Using fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs is one of the simple steps that can go a long way to making a meal much more pleasurable. However, finding produce that has gone bad - or is no longer fresh - in your fridge can be a major disappointment to anyone about to start preparing a meal.

Right now, local farmers' markets, roadside stands, and farm shop produce sections are all stocked to the brim with colourful options, all of which come together to let you make some of the best meals during the warm months.

Fresh produce requires different storage methods and can be stored for varying lengths of time. Some fresh produce can even remain in better quality when not refrigerated.

All storage areas should be clean and dry. Fruit and vegetables stored at room temperature should be in a cool, dry, pest-free, well-ventilated area separate from household chemicals.

Here is how you can keep some of your produce fresher for longer.

Keep citrus and ginger in the fridge

Have you ever come across those kitchens on Instagram that look picture-perfect with a bowl of lemons on the counter? Looks nice, right? But truth be told, those lemons will not stay fresh for long.

For lasting freshness – think firm, juicy, not wrinkled – pop your citrus in the fridge. The same goes for ginger (and fresh turmeric root if you have got it).

Wrap celery in foil

To keep celery crisp for as long as possible, ditch the plastic bag it came in and wrap it in aluminium foil before storing it in the refrigerator.

The foil allows ethylene gas, produced naturally in the ripening process, to escape, keeping the celery crisp for weeks.

Keep your berries in jars

Give your berries a rinse and let them dry completely on a clean tea towel before storing them in clean jars in the fridge.

Your berries must be completely dry before you move them into your jars as any moisture will speed the ripening process. This can take some time but is an easy process and is well worth it for delicious berries that last weeks.

Seal your lettuce

Prepared a bit too much lettuce for your salad? Store leftover leaves in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. The towel absorbs moisture, which is what turns leaves soggy and brown.

Replace the towel when it becomes damp. Another trick: Sprinkle the leaves with a dash of salt, which also helps draw out extra wetness.

Freeze fresh herbs into ice cubes

When you cannot use all those fresh herbs before they lose their greatness, freeze them in ice cube trays. This method is perfect for herbs such as basil, rosemary, mint, dill, oregano, sage, chives, thyme and cilantro.

Simply chop up your herbs, toss them into a silicone ice cube tray, and pour in your favourite oil. Whenever you need a burst of freshness, just pop one out.

Do not separate bananas until ready to eat

Bananas ripen more quickly when separated from the bunch. To slow the ripening process, keep them together until you are ready to eat them.

Additionally, wrapping the top stem in plastic wrap can help slow the release of ethylene gas and extend its freshness.

2024-04-24T06:15:49Z dg43tfdfdgfd