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HOW to keep veggies fresh after cutting....I'm tired of wasting food


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#1 sheryl

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

Once veggies are "cut" they deterioate sooooooooooooooooo quickly. There are many reasons I'd like my dh, dd and I to continue eating veggies:

1. healthy
2. filling/roughage
3. pretty
4. versatile in color, texture, taste

I do NOT eat veggies as I would like....I go to the store and cut half a cauliflower head in half. Maybe I don't eat them quickly enough, but I do need them to last a bit. I can sneak fresh veggies into my dh's lunch (packed lunch for work everyday), but that's only a half stalk of celery and maybe 2-3 finger sized carrots. Same with my dd. I can eat a bit more in a day, but, still, together it would not equal a great amount in a day.......so I need the veggies to last longer.

I responded to Halcyon's thread to start a "raw diet" and this is preventing me somewhat.

Lastly, I end up throwing out the "old" food and that's a waste of money which to me is a no-no.

Is there something that will keep foods fresh/crisp for maybe 2 weeks? If not, please tell me now...............:tongue_smilie:

#2 MindyD

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:41 AM

Some fruits and veggies can last that long in the refrigerator like carrots and apples, but I think you'll just have to go to the store more often. If you weren't going raw, I'd suggest eating fresh until it starts to be less crisp, then chop and freeze to use in recipes. At least that way you're not wasting so much.

#3 klmama

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:45 AM

You can expand your veggie choices a lot by making salads with the leftovers. Maybe serve sliced red peppers at one meal, and any leftovers get chopped and added to the next night's salad.

With a head of broccoli or cauliflower, I don't ever plan to eat the whole thing raw. Instead, I cut up the whole thing and serve some raw right away, then use some another day in a special salad (broccoli salad with bacon, raisins, onion, celery, cashews, and sweet dressing) or just add some to a dinner salad, and then stir fry the rest on yet another day. If I couldn't do all that within a week, I'd freeze whatever was left and use it in soup or steamed later.

#4 Tigger

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

You can put some things in water, like celery, just like in a vase to maintain crispness. Buying baby carrots is a good way to limit wilting - just be sure they're real baby carrots, not peeled carrots that are small to look like baby carrots since those dry out quickly.

Other things are harder to do that, like cauliflower & broccoli florets - they should last a few days in the refrigerator though....have you tried putting them in those green bags designed to keep vegetables fresh longer? If you're just cutting off some florets and leaving the rest on the core, it'll wilt quicker than if you cut the whole head and place in a bag in the refrigerator.

#5 Parrothead

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

I'd stop cutting things in half. Just use the whole head of cauliflower. Or if you must cut and store. Use what you've stored within 24 hours. If you have cauliflower today, have it again tomorrow. If you are on a raw diet you'll need that second half soon anyway.

#6 Truscifi

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

Some fruits and veggies can last that long in the refrigerator like carrots and apples, but I think you'll just have to go to the store more often. If you weren't going raw, I'd suggest eating fresh until it starts to be less crisp, then chop and freeze to use in recipes. At least that way you're not wasting so much.


:iagree: This is what I do. You can make raw food smoothies with the frozen stuff. A friend who follows 80/10/10 (the 80 is raw foods/juices) says she does this a lot as well and the smoothies are just as good. We don't follow a raw diet, so we use them to cook with as well.

#7 sheryl

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:57 AM

Some fruits and veggies can last that long in the refrigerator like carrots and apples, but I think you'll just have to go to the store more often. If you weren't going raw, I'd suggest eating fresh until it starts to be less crisp, then chop and freeze to use in recipes. At least that way you're not wasting so much.


Going to store is definately a possiblity, but I was hoping for them to last a bit longer.

You can expand your veggie choices a lot by making salads with the leftovers. Maybe serve sliced red peppers at one meal, and any leftovers get chopped and added to the next night's salad.

With a head of broccoli or cauliflower, I don't ever plan to eat the whole thing raw. Instead, I cut up the whole thing and serve some raw right away, then use some another day in a special salad (broccoli salad with bacon, raisins, onion, celery, cashews, and sweet dressing) or just add some to a dinner salad, and then stir fry the rest on yet another day. If I couldn't do all that within a week, I'd freeze whatever was left and use it in soup or steamed later.


Right..this is good and I try to do this, but it doesn't always work out. BTW, recipe looks great and I'll try it. THANKS!


