Fresh fruits and veggies on kitchen table.

By Elizabeth Fee, RD

Is there anything worse than planning your Fresh & Lean meals for the week, getting all your grocery shopping done, putting in all the effort to set yourself up for a successful week just to head to the fridge on Thursday and discover that your lettuce is soggy and your celery is limp? 

How To Keep Produce Fresh

With a few small changes and some common household supplies, you can prevent the big bummer that is spoiled produce, which, in turn, will save you money, save you time, keep you on plan, and prevent food waste!

How To Keep Celery Fresh

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite crunchy snack: celery. Celery (and carrots, too) lose their turgor pressure as they dry out. This means the cells within the vegetable don’t have enough water to push on their walls and keep the veggies firm and crisp. Much like us humans, vegetables are happier when they are hydrated. 

Whether you keep the celery whole or prep it into snack-size sticks, follow these steps:

  • Stick celery upright in a jar or container
  • Add a couple of inches of water to the container
  • Cover the jar with a lid or use a plastic bag to cover the top
  • Store in the fridge  

How to Keep Lettuce Fresh

Leafy stuff also likes to be hydrated but doesn’t like to be wet. These divas will spread spoilage fast if they are pressed together, left wet, or have a few bad leaves. Whether you buy your salad greens in a bunch, a bag, or a box, the first step is to inspect your leaves and remove any that look wilted or soggy, so they don’t spread decay to the rest of the group. Next, follow these essential steps:

  • If they need to be washed, wash them, and dry them completely. 
  • You can then use the box they came in or a big storage container with a paper towel (or reusable cloth napkin) lining the bottom of the bin to collect any extra moisture. 
  • Make sure the leaves are gently piled in the container and not compressed so there is room for air to circulate. 
  • Keep in the fridge and remove any leaves that go bad, as soon as you see them, to prevent spoilage from spreading.  

How to Keep Herbs Fresh

Fresh herbs, while maybe not a mainstay of your meals, can add wonderful texture and taste to dishes, as long as they don’t spoil while you are waiting to use them. Follow these tips to keep your herbs in prime condition:

  • Herbs are like fresh cut flowers, put them in a “vase” with water and stick them in the fridge. 
  • Snip ½ an inch off the bottom of the cilantro bundle from the grocery store
  • Stick it in a jar with a couple inches of water and throw a produce bag over it. 
  • Keep it in the fridge and use as needed. 
  • Fresh basil from your garden can be stored the same way, and the plant will thank you for trimming its stems by growing more basil. Like the salad greens, remove wilted or damaged leaves before and during storage.  

How to Keep Fruits Fresh

Fruits are a bit different. While they also are affected by turgor pressure, too much moisture can increase the rate of spoilage. This is why you shouldn’t wash your berries until you are ready to use them. Similar to veggies, it is a good idea to go through your berries after you purchase them and pick out any mushy raspberries or moldy strawberries, so they don’t become bad influences on their neighbors. 

  • Once the berries have been checked over, put them in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Wash and slice before you enjoy.  

Stay Connected to Livea

Now that you know some tips and tricks to keeping your produce happy, you can enjoy all the season has to offer without worrying about spoilage! For more wellness tips, stay connected to our blog or check out our resources for delicious recipes, workouts, and much more from your Livea team.