When it comes to healthy home cooking, having fresh produce around is definitely important. Although buying canned or frozen veggies can sometime seem like a cheaper or more convenient alternative in a pinch, there’s truly nothing that can beat fresh when it comes to taste and nutrient value. Still, being efficient and using all the fresh ingredients we buy before they go bad can be tricky for even the most experienced shopper. On the other hand, even if you have meal plans for the entire week, your veggies can sometimes wilt at home unexpectedly fast.
If you’ve ever tried to work more salads into your diet, you’ve probably tried pre-chopping all the separate ingredients so that you can grab a handful and go when the time comes. Unfortunately, sometimes the way these veggies are stored can make them get soft or mushy before we want them to. The good news is that you don’t have to stop chopping your veggies ahead of time! Today, we’ve got five simple tips to help keep your chopped salad veggies fresher for longer.
Peppers provide some nice spice and kick to any salad and are nice to keep around. Still, they are not immune to wilting or going bad in the fridge. Keeping them fresh all starts with cutting them up with a sharp knife—after all, using a dull edge can seriously bruise the outside, causing them to deteriorate faster. Once you’ve got them cut, put your slices on some dry paper towel to absorb the extra moisture and wrap them up in it. Put the whole thing in an air-tight container and add about half an inch of cold water as well. The water will help preserve the peppers though you should definitely switch it out about once a week!
Another nice salad addition are some cool and crispy cucumbers. Still, they’re not quite as good when they turn into mush. The main issue here is to absorb any excess moisture—and we’ve got just the trick. First, slice your cucumbers up like you normally would and put your pieces in air-tight containers. Next, try putting a folded paper towel on top of the slices, sealing it in and turning it upside down when you store it in the fridge. On the other hand, slicing cucumbers and keeping them wrapped in paper towel, fully submerged in cold water, can also work as well.
Carrots are another crunchy and nutritious option for a salad that have a decent amount of life in them already if they’re not chopped up. Still, keeping them sliced or peeling for salads is a little more convenient. To make sure they stay fresh, peel and cut your carrots in half to your liking. Once again, fill an air-tight container with clean water and leave about an inch of room from the top. Seal it up and change the water out daily. Be sure to cut all the green off the carrots before submerging them (since that’s the part that sucks up the water)!
Wilted lettuce leaves are one of the worst things in the world. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid it if you store it correctly. Though there are many different ways to keep your greens fresh, the best of all is to get a plastic storage container and line it with paper towels (it can even be the container that mixed greens come in, in some cases). Put the lettuce back in and seal it up for leaves that should stay fresh and green for as long as 10 days!
Onions can stay good for a long time if they’re not cut into, but who wants to cut up an onion every single time they want some in a salad? Fortunately, there are still ways to keep onions fresh in the fridge as well. After chopping them up with a sharp knife, get them into an air-tight storage container as soon as possible. If you really want to keep them or other aromatics preserved for a long time, you can also keep them in the freezer almost indefinitely.
Do you have any other food storage tips you want to add? Let us know in the comments.
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