Disclaimer: I was provided with a Fridge Fresh Unit from Berry Breeze at no cost to try out in my own home kitchen. This product is mentioned in the following blog post.
Most people recognize the value of fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet many Americans struggle to consistently incorporate these foods into their day at the level recommended for optimal health.
One potential reason people shy away from these foods? They go bad too quickly. Or they are forgotten about until they go bad and then need to be disposed of instead of being enjoyed.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to extend the life of your fruits and vegetables so that you can actually eat them as intended. Not only will this benefit your health, but it will also benefit your wallet and the environment. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.
Buy only what you need. Sometimes we get a little overzealous in the produce section. Our excitement over embracing more nutrient-rich foods can sometimes result in buying more than we need. If you are one of the Americans who tend to eat too little from the produce section, keep in mind that even small increases make a big difference. As you get more comfortable adding in fresh produce to your regular meal plan, you may find that you need to increase the amount of produce you buy. But it is okay to start small and work your way up. Buy one or two potatoes instead of an entire bag. Buy one stalk of broccoli instead of an entire head. Buy bulk spinach instead of a whole bag. You get the idea…
Have a (back up) plan for your produce. Eating with intention is key. Although you may have one or two recipes that you specifically bought certain produce for, odds are that you will have some fruits and vegetables left over. For these fruits and veggies, consider prepping them right along with those the recipe calls for and then storing in your fridge. This way, you can easily add them to other recipes you enjoy throughout the week.
And PS – I don’t know if I’ve met a recipe yet that isn’t made better by adding extra veggies or fruits to the mix.
Prepare as much of your fruits and vegetables as you can in advance. Whether you prep all your veggies at meal time or do so right after you get home from the grocery store, prepared fruits and vegetables are way more likely to get eaten. Prep them so that they are easy to grab and eat or can be easily incorporated into meals you enjoy throughout the week. When the week is over, you should find yourself without any produce-gone-bad left for you to clean up.
Store your fruits and vegetables correctly. Did you know that how you store fruits and vegetables also matters? I tend to store my fruits and vegetables in the way in which I found them at the grocery store, but this helpful guide from Fruits and Veggies More Matters provides more detail on how and where to store produce for long life and best flavor.
Keep the air in your fridge fresh. And if you are looking for another no-fuss way to increase the life of your fresh produce, there are actually products out there that can help you with that. The Fridge Fresh unit from Berry Breeze is one such gadget. According to the Berry Breeze website, it can keep foods fresh up to three times longer than normal, keep your fridge smelling clean, and also eliminate microbes and odor-producing bacteria.
How? Through the timed release of activated oxygen, also known as 03, which neutralizes common bacteria, mold, ethylene gas, and other microbes that can cause foods to ripen and decay quickly.
I’m still testing mine out, but I love the concept. A fresher fridge and longer-lasting produce? Yes, please.
Fruits and vegetables can benefit your health, but only if you are able to eat them. Hopefully, these tips will help you maximize the life of your produce so that you can enjoy more of them day in and day out.