Storing Fruits and Vegetables

marie26May 16, 2010

I have the green "Debbie Meyer" type bags as well as the green containers that supposedly help perishables to last longer. I purchased both at the local Made for TV store.

I researched how to store fruits and vegetables in the bags. I add a piece of paper towel to each bag with one type of produce and make sure all the air is squeezed out of it before I tie it tightly.

I'm not sure that the bags or containers really do help keep items fresh for as long as I've heard people say they should. Am I doing something wrong in how I use these bags or containers?

Does anyone have the containers? I've added a piece of paper towel to the containers but don't know if it's helped.

Also, I like to prepare salads in advance (without the dressing). How do you store these to make sure they last longer? What about cut up veggies that I snack on? Sometimes, I plan on eating the salads or the cut-up veggies within the next couple of days but end up with not doing that.

Is there another way to make sure that refrigerated vegetables or fruits last longer? I suppose that I could just buy less when shopping and go more often but I prefer not to do that. It just seems that I am throwing away way too much produce.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is no way I know of to hold veggies longer and have them be fresh. I think you may have to rethink the way you do some things. Really how long does it take to make a salad. If it's veggies that can be cooked then put them in a container you can throw in the freezer if they don't get eaten in a timely manner. You can do the same with fruit. Other than that I have no idea.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It seems to take me forever to peel, chop and slice vegetables. I've seen others do it quickly so I have no idea why I'm so slow at it, but I am. I do it all by hand instead of using a food processor or some other small appliance. This is why I prefer to make a larger batch of salad or cut-up fresh veggies instead of doing it daily after work.

If there is an appliance that I should be using that doesn't require major washing after using it, please let me know which one it is.

Has anyone had better luck with the green bags or containers or is there another system that works for you?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the green bags work fairly well as intended. That is to slow the rotting process. They don't keep food from drying out, though. I think those bags have tiny holes to allow air flow.

The best way to deal with lettuce is to get a salad spinner. You need the lettuce to be dry to keep well. Tear the lettuce, don't cut it, place it in the spinner bowl, fill with water, add the juice of once sliced lemon, swish. Drain the water, and spin the lettuce dry. The acid in the lemon juice helps keep the lettuce from going bad. The Oxo salad spinner, which I love, comes with a storage cover. The lettuce stays crisp and lasts for almost a week if you use lemon juice.

Cut up carrots, lettuce and radishes keep well in a regular baggie. Rinse them every day to keep fresher looking.

Broccoli: Try the lemon wash too and spin to dry. I don't know about cauliflower, but I think the bags work good. Always package separately.

Cucumber: cut and peel only what you will eat for a couple of days. Maybe a produce container would help.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice tip about the lemon, janetpetiole! Thanks! I've been having the same problem as the original poster.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sometimes, I plan on eating the salads or the cut-up veggies within the next couple of days but end up with not doing that.

I'd say that's your trouble right there. I know, because I used to be that way. Buy a bunch of produce with the intent of eating it all up in the next few days and then I don't.

My only suggestion is to plan your meals better. Are you eating out or eating other less perishables instead of the produce? If so, why?

My solution is to plan out several day's worth of meals in advance, based on what's in my fridge. So if I bought a five pound bag of potatoes, you can bet there will be potatoes on the menu over the next week or so till they are gone. If I bought squash, then that's what I'll plan on making. If I have salad fixings (which I pretty much always do), then we'll have salad with most meals.

You are either buying more than you need, or not doing a good job of planning meals based on what you bought. Figure out what's going wrong and fix that.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I empathize with you; my husband rarely eats salads so that leaves me. Can't help with green salads, but if you eat slaw, I have found that freezing it (google it) works. I will use less sugar than I found in those recipes but that is personal taste. I froze in sealable bags, so that it lay flat. I remove what I want and leave the rest frozen. It is cold and crisp and tasty.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the Debbie Meyer bags have a lifespan, and it isn't actually that long. I've shown what I do before so I won't do it again, but will say that Lock and Lock really works for keeping vegs fresh until it's eaten. I use a separate container for lettuce with a screen guard in the bottom, and use a salad spinner to spin it dry before storing. I haven't tried rinsing it with lemon juice though, which is probably a good idea. I did recently buy a lettuce knife so I wouldn't have to tear lettuce to keep it from going brown, which is working well.

