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Storing produce - best way?


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I have to wash and cut it, put it in single serve baggies in the fridge, or in a big open container for everyone to see. If it's hidden it won't get eaten and that's how my produce goes bad. My crisper drawer is the drawer of dead things, so I only store washed and cut produce that can't be eaten raw, like squashes for dinner.   

Honestly, when I wash and prepare my produce I use it all, otherwise womp, womp. 

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Tupperware has this newish system for that called Fridge Smart.  They claim that produce lasts twice as long in it, and that is consistent with my experience.  Plus you can sort of see into it, so I am less likely to lose track of things than when they are stacked up in the produce drawer.  I am super happy with mine, and buying more.  One warning—they are kind of backed up so if you order something now you won’t get it right away.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

I've always got grapes getting mushy, baby carrots getting slimy or dried out, etc. What is the best way to store this kind of stuff?

Have you ever tried eating frozen grapes? They have become so popular in my home that Mrs Spy Car has been ordering table grapes just to have as frozen treats.

Bill

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We are not very adventurous with our veggies, but her is what we do:

Crisper drawers in the fridge: I only buy fresh veggies in the amount I will use for the week (carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and lettuce).

I keep Potatoes and onions in a basket in the kitchen area (they keep well for a couple of weeks).

Fruit (seasonal): Apples, tangerines, peaches, plums, (what ever is in season) and bananas go in a basket (already washed) in the dining area--easy to grab and to remember to eat. I have problems with bananas going ripe too soon, but when that happens I make banana bread. 

Everything else is frozen (I buy the largest bags I can find): broccoli, asparagus, Brussel sprout, green beans, fruit mixes (berries or  for smoothies).

When I buy grapes, we  eat grapes with all our meals until they are gone (this is a couple of days for my family).

I open the crisper refrigerator drawers if not everyday at least every other,  to check to see what will expire soon and that kind of dictates my meal plan.

 

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28 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Have you ever tried eating frozen grapes? They have become so popular in my home that Mrs Spy Car has been ordering table grapes just to have as frozen treats.

Bill

Ooh. That's good to know. We now have a grape vine. I'm off to research. 

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You might have to adjust humidity in your fridge. I think I've read that fruits and veggies don't like the same humidity level, so keeping them in separate drawers might help. The drawers usually have a slide adjustment for humidity. 

We don't usually get mushy grapes because they don't last long in our house. We also leave them on the stem. I noticed when I used to pack them in my lunch that they lost crispness when I pulled them off the stem vs. leaving them on the stem.

I leave lettuce in the salad spinner until it's gone. That seems to act like a crisper.

We try to eat garden produce the same day (we don't have a huge one right now), and we keep potatoes an onions in a dark cupboard (though onion are on the counter right now because of space). 

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1 minute ago, Laura Corin said:

Ooh. That's good to know. We now have a grape vine. I'm off to research. 

Mrs Spy Car washes, dries, then puts the grapes on a platter or dish and freezes them "individually." Once firm they go in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

I think grapes are delicious frozen. Who knew?

Bill

 

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Don't wash until eating, crisper door, individually bagged.  Eat in a timely manner.  Buy preferably when somewhat in season.  And I don't mean just in season locally.  But like we get great oranges here in the winter, kind of meh the rest of the year.  We pay attention to what is reasonably priced and readily available and where it is shipping from, good chance it is probably in better shape and tastes better.  We don't buy grapes year round even though we could.  

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Just now, Spy Car said:

Mrs Spy Car washes, dries, then puts the grapes on a platter or dish and freezes them "individually." Once firm they go in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

I think grapes are delicious frozen. Who knew?

Bill

 

Thank you. Mine have seeds. Is that a problem for freezing?

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11 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Thank you. Mine have seeds. Is that a problem for freezing?

We've been doing seedless ones.

I'd try a couple seeded ones to see how they work. Grapes freeze pretty quickly.

I suspect you'd be fine--so long as crunching seeds is to your liking.

Bill

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spy Car said:

Have you ever tried eating frozen grapes? They have become so popular in my home that Mrs Spy Car has been ordering table grapes just to have as frozen treats.

Bill

My son loved those when younger, but the 3 yr old might choke still. We do eat a lot of frozen blueberries though!

Edited by ktgrok
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I store carrots in the humidified crisper tray but everything else is purchased in such huge quantities that I store them openly in open plastic organizer bins. 
 

I wash everything in a bit of vinegar water when I get it home to take off pesticide and some of the food grade wax, lay them out to dry on clean towels, and then into the fridge it goes once it is dry. 
 

We usually go through 20 zucchini, 6 cucumbers, 6 red peppers, 10 # of carrots (Dh juices them), 5# of grapes, 5# of apples, 5# of clementines, and 10# of bananas a week....plus onions, garlic, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemons and limes and herbs etc as needed for meals. 
 

This week I am popping one quart sized bag of grapes into the freezer because the kids gorged on plums and pears, but those won’t be wasted.

Are you perhaps a visual person but can’t see your produce to use it? 

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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

I've always got grapes getting mushy, baby carrots getting slimy or dried out, etc. What is the best way to store this kind of stuff?

If your baby carrots are like the strangely uniform ones sold here, the problem is that they are not actually baby - they have been cut from larger carrots. The cut surface means that they go slimy quickly.  I buy whole carrots, then scrub and slice  - I don't usually peel them - as needed. The whole carrots keep well in a reusable plastic bag.

