On hot sunny days we all love loads of fresh fruit and vegetables on our plate. Do you rely on the Saturday farmer’s market? If you, like many of us, do your fresh produce shopping weekly, here are a few tips how to keep your delicious vegetables and fruit fresher for the longest time and enjoy crisp and juicy produce until your next visit to the market.
In summer you’ll be especially tempted to store everything in the fridge. Don’t. Some fruits and veggies are better off on the counter or in the fruit bowl on your table, while others thrive in the cool fridge environment.
And keep in mind, some of them don’t live well with each other – they will get rotten faster just from being stored together. There is science behind that (the production of ethylene gas), however if store everything in separate containers you will be fine.
What should stay out of the fridge completely?
There is some produce that doesn’t belong in the fridge. Potatoes, onion, garlic, squash are the vegetables that are better off in a dark, dry, and airy space, so you should store them in the pantry or cupboard. Avoid plastic bags, as they retain excess moisture and may produce rot. Tomatoes as well retain the best flavour and juiciness outside the fridge, so put them off the stem and keep on the counter.
Let fruit ripen before going in the fridge
Most fruit from the market or the store is not completely ripe yet. It is ok to leave it on the counter. Bananas, mangoes, avocados, pineapples, pears, peaches, nectarines, persimmons, apricots, melons, kiwis, apples and more all continue to ripen at room temperature. However, keep them away from each other, as some of them produce a lot of ethylene and will make other fruit rot fast. When your fruits are just right, pop them in the fridge. Yes, even bananas! They will blacken on the outside, but the inside will stay perfect for a few more days without getting mushy. Watermelon is great to snack on and hydrate during hot summer days. Keep the whole watermelons on the counter for best flavour, but once you cut it, wrap the cut slice tightly with cling film or put the cut pieces into an air-tight container and store it in a fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Fruits and vegetables that should be refrigerated
All berries (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries …) and cherries should be stored in a fresh environment, so put them straight in the fridge in an open bowl or container. And even ripe citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines …) last longer in the fridge. Place them loose or in a mesh bag in the veggie drawer and then turn them from time to time to allow airflow. While most citrus can be stored loosely, lemons should be placed in a plastic bag before going in the fridge. As for vegetables, most of them love being in the fridge. Leafy greens (spinach, salad, kale, arugula …) remain crispier with more moisture, while beets, beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies that don’t wilt are ok in a low-moisture environment. Use your crisper drawer wisely. It is one of the most underrated, but life saving features of your fridge.
Adapt your fridge to your needs
Hisense refrigerators have plenty of space to store all your fresh produce. Use the French door or cross door fridge to get extra wide shelf space and Triple Zone Cooling. These fridges come with three independent cooling zones making for a flexible storage system. Use the My Fresh Choice zone as a fridge in summer, to store the fresh fruit and vegetables that can’t mix with others, then convert it to freezer to stock up on produce for when it is not in season. With the Super Freeze function fruit and veggies will retain more nutrients and moisture, as well as perfect taste and freshness.