If you have a Foodsaver and a the jar attachment, vacuum sealing already prepared (but not dressed) salad will keep it fresh a little longer. It doesn't last forever though!

Lowsparks idea of planning your menus is important. If you have some of the prep work already done as you've already figured out, it's much easier to cook when the time comes. A simple madoline or slicer is a very easy way to prep vegetables if you haven't tried it, but you do want to use a finger guard.

I don't plan for holding fresh food for more than a week though, so maybe if you expect it to last longer than that, that's the problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: ceramic slicer

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm thinking of buyimg some muslin or cotton ticking fabric and sewing my own cloth drawsring bags. Also, if you wash foods like strawberries or cut fruits and veggies they rot pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe the directions on the green bags say NOT to seal them tightly. We've mostly used them for lettuce and find that it does last longer. We wash and spin-dry before storage.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To follow jannie's comment above, I make drawstring bags from kitchen towels. You can make them from not-so-favorite towels or do this: When I travel I like to search for nice towels. They are usually in tourist-y spots but museum shops often have beautiful towels. Stitch a pocket for the drawstring and use twill tape or grosgrain ribbon for the drawstring. A small bag can be made from one folded towel seamed on the sides. A huge bag takes two towels (will hold at least three washed and broken heads of Romaine lettuce for a giant Caesar salad.) Each time I use a bag it brings back memories of the trip to the place where I bought the towels. My friends liked them at my house so now I buy extra towels and make these as gifts... always a hit. You can place the towel bag in a plastic bag to prevent drying the contents if it's refrigerated more than a few hours.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Food Saver machine and its plastic canisters are great for storing fruits and vegetables. Strawberries and blueberries last much longer when stored in these containers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Food Saver

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I surprise myself -- having anything to contribute here! It's suggested to make coleslaw because it keeps. One thing I often do when it's last minute salad time is just use my little hand grater and grate as much carrot as I need right then. It really freshens up any salad and you can put the rest of the carrot back into the fridge. When I was a kid we had two kinds of salad -- iceberg lettuce and onion or the 'macedonian' type salad -- onions, green pepper, tomato, maybe cucumber. These ingredients keep in the refrigerator with no problem -- right?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought a lettuce keeper on Amazon and it works pretty well. It's basically a plastic tub with vents on the side and a tray in the bottom to pour a little water in so you can control the humidity and airflow.

It's been working really well for me. Lettuce lasts a couple of weeks at least. I haven't tried any other vegetables or fruits in it yet. When I get home from the grocery store I wash the lettuce, whirl it in the salad spinner, put the lettuce in the keeper and pour a little bit of water in the lower tray. The keeper does take up a bit of room in the refrigerator, but it's worth it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you know you can keep your vegetables and fruits fresh (by that I mean longer lifespan) in the fridge by wrapping them with the newspaper? The paper material of newspaper will absorb the excessive water from vegetables and fruits and keep them fresh in the fridge. It is an old method from my parents generation, but it really works. Special container is not needed at all.

Jay Chua

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Claire, I LOVE Lock & Locks, I use them for so many things, and they come in the prettiest colors.
I also got a great (easy) chopper that I use for Onions on QVC and I put all my different salad fixings in the Lock & Locks and things keep really well. I enjoy how nice they look in the fridge, too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 6:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Where to donate a 15yo nebulizer
Years ago, when my now-17-y-o was a little one, he...
I am donating like a madwoman!
In 2006, we put our home on the market, and to get...
Are Lazy Susans useless or is it just me?
I'm in the process of revamping underutilized areas...
Anyone know of good boxes (plastic?) for storing papers?
I've been purging DD's school work and paper crafts...
Getting rid of part of an item- WWYD
Okay, here's the question: I have a larger, aluminum...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™