How to store your fruit and veg to keep it fresh and reduce food waste

As the UK is slowly coming to the end of it’s first week under lockdown, many of our fridges are looking a little empty.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, it can be worrying to go to the shop to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

If you managed to get an elusive delivery slot, this won’t be a problem, but for those of us who didn’t it’s a valid fear.

To reduce exposure to the killer virus, it is recommended that we only go to the supermarket to stock up on essentials.

Because of this, lots of Brits are trying to reduce food waste.

Creative recipes and hacks for using up odds and ends have gone viral on social media.

But, what about stopping your fruit and veg from going off?

Gousto’ s Senior Recipe Developer, Jordan Moore, told us his tips for storing fruit and vegetables so that they stay fresh for longer.

Give them a try:

Onions

To keep whole onions from going soft, make sure you keep them in their skins and store in a cool, dark place like a kitchen cupboard, away from potatoes (they give off a gas that ripens onions).

Leeks & Spring Onions

If you want to store leeks and spring onions so that they keep growing, put them in a jar with an inch of water covering the roots then keep the jar on a windowsill.

Potatoes

Potatoes (and sweet potatoes) need to breathe, so it’s best to store them in a cardboard box or paper bag in a cool, dark place.

Never in the fridge!

And remember that you can still eat them if they’ve started to sprout.

Spinach, Kale & Salad Leaves

Take a tupperware box, line it with kitchen roll, add your leaves, top with another piece of kitchen roll and lock down the lid.

The box needs to be big enough so the leaves have a bit of space and aren’t jammed in.

The box protects the delicate leaves whilst the kitchen roll absorbs the excess moisture.

Mushrooms

To keep your mushrooms fresh for longer, store in their original packaging in the fridge.

Did you know you can also leave them on a sunny windowsill before cooking to enrich them with vitamin D?

Carrots

Carrot leaves actually draw moisture and nutrients from the root, so the best thing to do when buying whole carrots is chop the leaves off.

Then, store in a paper bag in the fridge.

You might need to change the bag a couple of times depending on how long you store them for, as it’s important carrots stay dry.

Butternut Squash

Store butternut squash in a cool, dark place, like a kitchen cupboard.

It should last two to three months!

Once diced, butternut squash can be kept in tupperware in the fridge for four days.

Asparagus

Tie a bunch of trimmed asparagus together with an elastic band, then stand in a jar with an inch or two of water covering the ends.

Cover loosely and store in the fridge.

Radishes

Just like carrots, radish leaves draw moisture and nutrients from the root, so the best thing to do when buying whole radishes is chop the leaves off.

Then, store in the fridge.

If they’ve gone a little soft when you come to use them, simply soak in ice cold water to make them crisp again.

Cucumber

This is another one to keep out of the fridge.

Cucumbers last much longer when stored at room temperature, and away from tomatoes and bananas which make them ripen much faster.

Avocado

To encourage a hard avocado to ripen, store in a paper bag at room temperature, or in a fruit bowl with bananas.

To stop from ripening, keep the avocado in the fridge.

To keep half an avocado fresh for longer, make sure you do not remove the stone. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the exposed parts of the fruit, cover and store in the fridge.

Tomatoes

Do not keep tomatoes in the fridge! It damages the delicate skin, diluting the delicious taste and causing that floury texture.

The best way to store tomatoes is in a fruit bowl at room temperature, but you should eat them as soon as possible for the best flavour.

Apples

Store apples in a drawer in the fridge, away from other fruits and veg and covered in a damp piece of kitchen roll.

Aubergine

Aubergine lasts much longer at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

The best way to store is in a bowl or just loose in a kitchen cupboard.

Grapes

Grapes last longest when stored in a drawer in the fridge in their original packaging, which will be perforated to allow for air flow.

Oranges, Lemons & Limes

Citrus fruit, especially lemons and limes, will harden when stored at room temperature.

To keep fresh and juicy for longer, store in the fridge.

If you follow these tips then your fresh food will never go to waste.

The added bonus is less food shops, so less risk of contamination.

Just remember to wash your fruit and veg with soapy water when you bring it into the house!

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