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Simple Tips to Keep your Fruits and Vegetables Fresh

Updated on June 19, 2017
Banana Hanger
Banana Hanger | Source

As I just walked into my kitchen for a snack, I notice that my fruit bowl is now filled by a bunch of brown bananas. But I just bought them three or four days ago.... Then I remembered, I used to have a banana hanger, and that little sucker worked great. And what about those green produce bags, I have some of those somewhere, and they worked great too. Why aren't I using them? Then I realized, why not write a hub on simple ways to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh? So here we go!

First and foremost, the banana hanger. How does it work? Bananas release a gas called ethylene. By keeping them hanging, the gas will diffuse away, slowing down the enzymes that ripen the fruit. TIP - the worst place to keep bananas? A fruit bowl....

A good place to buy a banana hanger? eBay of course. But be careful, as this writer just found out, searching for a "banana hammock" gets you very different results indeed!


How do those Green Produce Bags Work?

So how do those green produce bags work anyway? Back to ethylene. Almost all fruits emit this gas, a gas that feeds the enzymes that ripen fruit. Not only that, certain vegetables are especially sensitive to ethylene gas, such as broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, leafy greens. Storing your ethylene emitting fruits in the fridge crisper drawer is a double whammy.

Green Produce Bags work by using a mineral called zeolite. This mineral is used to soften water but also absorbs ethylene gas. So by placing your fruits in these bags, you not only slow down the ripening, you help protect nearby vegetables as well.

Note - while searching on eBay for green bags produce bags, I stumbled upon green storage containers as well. It looks like they might have zeolite as well, but I'm not sure.


Fruits that emit ethylene include -- bananas, tomatoes, avocados, pears, and apples

You can always Freeze your Veggies

Do you love the Farmer's market as much as I do? Buy a little much did we? You know, you could always freeze those veggies, but you have to blanch them first.

Steps to blanch fresh Vegetables:

  • First you need to boil 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables
  • Then use a wire basket to submerge the veggies for 1 to 2 minutes (Don't cook them!)
  • Pull them out of the boiling water and submerge them in ice water for another 1 to 2 minutes
  • IMPORTANT -- don't wrap them in plastic yet! Place them on a tray in a single layer and let them freeze. Once frozen, pull them out ans THEN wrap them in plastic or ziploc bags and store them in a freezer.


Where to Store 'Em?

As a general rule, fruits need a DRY environment. Vegetables go in the crisper drawer.

Here's my "Cheat Sheet"

  • On the Counter -- Tomatoes
  • In The Pantry -- Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, Squash
  • In the Crisper -- "The Greens" -- Lettuce, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, artichokes, cucumber
  • NOT IN A FRUIT BOWL -- bananas

TIP-- Don't wash produce until your ready to use it, moisture will help spoil the produce

Go to your Farmers Markets!

I found a GREAT website to help you find farmers markets, family farms, and more.

Check out localharvest.org to see what's growing near you!

Source

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    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      hello mwhagro, and thanks for stopping by. After spending a small fortune on veggies every week, I gave in and did some research. I learned as I wrote. :) , thanks again for stopping by -- Jeff

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      @ calculus-geometry -- Thanks for stopping by. All of my fruit used to ripen overnight, especially the bananas. I was storing them all wrong, till I finally decided to write about it hahaha. I always think I'm gonna eat it up fast, but never do....

    • profile image

      calculus-geometry 

      6 years ago

      I've always been amazed by the ability of fruit to become ripe just by being near other ripe fruit. With avocados I've basically given up on figuring out how to store them. We just eat them as soon as we get them.

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks His Princesz :), I got tired of brown bananas and did some research, thanks for reading!

    • His princesz profile image

      His princesz 

      6 years ago

      Hello! Such informative hub. Soo glad to know all these. :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 

      6 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      I so need a banana hanger!!!! Every time I get banana's and they sit on the counter they turn brown so fast. It's on my birthday wish list even, so maybe I will get one this year :) Great hub! Voted up and shared!!!

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks unknown spy :) , I got tired of the brown bananas lol

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi Jeff, thank you for these tips. I am glad to know more about this wonderful topic. Great hub!

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks JayeWisdom :), I can vouch for the banana hanger, workin pretty well for me.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Terrific hub! I still have some of those green bags, but need to buy a banana hanger. (I purchase a lot of bananas.) Voted Up, Useful, Interesting and shared. Thanks.

      Jaye

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      Lots of great advice. I have a banana hanger wonder where it is. Will have to dig it out. We love bananas but, I'm constantly making banana cake because they're turning brown. I don't need the cake. Voted Up and Sharing.

    • zsobig profile image

      Sophie 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great ideas, this banana hook was completely new for me, I will surely give it a try as my hubby loves to eat this fruit :).

      Voted up!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I dislike brown bananas! Useful tips here. I vote up, useful, and sharing too

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks europewalker :) , I hate throwing away food myself, especially two day old bananas

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 

      6 years ago

      Helpful tips! I hate having to throw away fruit that can't be eaten anymore, what a waste of money. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      danielabram 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for this article! Nothing is worse than having to throw away rotten fruit.

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      @Starmom41, Thanks for your comment! The green bags work! I swear, I have been using for a few weeks now and am happy with the results. Buy them online, they are cheaper then in stores anyway. They also have those green containers now, haven't tried those yet, but probably work as they are made with the same material.

    • profile image

      Starmom41 

      6 years ago

      This is a very interesting hub- thanks for writing it!

      Another of my many "beefs" about my current locale is the inability to have fresh fruit- oddly enough, bananas are the only exception- the humidity is so bad that if you don't eat fresh fruit the same day you buy it, it'll be moldy the next day. I've heard of the green bags, but haven't seen any in stores. The rare times I buy fresh veggies, I have to keep them in the refrigerator.

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      @ Olde Cashmere, thanks for the positive feedback! I had to look this information up, got tired of the brown bananas :)

      @christin53, thanks for the comment! yep, I learned that the hard way. I had been keeping my bananas with all my fruit, in a bowl, which apparently is the worst thing to do.

    • christin53 profile image

      Ann-Christin 

      6 years ago from UK

      Very interesting. I always hang my bananas up and you should always keep them away from other fruits as they will make them ripen too.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      6 years ago

      Very helpful and interesting article. I also utilize some of these tips for keeping these foods fresh. Thank you and will be sharing this :)

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks for the kind comments CrisSP. I actually did research for that hub after I got frustrated when my bananas turned brown on the second day lol. I was doing the same thing, putting them in a bowl with the apples...

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Oh wow! I didn't know that quick tip on banana until now. No wonder, the banana in the house quickly turn brownish-we put them in the bowl along with other fruits. I took the liberty of copying your cheat sheet and pinned it on my kitchen board. Lol! As well, I'm going to get that banana hanger. This is a fantastic quick read help. Voted useful, awesome and interesting. Thanks howlermunkey!

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks Commish! lemme know when you get that league going :)

    • FF Commish profile image

      FF Commish 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      I never knew about those bananas -- thanks for the great Hub, howlermunkey!

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks internpete :) , I love Farmers markets as well. One thing Im learning about NE, (I'm a transplant from Orlando), there are tons of farms around here as well!

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Good info. I'm a big fan of farmers markets, always have the best fruits and vegetables!

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks anglnwu :)

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for explaining the banana-going-brown syndrome. Great tips and I'll be putting them into practice, for sure. Thanks and rated up.

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks jennzie :)

    • jennzie profile image

      Jenn 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Very helpful article- voted up and useful.

    • howlermunkey profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks Lipnancy :)

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Great tips for keeping food fresh. Voted up and Shared.

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