July 2, 2020
How to Keep Produce Fresh in the Refrigerator of Your Chantilly Kitchen
Summer is in full swing, which means that, for many families in Chantilly and throughout the Mid-Atlantic, fresh produce becomes a major focus in meal preparation. Nothing beats the fresh flavors that a good set of local vegetables and fruits can bring to a family meal. And after spending the morning at the farmer’s market, going out to pick fruits and veggies from your garden, or simply coming back from the supermarket, you’re going to want to keep that produce as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Your refrigerator plays an important role in ensuring all of your food stays fresh, but there are a few things in particular you should do when it comes to your produce.
Mind Your Moisture Levels
For most produce, some humidity is good, but it’s a good idea to ensure that you dry any produce you wash before storing in the refrigerator. Too much moisture may lead to mushiness or even mold. If your refrigerator’s produce compartment has a humidity gauge, double-check it to ensure it is providing just enough moisture to keep produce fresh.
Bagging Can Help
Moisture within veggies and fruits are major fresh factors, so bagging half-used produce is a good way to save it for later! This even works for greens such as cabbage.
Use Your Fridge to Pause Ripening
You may find yourself in a situation where you need to give your fruits more time to ripen, and many fruits such as tomatoes, pineapples, avocados, and more require room temperature in order to ripen at home. Once ripe, however, you can throw these fruits in your refrigerator if you need to wait a little longer before use. Everything will go bad at some point, but the refrigerator can act as a temporary pause button for the ripening process – for example, you could gain an extra 2 or 3 days for a ripe avocado.
Give Everything Space
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably only going to the grocery store once a week, so your refrigerator is likely to be jam-packed after a trip. However, it’s worth keeping mind that you shouldn’t overcrowd your fridge, especially when it comes to your produce bins. Not only will this help keep your produce fresher for longer, it helps the refrigerator unit circulate air more easily, letting moisture evaporate and helping prevent the growth of mold within the unit!
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