Today, I’m going over how to prepare and store your fruits and vegetables so that they stay fresher longer. It’s a win-win situation because you’re saving money on throwaway food while also being able to consume more nutritious meals when they’re fresh, portable, and ready to eat at any time!
If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables in the new year, Walmart has you covered. At a fantastic price, I discovered all of what you need to fruit and vegetable prep at Walmart. It’s time for you to go shopping at Walmart’s home department! There are so many wonderful things for organizing, decorating, and storing there that it’s well worth the trip.
How to Keep Berries Fresh Longer
Have you ever considered how to make berries last longer? It’s really easy to preserve your fruit! What is the secret? You simply wash your berries (and veggies) thoroughly, then let them dry completely before storing them in glass jars in the refrigerator, rather than keeping them in plastic and preparing them as needed.
How to Keep Berries Fresh Longer: Fruit & Veggie Prep 101
Step One: Wash
The strawberries I buy from my local farm are delicious and have a good, even flavor. They’re also one of the few fruit that will grow in our area, so they’re ripe for picking when we get up there every spring. Strawberries taste best when picked individually instead of at the same time as another crop; in other words, pick them individually rather than relying on their ripening together!
Step Two: Cut & Choose
If you’re kept your pears in a sealed container, this is the time to peel and core them. Remove stems from peppers, remove grapes from their stalks, and remove mushy, moldy or bruised berries from the bunch now. Be picky; if they aren’t fresh fruit straight out of the box, they won’t taste any better in a glass container.
Step Three: Dry
I’ve been using my food dehydrator for about three years, and I can’t imagine life without it. It’s a fantastic time-saver when preparing fruits or veggies because everything just drops right into the machine when it’s ready! I keep all of my berries and vegetables on the counter for hours to dry, so that they’ll be extra delicious. You may either use a folded up paper towel on the counter or a cooling grid with a drying mat beneath to keep things more environmentally friendly. For food prep, this is the one and only model I use.
Step Four: Can It
Simply fill mason jars with all of the berries, fruits, and veggies. Depending on the amount and size of your produce, you’ll need either 16 oz or 32 oz jars. I adore utilizing plastic lids (wide mouth here, regular mouth here) because they’re easy to clean (no rust), simple to change (for my kids), and keep out germs. If there’s still moisture in the jar after adding paper towels, it’s best if you seal it with an airtight lid.
Step Five: Store It
Putting the fruits and veggies in sealed jars straight into the fridge might extend their shelf life. They will last twice as long as they would in plastic, but they won’t last nearly as long… because you’ll consume them before they go bad.
I’ve been berry prepping for about 5 months now and I can honestly say that IT WORKS, though I have no idea how or why. A few of the reasons why I like to prep my berries, fruits, and veggies on Monday mornings:
- These berries stay fresh for a lot longer – they don’t turn soft or moldy berries nearly as quickly in the plastic containers.
- Cucumbers are a wonderful choice for those on the go since they’re easy to carry, eat, and drink. Because the produce has already been washed and chopped, all you have to do is put it in your lunch box or bowl – total time-saver!
- There are so many benefits to using glass jars that it would be worth your while investing in some new ones. You just can’t do that with plastic cartons of fruit, and they’re a pain to clean up!
- You save money by wasting less food if you buy in bulk.
- They’re also great for storing leftovers and snacks, as well as for making an inexpensive science experiment. They’ll love being able to store and serve themselves fruit because it’s already clean and convenient for them #WINNING
- Honestly, looking at beautiful fruit in glass containers rather than mushy fruit in plastic is more attractive.
- You can save money by avoiding waste.
What kinds of berries, fruits, and veggies can you store in mason jars?
- grapes – both green & red
- bell peppers
- baby carrots
It’s difficult to dry many of these veggies, salad greens and fruits entirely. Before putting them into jars, you just want them as dry as feasible.
How to Keep Berries Fresh Longer + General Tips
- When I can, I purchase organic.
- I only rinse my veggies with water – I’ve heard using a combination of white vinegar and water might extend the life of your produce, but I can’t personally verify it.
- Metal lids, as seen on Instagram, seem to work. Metal mason jar covers are more difficult to clean and handle for my children, however metal mason jar lid covers appear to be working. I discovered some fantastic value (8 for $2!) plastic mason jar lid alternatives.
- Buy seasonal and local produce. Farmers’ markets typically feature fresh fruits and vegetables that were picked the day before (or, in the case of fruit, even the day before). The longer that food spends on its journey from farm to plate, the longer it will keep in your refrigerator.
- Make a menu plan. If you have a fruit and vegetable calendar in place, they will not stay neglected in the fridge. Meal preparation can be simplified by batch cooking or getting together with some friends to make meals.
- Regularly clean your fridge. Dirt, by-products, and shriveled stems or vegetable fragments can affect the freshness of the new items.
- Keep certain things apart from one another. Many fruits produce a lot of ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening of other items. Here’s what you need to know about producing and responding to ethylene.
- Keep things in their place. Fridges that are messy give us headaches. Keep track of what you’ve got in the fridge and check for freshness every few days. Then you won’t be left with moldy, crumbling peach or a withered beet.