Reusable organic cotton bags have become a popular plastic alternative for buying and storing produce and other food items, simply because they are so effective.These cost-effective bags are easy to store in your grocery totes or handbag for instant access, and they’re also pretty awesome for keeping food fresh sans plastic.Lightweight, versatile and durable, cotton produce bags like Ecobags are great for grocery shopping and food storage at home, especially thanks to the drawstring.Vejibags makes a french terry cloth bag that is a plastic-free alternative for keeping leafy greens crisp and flavorful. .
How to Store Produce Without Plastic
And with winter now upon us in the Northern Hemisphere and many farmer’s markets closed, a lot of us will buy whatever fresh produce we can get our hands on or eat from the stockpiles we squirreled away in the fall.My farmer’s market runs year-round on Sundays only so I buy what I need for the entire week that day.Some of the more delicate produce I pick out will start to turn the next day, so when I get my delicious investment home, to maintain optimal freshness, I store everything following the simple guidelines I’ve outlined in this post.This reduces food waste and makes my week run much smoother.I have a job and at home, I have a teenager, a needy cat and a helpless hamster.If you follow the first and second rule of food-waste prevention, you don’t need to worry too much about ethylene gas because you eat your food before it starts to spoil.But if, like most people, you buy lots of produce at one go, you may find this information helpful.Big food producers use it unnaturally to ripen fruit picked early—tomatoes and bananas for example.Once the food arrives at its destination, ethylene gassing forces ripening.Follow this basic rule: separate fruit and vegetables and keep bananas away from everything.For optimum flavor, store most fruit and many vegetables at room temperature if you will consume them within one to three days.Refrigerator temperatures—generally around the mid-thirty degree Fahrenheit range—damage the flavor and texture of many types of produce.If you can buy only what you need for the next few days, store it on the kitchen counter, away from direct sunlight and ditch your refrigerator (well maybe you won’t go quite that far, but you can free up space in there at least).If you are lucky enough to have a root cellar or cool, dry basement, you can store piles of produce there for long periods of time, up to a year for some varieties.Good contenders include apples (but away from everything else because they produce ethylene gas), beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabaga, sweet potato, turnips and winter squash.However, cure garlic, onions, pumpkins and winter squash before storing.The open space of the main refrigerator compartment can draw moisture out of produce.To store larger vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, I just toss them in the crisper drawer and let them rattle around in there.You’ll keep air out and you can see what you have on hand at a glance instead of wondering and finding out only after the food has rotted.This post is a bit Northern California-centric, as I live here and I’ve included mostly what I can buy locally.Storage in the refrigerator can brown the leaves and speed up basil’s demise.Store it at room temperature with stems places in a jar of water.Store these in a cool place, however, cold temperatures in the refrigerator can cause them to break down faster.If you don’t have a cool spot for storage, in the refrigerator peppers will last for a few days.Remove the greens and store in the refrigerator in a cloth produce bag or loose in the crisper drawer.It perked up after half a day or so and actually looked better than fresh new celery I had socked away in the refrigerator.I don’t bother putting it in a cloth produce bag but you can if you prefer.If you must store it, put it in a warmer part of the refrigerator in the husk for up to three days.I like to prep greens—chard, collards, kale and spinach—in advance as they turn very quickly.Remove the stems, cut, wash and spin dry in a cloth produce bag (I do this outside).Store jalapeños, poblanos and serrano chiles at room temperature.Cut, wash, spin, then store in cloth produce bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.Store them in a cool, dry place but not in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can damage the flavor and texture.Store in a cool but not cold place and keep them away from ethylene producing fruit and strong-smelling garlic, onions and leeks, which can impart their flavors onto potatoes.Store beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and turnips at cold temperatures in the refrigerator.Like regular potatoes, store in a cool place but do not refrigerate.Cold temperatures result in mealy tomatoes devoid of flavor.Cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries turn quickly so ideally, eat them the day you buy them.If you must wait, store them in the refrigerator in glass containers or a cloth produce bag for up to about five days.Don’t cram them into giant jars or bags though or they’ll bruise.Melons do best at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so store them in a cool area but not a cold refrigerator.Store grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges at room temperature for a couple of weeks.Store them in the refrigerator in a glass container in a single layer to prolong them.Store in a cloth produce bag and refrigerate for up to five days to prolong freshness.If they’re hard, store them in the refrigerator for up to a month and remove as desired to ripen.Store at room temperature until ripe and them move to the refrigerator where they will keep for several days.Highly perishable apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums will turn quickly so gobble them up while they’re fresh.If you buy them hard, store them at room temperature until ripe, then transfer to the refrigerator for up to several days.Cold temperatures can damage their flesh, resulting in pitting and loss of color and flavor.When possible, buy only what you can eat within a few days (unless you have a root cellar, in which case, you likely grow your own food too).Refrigeration (a fairly recent invention) can zap food of its flavor and texture.I used sources such as UC Davis, the California Department of Public Health, the USDA, my trusty copy of Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington.So if you store your produce differently or have some tips you’d like to share, I would love to hear them (as I believe would my readers). .
