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How to make berries, broccoli, and bananas last longer

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Some years ago, I wrote about how to make broccoli, strawberries, and bananas last longer. The post was originally a sponsored one, so it was in an out-of-the-way spot on my blog. Everyone is trying to stretch the time between their grocery trips these days, so I thought it deserved a republish.

Since I’m always trying to reduce the food waste at my house, I tried out a couple of food storage methods and I’m here to report on how that went.

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Vinegar Wash for Berries

The rinsing-berries-with-a-vinegar-wash thing?

Brilliant.

It is truly astounding how much longer berries keep after a vinegar rinse. Even things like raspberries and blackberries stay firm and fresh for days upon days.

And they don’t taste a thing like vinegar, either.

To do this, mix up 3 cups of water and a cup of vinegar (fortunately, vinegar is dirt cheap, so this is an inexpensive fruit wash.).

vinegar rinse for berries

Give the berries a soak for a few minutes.

berries in vinegar

Drain the berries and place them in a salad spinner lined with a tea towel (the original directions said to use a paper towel, which is compostable, but hey, I like to avoid waste when I can!).

drying berries

Give them a spin…

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And place them back into their original container.

If you were lucky enough to buy berries without a package, you can put them into a reusable storage container.

I wouldn’t seal them, though, as berries do best if they can breathe.

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Best Broccoli Storage

Remember the broccoli bag I was poking holes in last month, so broccoli would keep longer?

storing broccoli

Well.

I sort of accidentally gave that a really, really good test. The broccoli sat in my fridge for, um, an entire month.

And I am pleased to say that it was only slightly worse for the wear.

month-old broccoli

I’m super impressed with how well this worked.

Although I don’t really recommend that you store broccoli for a month if you can help it.

Ahem.

I rinsed my bag out, hung it up to dry, and I’ll definitely use it again next time.

Banana Storage Tips

I don’t really feel like any of these are silver bullets, partly because bananas seem to be a very fickle fruit when it comes to ripening.

Thank goodness there’s banana bread and banana muffins!

But, here are a few ideas to try.

  • Separate your bananas at the stems (I do this pretty regularly)
  • Wrap the top stem in plastic wrap (I rarely have plastic wrap around, so I don’t practice this one. You can see that the organic bananas above come with plastic on the stems.)
  • When the bananas are the perfect ripeness, put them in the fridge. The skin will turn brown, but the actual banana’s ripening will be paused.
  • If you have too many perfectly ripe bananas at one time, slice and freeze them for smoothie use.

So.

  • Wash your berries with a 3/1 water to vinegar mixture.
  • Store your broccoli in a hole-y ziploc bag.
  • Try a bunch of things with your bananas. You will probably end up with spotty bananas anyway, and then you can make banana bread. Ha.

Do you have any tips about how to keep specific kinds of produce fresh? I’d love to hear!

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