You can put some things in water, like celery, just like in a vase to maintain crispness. Buying baby carrots is a good way to limit wilting - just be sure they're real baby carrots, not peeled carrots that are small to look like baby carrots since those dry out quickly.

Other things are harder to do that, like cauliflower & broccoli florets - they should last a few days in the refrigerator though....have you tried putting them in those green bags designed to keep vegetables fresh longer? If you're just cutting off some florets and leaving the rest on the core, it'll wilt quicker than if you cut the whole head and place in a bag in the refrigerator.


Water in a storage container? Will that work? What else besides celery?


I'd stop cutting things in half. Just use the whole head of cauliflower. Or if you must cut and store. Use what you've stored within 24 hours. If you have cauliflower today, have it again tomorrow. If you are on a raw diet you'll need that second half soon anyway.



Well, I haven't started H's raw diet yet. I serve healthy meals, and I eat only a bit raw. I like the challenge of eating A LOT more raw, but the drastic change might be too much. I need to build up to it, hence the reason for still needing my veggies to last longer.......:001_smile:

:iagree: This is what I do. You can make raw food smoothies with the frozen stuff. A friend who follows 80/10/10 (the 80 is raw foods/juices) says she does this a lot as well and the smoothies are just as good. We don't follow a raw diet, so we use them to cook with as well.


I have a fruit smoothie maker, but do NOT have a veggie juicer like vitamins. I do want one, but it is expensive. I'm looking around for a pre-owned one now.

#8 AdventureMoms

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:46 PM

Going to store is definately a possiblity, but I was hoping for them to last a bit longer.



Right..this is good and I try to do this, but it doesn't always work out. BTW, recipe looks great and I'll try it. THANKS!




Water in a storage container? Will that work? What else besides celery?





Well, I haven't started H's raw diet yet. I serve healthy meals, and I eat only a bit raw. I like the challenge of eating A LOT more raw, but the drastic change might be too much. I need to build up to it, hence the reason for still needing my veggies to last longer.......:001_smile:


I have a fruit smoothie maker, but do NOT have a veggie juicer like vitamins. I do want one, but it is expensive. I'm looking around for a pre-owned one now.


We do fruit & veggie smoothies with a regular food processor or a magic bullet. Just throw in the veggies (about 50% fruit/50% veggie is good). If that tastes to vegetably, use more fruit until you get used to it. My anti-vegetable daughter even likes the smoothies.

#9 melissel

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:54 PM

I have a fruit smoothie maker, but do NOT have a veggie juicer like vitamins. I do want one, but it is expensive. I'm looking around for a pre-owned one now.


We have a $100 Breville juicer that works great and that we love. I don't think it needs to be a top-of-the-line juicer, especially if you're just starting out.

Also, with regard to longer storage, keep in mind that produce begins losing nutrients as soon as it's picked. So the longer you store it, the less nutrition you're going to get from it.

Do you meal plan? That might help you use things up more quickly. I find that when I buy produce with the idea of just having it on hand, I end up wasting a lot. When I buy more intentionally, I do much better using it up.

Good luck!

#10 justasque

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:58 PM

I'm not sure how important the "raw" part is to you?

I have several "use up the veggies" dishes that I cook up when needed. Things like quiche/fritatta, chili, rice-and-beans, and pasta sauce can be augmented with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, turnips, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. For example, we never eat turnips plain, but I like to include just a little bit in most winter one-pot meals - not so much that you taste it, just enough to create a complex flavor blend. Quiche specifically (with or without crust) is great for using up bits and pieces, and makes a wonderful take-along lunch.

#11 sheryl

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

We do fruit & veggie smoothies with a regular food processor or a magic bullet. Just throw in the veggies (about 50% fruit/50% veggie is good). If that tastes to vegetably, use more fruit until you get used to it. My anti-vegetable daughter even likes the smoothies.


Fruit and veggie smoothie is something I should add to our menu. I've always made fruit, but it would be healthy and resourceful to use left over veggies!


We have a $100 Breville juicer that works great and that we love. I don't think it needs to be a top-of-the-line juicer, especially if you're just starting out.

Also, with regard to longer storage, keep in mind that produce begins losing nutrients as soon as it's picked. Thanks for the reminder. That is very true. However, I do need for these veggies to last a while. We are a family of 3 and just won't go through a bunch of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash, etc in a day. We wouldn't go through the "whole" of all of these in a day. So the longer you store it, the less nutrition you're going to get from it.

