Changing the way you put away your groceries could save you money

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Thursday, April 25, 2019
Tricks and tips for making your produce last longer
Tricks and tips for making your produce last longer.

How are you storing your fruits and veggies? Experts say you're likely doing it the wrong way.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, here are a few tips from Central Market.

"First of all, what you don't want to do is mix fruit and veggies together," said Central Market Cooking School manager Juan Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has been cooking with Central Market for 10 years. Over time, he's learned a few tips about keeping your veggies and fruits from going to waste.

A good indicator if something needs to be refrigerated or not is simple. Look at how it's stored in the grocery store.

"When you're working with your berries, store them the way you buy them. Don't pre-wash them before storing them because that moisture is going to deteriorate them really quick," said Gonzalez. "These will last close to a week. Wash them before you eat them."

Juan also says not to cut the stem before storing either, this will cause your strawberries to mold quicker.

However, there are a few vegetables you want to prep before storing to guarantee longer lifespan..

"If you buy carrots with the leafy greens on them, you do want to refrigerate them. You want to cut the stems off of them," said Gonzalez. "Same thing with celery. What you want to do is cut the tops off about an eighth of an inch from the top and bottom and wash it. Make sure it drains for 15 minutes. That will last you about 4 weeks."

Take extra caution when storing fruits together.

"The fruit that is ripening the most will start that process for all of your fruits, so you want to keep them as separate as possible," said Gonzalez.

If you need something to ripen quicker, there's a trick to that.

"Grab a paper bag, put your bananas in there and grab a fruit that is already ripe. It's going to release the ethylene gas that encourages the ripening process. Put it in there and within a day it's ripe. This goes very well with avocados, too," said Gonzalez.

Now with the warmer weather on the rise, I know it's tempting to chill those melons, watermelons, and cantaloupe before cutting into them, right? Wrong! Stop doing this. If the melons aren't cut and you store them in the refrigerator they will lose flavor. Only store them after they've been cut.

Did someone say food?! Houston food lovers, unite!