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43 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

How long are you storing these? What’s your turnover rate?

I'd like things like grapes to last 5-7 days, but they are not so nice before then. The 3 yr old will still eat them, but the other kids won't. 

33 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

If your baby carrots are like the strangely uniform ones sold here, the problem is that they are not actually baby - they have been cut from larger carrots. The cut surface means that they go slimy quickly.  I buy whole carrots, then scrub and slice  - I don't usually peel them - as needed. The whole carrots keep well in a reusable plastic bag.

Yup, those are them. I can try slicing my own. 

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2 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Mrs Spy Car washes, dries, then puts the grapes on a platter or dish and freezes them "individually." Once firm they go in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

I think grapes are delicious frozen. Who knew?

Bill

 

She can save a step and put the dried grapes right in the ziplock bag.  They don't stick much but if they do, a gentle tap on the counter loosens them just fine.  

But yes frozen grapes are great.  I have about 30 quart bags of them in the freezer right now. 

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2 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

She can save a step and put the dried grapes right in the ziplock bag.  They don't stick much but if they do, a gentle tap on the counter loosens them just fine.  

But yes frozen grapes are great.  I have about 30 quart bags of them in the freezer right now. 

I would inform her that she's doing it all wrong...but, you know  :tongue:

Bill (who still has the will to live)

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Are you buying produce that looks completely fresh at the time of purchase? Grapevines are still greenish and plump? Carrot bags show no signs of slime?

If yes, I would try the rinse and dry technique and see if you see improvement.

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2 hours ago, Spy Car said:

I would inform her that she's doing it all wrong...but, you know  :tongue:

Bill (who still has the will to live)

Well, I certainly wouldn't want to put your life in danger or anything, so we'll just keep it our little secret 🙂 .

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I just solved this problem a couple of months ago! 

Wash, dry, peel, and cut as desired. 

Put in food storage containers with - here is the extremely important bit - a piece of paper towel. A good size seems to be covering about 2/3 of the container size.  For lettuce and grapes, I use one on the bottom, one on the top. For harder things like cauliflower and carrots, usually just one on the top.

It is crazy how much longer fruits and veggies last, plus we eat more because everything is washed, ready, and still appealing.  

I think the only things I don't do this for is apples and plums - they get washed and put in containers, but not sliced and no paper towel. 

The paper towel absorbs excess moisture and I like to get everything ready and into containers because it saves so much space, plus we can see what's there. If I don't have time to do everything right away, I at least shove the paper towel in with the grapes, lol. 

Neither of our current refrigerators has a crisper drawer to begin with, but I've had them before and they do not work nearly as well as this. 

Edited by katilac
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9 hours ago, katilac said:

I just solved this problem a couple of months ago! 

Wash, dry, peel, and cut as desired. 

Put in food storage containers with - here is the extremely important bit - a piece of paper towel. A good size seems to be covering about 2/3 of the container size.  For lettuce and grapes, I use one on the bottom, one on the top. For harder things like cauliflower and carrots, usually just one on the top.

It is crazy how much longer fruits and veggies last, plus we eat more because everything is washed, ready, and still appealing.  

I think the only things I don't do this for is apples and plums - they get washed and put in containers, but not sliced and no paper towel. 

The paper towel absorbs excess moisture and I like to get everything ready and into containers because it saves so much space, plus we can see what's there. If I don't have time to do everything right away, I at least shove the paper towel in with the grapes, lol. 

Neither of our current refrigerators has a crisper drawer to begin with, but I've had them before and they do not work nearly as well as this. 

OMG - I think I remember doing this with prepped salads a zillion years ago! And it did help! I'm goin gto do this today!

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I remove everything that comes packaged in plastic and put it in Debbie Myers green bags. I also put a piece of paper towel in--especially in greens like lettuce, spinach... The green bags definitely make a difference.

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Usually, I find that things are much better off in their own bags or in a special produce bag. You can buy some of them. When you put them in tupperware, I find that most things dry out and when you leave it in a sealed plastic ziploc, I find they get slime. Things that don't have a bag are fine in the drawer by itself. Never wash until you're ready to use.

I think you just have to eat the "baby" carrots fast. When they start to get slime, I wash and then roast them. No more salads. 

As for grapes, they are the one thing I find that does significantly better in a sealed ziploc. And that does better if you wash them right away. Grapes so weird. I like them frozen, but warning that the minute they really thaw, they're a mush mess.

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Oh, and check that your fridge has the right temp. It may be too warm or actually - too cold. If parts of your fridge are freezing things or freezing and thawing them, then that can speed up things like slime and mush and mold.

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On 10/25/2020 at 12:32 PM, Spy Car said:

Mrs Spy Car washes, dries, then puts the grapes on a platter or dish and freezes them "individually." Once firm they go in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

I think grapes are delicious frozen. Who knew?

Bill

 

My Grandma always froze a large portion of her grapes so I associate them with her.

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51 minutes ago, frogger said:

My Grandma always froze a large portion of her grapes so I associate them with her.

I'd never had frozen grapes until this year. Delicious!

It's nice to have foods that remind us of our grand parents. For me, it's my paternal Grandmother's (mayo-free) German coleslaw. I make it all the time and remember her as I do. I even use her old carbon steel knife to shave the cabbage.

Bill

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About the grapes- I let them soak in a glass container of water in the fridge. I do the same with celery stalks. They last several days. 

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