Keeping Greens Fresh


Question: I am trying to get back into juicing and eating salads. It's a start. I have a hard time keeping my greens from going bad before I can eat/juice them. Kale, celery, parsley are the most troublesome. Do you have info on your website or is there a good book on how to store veggies? Sometimes I don't eat or juice every day. Can you eat veggies when they are starting to turn yellow especially kale and parsley? Thanks for a great website. I have been trying some new recipes.




Sassy Sez: Very cool that you are getting more salads and fresh juices into your diet. These two ideas are very easy, effective ways to supercharge your nutrition! Awesome!

Firstly, I would buy less produce more often. It sounds like you are buying way more than you can use and it is sitting there getting old and yucky on you. Unless you are picking them fresh from a garden, fruits and veggies are already on their way to "old" when we buy them in the store; by the time it is picked and shipped and put into a display in the store - well, let's just say it is BEST to eat your fruits and veggies as soon after purchase as possible.

So the best advice I can give is to buy less produce more often. Jeff and I shop once every week or two for non-produce items, but we head to the store twice/week to pick up fruits and veggies that will last us the next few days.

While this is a best-case scenario (short of growing your own food!), I realize this isn't always do-able for everyone. So simply do the very best you can to eat whatever you buy as soon as possible. It's better to eat all your produce up while it's fresh, then to have it sitting in your fridge waiting for you to get around to eating it as the nutrients slowly but surely say goodbye.

A Vejibag next to some green veggies

By the way, you might invest in some Vejibags -- oh, they are AMAZING! Also, Debbie Myers Green Bags keep your produce until you can eat it - these bags seem to be available everywhere. I also like Tupperware's Fridgesmart Containers which work beautifully, especially to keep my just-cleaned lettuces crisp.

Hope this helps. xo




More Thoughts On The Topic:

Clean As You Go
By Rachel Assuncao

I'd add to Sassy's comments to say - don't clean your greens until just before you eat them. I find that if I wash them and any moisture remains on them (which, with greens is near impossible to avoid) that they spoil much more quickly than if I wash them just before I eat them.

Good luck in finding what works for you!


Paper Towels

By Cindy

You can actually wrap the veggies in paper towels (try to dab dry them first) than put them in plastic bag. Normally they will last for 2 weeks or so.


E.g.g.s for Vegans...really!
By Memory

I use a product called E.g.g. to keep my veg fresh. They are a colorful plastic egg which contains a packet of E-Ethylene Gas absorber inside. The packet is replaceable at the end of a few months. (Depends on how much veg you keep) They really, really work. I got mine at Community Health, but I just went into my fridge and looked inside the egg.

The packet says that they have a website called www.4theegg.com. They are fairly in-expensive and they prolong the life of my veg by easily a few weeks.

E-Ethylene is the gas that builds up in your veg drawer that causes food to age more quickly. The eggs remove that gas. When the packet is old and I replace it, I cut open the old packet and put it into my Hoi plant pot. It acts as a bit of a fertilizer.

Oh, and I had my hubby, who is a chemical engineer, read the blurb on the Egg website. He's pretty cynical and skeptical about most products and is a man of few words. After he read it, he just said "Yep, that's right" and then left the room. For him, that's high praise indeed.


What I Do

I get a shipment of fruits and vegetables every 2 weeks. I used to struggle with the same thing. I found if I wash and prep the veggies right away, seal them in plastic bags by push out as much air as possible. I place them in a storage bin I keep in the fridge. Leafy greens including kale I first wash then roll in paper towels then tear in bite size pieces and place in ziplock bag. Press out air and voila it keeps for up to 2 weeks without any issues. Hope this helps someone.


Cloth Bags
By SarahG

Hi, I shop for my produce with cloth bags and store them in there too. Cloth really prolongs the life of my fruit and vegetables.


Keeping Vegetables Fresh
By Dr. Jeanette

A thought: When you wash vegetables and you will not be eating immediately or wish to put them back into the refrigerator for a period of time and this works for cut vegetables too: Place them in a large bowl with cold water, no ice, and open a pack of Emergen C and dissolve in the water. Let them soak for about five minutes, gently rinse for two or three seconds and then lay to dry on a towel. They are now ready for the refrigerator. Healthy and safe.


Didn't respond to the part of question that would help me...
By Richard

Why no comment about eating leafy vegetables that turn yellow? I know they are not as fresh but should I throw them out or still cook?


Pretty Old
By Sassy

Hi Richard! That would be your call, for sures. If your greens are turning yellow? They must be pretty old and the nutrients have likely pretty much left the building.

If you're like hubby Jeff who REFUSES to waste anything, then you might consider adding them to soups/stews, or maybe smoothies. Couldn't hurt!    :)


Keeping Celery Fresh

I wrap celery in aluminum foil and it lasts for weeks that way. It's amazing!


Save The Veggies!
By Charles

There are proactive ways to Save the Veggies! I could write a really long description of the basic processes I use to increase vegetabilian longevity.

Short version: In the '70's I lived in a raw foods community in eastern Arizona, and then began an organic produce distribution out of Phoenix, so I guess I learned a bit then.

I call the process Rehydration [or Rehydration Nation!] and it applies to most vegetables. My belief is that food loses moisture content from the field to the fridge; rehydrating restores that, and makes them last longer. It makes rooties & stalkies crisp & crunchy, and wilted kale to stand up! It makes gardens in the fridge, too.

BTW, recent research says that wilted veggies retain most of their nutritional goodies. Who knew? So, to me personally, wilted veggies are perfect for smoothies!

I am able to eat veggies further along in their lifespan because I look at their condition as a spectrum: from growth thru digestion it's all the same (entropy?), so pick your point on the spectrum to ingest. As an example, I drink about a half-gallon of carrot juice a week, and we all know how lovely & viscous it can become when aging, and yet I can drink it far past others' tolerance.

But enough about me; here's something for you when speaking to your adoring adherents: in order to 'sell' organic produce back in the day, I would tell folks that it is a "nutritional bargain" to justify its relatively high cost. I can proudly say that I was instrumental, a link in the chain, to ultimately bringing organic produce to Wal-Mart!!!! Yippee for unintended consequences.


Thanks!
By Sassy

Thanks for your comments. Maybe you can share with all of us exactly how you rehydrate your veggies?


Keeping Greens Fresh

I buy fresh kale. I clean some to use now for smoothies. I put a serving in a Mrs. Green Bag for my next smoothie and I freeze the rest in small servings for smoothies later in the week in my food saver bags. It is a little slimy so I only use in my smoothies. I guess you could use in a cooked dish but may not be good in a salad.

I put all my fresh produce in individual Mrs. Green Bags and it keeps it good for the week.


I love my Fridgemates
By Kathy TX

I invested in the Tupperware Fridgemates and LOVE them. They do keep my produce a lot long and it has help since I now buy from Bountiful Baskets.


Awesome!
By Sassy

Thanks for sharing, Kathy. I love them too. I think it's always so good for others to hear what works out here in the trenches. :)




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