Okay, so I may just be a little behind everyone else here, but thanks to Pinterest, I have recently learned some pretty interesting things in regards to washing and storing fresh fruits and veggies.  So, I'm passing it on to you!!  I know, I'm so thoughtful, right?  ;)

I try to eat a big salad every day for lunch in an attempt to get my veggies in EARLY.  (If I don't get them in at lunchtime, I often find myself snarfing carrot or celery sticks at 8:55 pm, which I don't really like to do).  I love a good salad, but oh how I HATE limp lettuce.  It is so disgusting, and I used to get really discouraged after spending money on fresh lettuce only to find it inedible two days later.  Then, I found an amazing post on Pinterest...SALAD IN A JAR!!  Check out the link, and at the bottom there is even an instructional video.

I LOVE doing this for two reasons...First, the time saving is HUGE.  I can prep my lettuce for an entire week all at one time.  Then when I'm rushing around at lunchtime, I don't have to worry about washing, spinning, drying and chopping lettuce for my salad!  Second, it stays fresh and crisp for up to 9 days!!   LOVE - LOVE - LOVE!!!

Should you decide to try this, let me give you one more tip...a CRUCIAL step to really crisp lettuce is soaking it for 10-30 minutes in ICE WATER.  I'd heard this before, but I don't usually have room for ice in my freezer, so I tried dropping it in cold tap water.  This never resulted in crispier lettuce, so I thought it was just an old wives is NOT!  Stick the lettuce in a bowl of water AND ICE and let it sit until it is nice and firm.  Then dry it off the best you can - stick it in a salad spinner - chop it up and seal it in your jars!!    (BTW, this did not work well with spinach).




Now...on to fruit.  We've all heard you are NOT supposed to wash your produce until you are ready to eat it because the moisture creates bacteria and mold.  I don't know about you, but I have thrown out so many rotten berries in my life that it is painful just to think about it.  I buy them, bring them home and stick them in my fridge and two days later when I pull them out to add to a meal, 3/4 of the container is moldy!  This summer, I discovered this post on Pinterest (yes, I know that I spend too much time on Pinterest - I'm working on it!!)  DIY FRUIT AND VEGGIE WASH  This REALLY works!  No more moldy berries!!!  I had one batch of strawberries last 10 days (they could have lasted longer, but that's how long it took us to finish them off).  One side note:  I did NOT rinse my berries after taking them out of the wash.  They smell a little vinegary (is that a word?) until they dry, but I never thought they tasted like vinegar.  You can certainly experiment and do what works best for you!

Do you have any nifty methods for keeping your fruits and veggies fresher, longer?  I'd love for you to share your ideas!!!

Valerie - originally posted 9/27/2012


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