In the second chapter to Dr. Jo’s essential food hacks (in part one, she dished some helpful advice to keeping your vegetables fresher for longer), our guest dietitian and food expert provides five pro-tips to extending the life of your fruit in order to save money and decrease unnecessary waste in the kitchen.
1. Separate Your Bananas
Bananas are always too ripe or not ripe enough in my house. Keep them from getting brown too quickly by storing them separately to other fruits. This will also prevent the other fruit from ripening too quickly. If your bananas are on their way to being overripe, you can toss them in the fridge to use at later date. Or, peel and freeze your bananas to use in smoothies, frozen desserts, muffins or baking.
2. Tomatoes – Ripen, Then Refrigerate
There’s nothing better than a soft, ripe tomato to add to your salad. Storing your tomatoes on a sunny windowsill will help them ripen. If they’re soft enough, put them in the fridge to prevent further ripening – but do take them out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before eating. You can ripen avocadoes in the same way, then pop in the fridge as soon as they’re ready to eat.
3. Puree for Longer Life
When your fruit is looking a little less than fresh, puree it and freeze in small portions. Use the frozen portions in smoothies, frozen desserts and baking.
4. Correctly Store Your Strawberries
Strawberries are delicious (and often expensive!) so it’s disheartening to see them wilt away in the fridge. Keep them at their freshest by removing the strawberries from the punnet when you get home. Instead, place a paper towel on the bottom of a container, then place your berries on top in single layer. Be sure not to over crowd your berries – keeping them squashed together will cause them to ripen more quickly and bruise more easily.
5. Rotate Your Fruit
Remember to search through your fruit bowl and rotate your fruit regularly. One bad apple left at the bottom of your bowl can cause the surrounding fruit to go off more quickly.
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