Do you meal plan? That might help you use things up more quickly. I find that when I buy produce with the idea of just having it on hand, I end up wasting a lot. When I buy more intentionally, I do much better using it up.

Good luck!


I'm not sure how important the "raw" part is to you?

I have several "use up the veggies" dishes that I cook up when needed. Things like quiche/fritatta, chili, rice-and-beans, and pasta sauce can be augmented with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, turnips, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. For example, we never eat turnips plain, but I like to include just a little bit in most winter one-pot meals - not so much that you taste it, just enough to create a complex flavor blend. Quiche specifically (with or without crust) is great for using up bits and pieces, and makes a wonderful take-along lunch.



Thanks.


See, I'm wanting to snack on these "bite-sized" foods THROUGH the day. My dh and dd too. But, again, we would not consume the whole of several veggies in a day. But, it's true when Melissel said that veggies lose nutrients over time. I'm just hoping for a good middle road of storing for a while and not wasting my money.

#12 LucyStoner

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:00 PM

Meal planning. If I will have 1/2 head of red cabbage left from pork, apples and cabbage it is time to have fish tacos with red cabbage 2-3 days later.

Green bags help as well. http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B0011TMP3Y You can reuse them.

And freezer.

#13 eternalknot

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:15 PM


Water in a storage container? Will that work? What else besides celery?



Yes! I was going to suggest this also. Cut veggies, cover with cold water, seal, refrigerate. It works with most veggies. We've always done this at our restaurant.

#14 alpidarkomama

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:58 PM

Two things come to mind... Definitely make sure your veggies come from a good source. Where I live there's a big difference among the various run-of-the-mill grocery stores. One is definitely far superior to the others! I also find that wrapping the more perishable veggies in a damp paper towel before placing in the fridge extends their life quite a bit.

#15 Bluezoo5

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:24 AM

I don't know if this will help for all veggies, but I get a much longer life out of things like lettuce, green peppers and mushrooms when I put them in a storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. I forget where I read that tip, but it has saved me a lot of wasted produce.

#16 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:07 AM

I've found that 2 weeks is pushing it for most veggies. The only veggies that last (so long as you don't cut them up) are things like carrots and cabbage.

A trick I learned with celery is to wrap it in foil. It stays crisp much longer.

Sometimes cauliflower lasts two weeks for me (but not cut up).

I just go shopping at least once per week. It's a pain, but it's really the only thing that cuts down on waste.

#17 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:09 AM

Two things come to mind... Definitely make sure your veggies come from a good source. Where I live there's a big difference among the various run-of-the-mill grocery stores. One is definitely far superior to the others! I also find that wrapping the more perishable veggies in a damp paper towel before placing in the fridge extends their life quite a bit.


I think this really depends on where you live. I have tried various places for produce and around here there isn't much of a difference.

#18 sheryl

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:15 PM

Yes! I was going to suggest this also. Cut veggies, cover with cold water, seal, refrigerate. It works with most veggies. We've always done this at our restaurant.


SO APPRECIATED!!!!! And, I will do. :001_smile:

Two things come to mind... Definitely make sure your veggies come from a good source. Where I live there's a big difference among the various run-of-the-mill grocery stores. One is definitely far superior to the others! I also find that wrapping the more perishable veggies in a damp paper towel before placing in the fridge extends their life quite a bit.


Got it. Yes, many veggies I buy organic, but others conventional. Try to subscribe to Dr. Weil's suggestions on his dirty dozen and clean 15 lists. Damp paper towel...thanks for the tip.

I don't know if this will help for all veggies, but I get a much longer life out of things like lettuce, green peppers and mushrooms when I put them in a storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. I forget where I read that tip, but it has saved me a lot of wasted produce.


Yep, 2nd suggestion for paper towel...thanks!!!

I've found that 2 weeks is pushing it for most veggies. The only veggies that last (so long as you don't cut them up) are things like carrots and cabbage.

A trick I learned with celery is to wrap it in foil. It stays crisp much longer.

Sometimes cauliflower lasts two weeks for me (but not cut up).

I just go shopping at least once per week. It's a pain, but it's really the only thing that cuts down on waste.


Wendy, thanks for the tip on celery. That would be a help.

Thanks to everyone. I should clarify that many times I use up the veggies in a couple of days when I'm snacking on raw and making homemade veggie soup, casseroles, etc. Then they use up quickly. But, sometimes I don't plan my meals as well and I need them to last.

THANK YOU LADIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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