12/29/2020 2 Comments
Now more than ever it’s important to be as resourceful as possible. One way to do this is to make sure we use up everything we buy so that we are not throwing money into the trash can. It’s especially important to make sure we eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, but I often find that people avoid purchasing them because fruits and vegetables tend to go bad before they are able to be used. In order to make sure we’re practicing healthy eating, let’s review a few tricks to make our produce last longer. In this post I’ll be sharing commonly tossed grocery items and how you can make sure you use them up before they go bad:
First and foremost, have a plan for that produce.
This may seem obvious, but I find that many people purchase produce items because they are healthy and know they should eat more of them. The problem lies in that they don’t have a plan of when or how to eat them. This simple tip can help you every purchase you make. If you want to buy it, know how and when you’re going to use it. Is it an option for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Should it be grabbed as part of a snack? Have a plan to use it and improve the chances that you will!
Specific Produce Tips:
First, if at all possible, buy spinach in a square plastic container so that you can do one simple, preventative measure before you even put it into the fridge. Open the container from one side, like a book, and place a fresh, dry paper towel on top. Close it up, and place it in the fridge upside down so that the paper towel is on the bottom of the package. Excess moisture is one of the major reasons why, when you find one nasty spinach leaf, you find 7. The paper towel will absorb any collected moisture, keeping your spinach happy and dry longer. Make sure to change out the paper towel if you notice it’s getting damp, and remove any nasty leaves as they start to show up.
Second, have a back up plan in case you realize you need to use up all of your spinach in one fell swoop. I recommend you either blend a ton of it up into a green smoothie, with plenty of fruit and maybe even some protein powder, or follow a recipe like one of these:
Item 2: Tomatoes
First, store larger tomatoes upside down. Their tops are sturdier than their bottoms, so this can help them to stay firm and happy longer.
Second, make sure you remove any moldy tomatoes as soon as you see them and rinse off any neighbor tomatoes that may have snuggled with it. Keeping that fuzz away will help your other tomatoes stay fresh on your counter for you.
Third, similarly to the suggestion regarding spinach, make sure you have a back up plan if you realize you forgot to eat your tomatoes and they’re fixin’ to turn on you.
I highly recommend my Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta recipe: (it's husband approved...)
Item 3: Bananas
Unless you have a pet monkey, buy bananas that are a hint more green that you’d like. Bananas seem to ripen the day you bring them home, so to delay this process pick up a greener than yellow bunch.
Second, hang your bananas on a stand like this one:
Bananas will avoid bruising if they’re hung up, so let them hang there, tempting you, until you’re ready to enjoy this self-packaged fruit.
Lastly, when they reach that point that makes you regret your purchase, get ready to get to work. Grab the appropriate sized freezer-safe storage baggy, and peel the bananas. Place the peeled bananas in the bag and pop it in the freezer.
You can use these frozen bananas in your smoothies! The result is a creamier smoothie than you may have ever had before. You could also thaw the over ripe banana and make some banana muffins like this one from Cookie and Kate!
I hope you feel confident the next time you purchase any of these healthy eating essentials. Make sure you have a plan, proper storage techniques, and a back up plan for using them if you somehow need it.