Preventing Wilt Guilt: Smart Shopping and Storage Hacks
We're constantly looking for ways to make eating healthy as easy as possible. The benefits of adopting a whole food, plant-centric diet are totally worth the effort, but sometimes all of the planning and prep work can get overwhelming.
We’ve all experienced wilt guilt before. Picture this: it's a beautiful day at the market, and you’re stocking up on fresh produce with the best of intentions. Then a few busy days fly by. Now those "borderline" veggies are staring at you from the fridge, and you're left wondering how to use them up before they spoil.
Don't worry, there is hope! Here are some savvy storage tips to prevent food waste, for the good of the planet and your wallet.
Don’t be afraid to buy frozen. When it comes to organic fruits and vegetables, there is nothing wrong with opting for frozen over fresh – especially if you’re unsure that you'll eat everything before it expires. Nutritionally speaking, frozen food can actually be better than fresh in some cases. Freezing prohibits the activity of enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the nutrients. These enzymes remain active in fresh produce, which can accelerate the breakdown process. When buying frozen, look for organic brands and double-check the ingredient list to make sure there is no sneaky added salt or sugar.
To keep the fridge free of clutter, make sure not to refrigerate items that do not need to stay cold. Many fruits and veggies are best kept at room temperature until rinsed and/or chopped, like these:
- tropical fruits
For countertop storage, we need to take ethylene into account. Ethylene is a gaseous compound in plants that serves as a hormone to stimulate ripening. Some foods emit more of it than others, speeding up the ripening process. This brings us to the fruit bowl dilemma: not all produce should share the same bowl, and some combinations will fare better than others. Click here for a great guide on ethylene and storage compatibility.
Now for some more specific storage tips:
- To prevent slimy spinach, stick a paper towel inside of the bag to absorb any excess moisture. This works with other greens as well.
- Celery that is starting to go limp can be revived in a bowl of ice water – this will rehydrate the stalks and conserve that crunch.
- Long-stemmed green vegetables (like asparagus, broccoli, and spring onions) should be refrigerated, stored upright in a tall glass of water to last as long as possible.
We hope this post leaves you pumped for your next grocery haul - it's the little things, right? 😁