How To Store Produce Without Plastic » My Plastic-free Life
The Berkeley Farmers Market has put together a huge list of ways to store produce without plastic.The market went plastic-free last year and is doing everything it can to encourage customers to not only bring their own bags and containers but to skip the plastic when they get home as well.Asparagus– place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature.Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry.The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside-left out on a cool counter.Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.Celery– does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.Fennel– if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery).If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.Green garlic-an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.Onion– store in a cool, dark and dry, place- good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.Parsnips-an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.Rutabagas– in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.Sweet peppers– Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time.Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.Dates-dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in.Melons– uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks.Nectarines– (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack-they get very fragile when really ripe.We actually don’t buy loose salad greens very often, opting for heads of lettuce, which are sturdier.Our strategy, if we did buy loose greens, would be to eat them right away and save hardier veggies for later in the week. .
How to Store Fruits & Vegetables Without Plastic Waste – Wild
Living in California, our family is truly blessed to have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.In Marin, we take advantage of our local Farmers’ Market and stock up on most of the produce we need for the week.But, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s seeing this fresh, beautiful produce go to waste in my fridge.After I quit plastic, I was challenged to find new methods to preserve my fruits and veggies.Without a protective layer of plastic, a lot of my produce was coming out wilted and flaccid after a day in the fridge.Our grandparents were able to preserve their produce minus plastic and you can bet they weren’t about to let their food go to waste.After some trial and error, I've found that I can protect my produce just as well as plastic, and even better in most cases.Store on counter away from ethylene sensitive produce like apples and potatoes.Trim ends and store in a glass jar of water on counter.Store in cloth produce bag in crisper or a glass container.Store at room temperature on counter until ripe (you should be able to easily pull out a leaf).Then cut into pieces and place in sealed glass container in fridge. .
How To Keep Spinach Fresh For 10 Days
Spinach is one of the ingredients used in the No-Waste Nourishing Quick Meal Plan Any Season Week 1 that can be downloaded for free.Author: Claudia Canu Scale 1x 2x 3x Ingredients 9 ounces (250 g) spinach Instructions Remove any bad leaves before washing.Claudia Canu is a former junk food and sugar addict transformed into a Health Motivator with a master’s degree in Nutrition.She has created this website not only to share her “Journey to her Healthy Forties” but also to help other busy women with basic knowledge about nutrition and who don’t love cooking, to live a healthier life, and achieve big goals. .
How to Freeze a Week's Worth of Smoothies
And, the motto of my life – “Why dirty another dish?”.There’s one thing all health officials agree on, we don’t get enough greens.I like to start my day off with a spinach salad in liquid form.Since making daily green smoothies, I have definitely seen an improvement in my skin coupled with my lotion and facemasks.Becuase, I live with roommates, they simply cannot abide by the jet engine of a blender going off every morning at 7:30.Since starting my weekly meal prep posts, I’ve been asked a lot about my smoothies.8 Almond Milk Ice Cubes.After doing this a whole bunch, my favorite to use are wide mouth 16 oz mason jars.For more information on freezing food without plastic read this blog post.Back when I was young, inexperienced and filled my shouldered jars to the brim.Before going to bed, move one smoothie from the from the freezer to the fridge.It will have defrosted overnight and be pretty much the perfect consistency.Grab reusable straw and head out the door.Won’t you lose nutritional value if you blend and freeze them?But, if you don’t, this is a great way to start your day off with nutrient-rich greens.Let me know if you have any more questions about freezing smoothies in the comment section below.*This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page. .
