens

Submerge wilted greens in an ice bath with a generous amount of salt for 30 minutes. Remove, rinse off and dry with a clean kitchen towel. A salad spinner is ideal for getting rid of all moisture. 

Cauliflower & Broccoli

Cauliflower becomes creamy and decadent when mashed, and a wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes. Or, both broccoli and cauliflower can be "riced" in a food processor and made into a side dish or pilaf. They are also great for thickening pureed soups. 

Brussels Sprouts & Artichokes

Roasting any vegetable can bring out delicious flavor, even ones that have been sitting in your fridge for a little longer than you'd like. Roast artichokes and Brussels sprouts and finish with a butter sauce or balsamic glaze. 

How to Freeze Your Vegetables

It's important to cook your vegetables before you freeze them. Blanching works best for this, which is a cooking method that "flash" cooks produce. To do this, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Gently drop your produce in and let boil for 3-5 minutes, depending on the vegetable, until bright green and crisp-tender. Transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, dry the vegetables thoroughly and store in a freezer-safe container. 

Now is the time to be eating more fresh food to keep your body well. The good news is you don't have to forgo buying fresh produce just because you are going to the store less!

What's your favorite tip? Share with us on social, we'd love to hear from you!

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Diana McClean
Growing up on California's central coast, I enjoyed delicious artichokes around the family dinner table and always on Christmas Eve! It is beyond perfection that I now market artichokes for a living and get to share the Ocean Mist Farms story and my love of all things fresh.
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