How To Keep Spinach Fresh For Longer
have you bought extra spinach only to find them rotten and slimy a few days later?I have done some research and found out how you store spinach fresh for longer.though it is best to eat fresh vegetables within 2-3 days of buying them, it is good to know these tricks to keep your produce fresh longer - especially if you are striving to either eat healthily, include more vegetables and fruits in your diet, save money, aspiring for zero waste or all of the above.have a higher level of moisture content making them susceptible to spoiling sooner.you can find fresh spinach, already cleaned and in plastic bags or sometimes with the roots.if you bought cleaned spinach in plastic bags, move on to the next section.fill a large bowl with clean water and swish the spinach in it.Gently lift the leaves and transfer them to a large colander or sieve to drain.You may have to do this a few times to get rid of all the dirt depending on how dirty was the spinach in the first place.to keep the spinach leaves fresh longer, dry them on a paper towel.spread them on a clean paper towel in a single layer and let them dry out.remove them and do the steps listed under - how to store fresh spinach in the refrigerator?I have frozen fresh spinach leaves in freezer-safe bags and stored them in the freezer.you can also chop fresh spinach and store them portion-sized, in freezer safe bags/containers. .
A Zero Waste Project: Tips for sustainable storage
When I go to the grocery store, I try to buy vegetables I know I’m going to be cooking with, but a lot of the time one meal won’t use a whole bag of spinach, or I’ll get peppers with the vague notion of maybe making stir-fry.Fast forward a week and there’s a soft, wrinkly bell pepper sitting next to a bag of slimy spinach wasting away in the back of my fridge.Part of the solution to this problem is to just plan meals better and keep track of what I have in my fridge and my cupboard, but better food storage can also mitigate the amount that ends up in my compost.As the NRDC explains it, “An enormous amount of resources and energy go into growing, processing, transporting and eventually disposing of all that wasted food.”.I’ve been seeing a lot of charts on Pinterest (where I get all my brilliant zero waste ideas) about ways to store food more efficiently, so some of the most basic changes I made came from here.If you’re buying fresh bread (which is much more zero waste than my Great Value fix), it lasts longest stored in a cloth or pillowcase, in a wooden box.Potatoes and onions should both be stored in a dark, dry environment, which I was already doing, but interestingly they shouldn’t be on the same shelf, because they actually release chemicals to ripen one another quicker. .
Plastic Free Food Storage:
as being picked, you are far more likely to have that food last longer than another piece of produce that had to travel half way around the world before even getting to your supermarket.Here I have listed some of the most common fruits and vegetables you most likely use on a weekly basis and how to store them for optimal freshness.If you need to store asparagus for any length of time I usually will trim the bottom of the stems and place in about 1 inch of water upright.Turnips, Radishes, Beets: Wash, remove leaves, and store in an open container in the refrigerator with a damp cloth on top.Wash, remove leaves, and store in an open container in the refrigerator with a damp cloth on top.Submerge carrots in water, or wrap in a damp towel and place in the refrigerator.Remove kale from stem, wash and place in an open container in the refrigerator with a damp cloth on top.Herbs: Trim bottom stems and store in a glass of water in the refrigerator.Citrus: Store in a cool dry place with good air flow, never in a closed container.Store in a cool dry place with good air flow, never in a closed container.Beyond knowing how to store your fruits and veggies correctly, I also rely on a few key items in my kitchen to ensure that my food lasts as long as possible.These are also great for storing leftovers that you may want to freeze or keep fresh for at least a few days post cooking.They work great for almost any veggie or fruit that you only needs half of like lemons, onion, peppers, cucumbers.The clamp top stays very tight and I find does a really great job of keeping even cut veggies fresh for a good 4-5 days. .