It’s been said that a refrigerator’s crisper drawer is the place where good intentions go to die. Two weeks ago, you had visions of superfood salads when you snagged a bunch of kale from the farmer’s market. But now it’s a funky shade of yellow. Been there?
If a lot of your fresh fruits and vegetables end up in the trash or compost, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that we throw away more than a quarter of the produce we buy! If you’re determined to eat healthy by stocking up on fruits and veggies (especially if you’re spending more for organic or local) it makes sense to protect your investments. Thankfully there are kitchen products designed to keep produce at its peak long enough to turn those healthy meals and snacks into a reality—so you can make good on those good intentions.
Casabella Guac Lock
This ingenious gadget puts an end to the dreaded leftover-guacamole-gone-brown. Fill it with guac and smooth down the top, then snap on the lid, push down to squeeze out excess air, and close. It also doubles as a serving bowl—and you can buy a matching chip tray that holds the Guac Lock right in the center.
FoodSaver Fresh Containers
If you’re a fan of FoodSaver’s at-home vacuum sealers, pick up a set of their new containers. They work with any of their vacuum sealer systems, and the Fresh Produce Trays (buy them separately) keep food off the bottom and away from moisture. Just fill the container with food, snap on the lid, and attach to the accessory port on the Food Saver to remove the air and lock the lid closed. When you’re ready to eat, push the tab to release the air, and open the lid.
Are you forever tossing a half banana, avocado, or tomato because you don’t know how to keep it fresh? Food Huggers are a smart solution. Made from silicone, these flexible discs fit tightly around cut fruits and veggies to keep the leftover part fresh. Place a Hugger onto the counter and gently push your halved fruit or veggie down inside to form a seal. They come in four sizes to fit everything from a lime half to a cut pineapple—and there are sizes to cover bowls, jars, and cans so you can stop using eco-unfriendly plastic wrap.
Debbie Meyer GreenBags
Fruits and veggies naturally give off ethylene gas as they ripen, but that gas can also make them (and other produce around them) spoil quicker. These bags work to absorb and remove those ethylene gases. You can store fruits and veggies in GreenBags on the counter or in the fridge and they’ll last significantly longer than when kept in their original store packaging. Be sure to dry the produce before placing it in the bag for the best results (and if you spot droplets of moisture inside the bag during store, wipe those away too). Each bag can be reused 8-10 times after being rinsed and dried between uses.
Place a cut grapefruit or avocado on the Savel and then snap the silicone strap around it. It covers the cut surface and forms a seal so it’s not exposed to light and air, both of which can degrade color and quality. Dishwasher safe, it also fits inside fruits and veggies with wedges cut out and folds flat to store.
Hutzler 3-in-1 Berry Box
Washing fruit like berries in advance can speed spoiling—yet having washed fruit ready to eat means you’re more likely to grab it. These boxes make that possible. The reusable, BPA-free boxes resemble the berry containers from the store and include a little colander that fits inside so water can drain away from the fruit. The lid keeps fruit at a contain vapor pressure, which allows it to stay fresher longer.
These boxes are just right for delicate produce that seems to go bad than you can use it. Available in three sizes (from small for small berries to large for greens), these containers do a few critical things: They elevate the produce up and away from rot-inducing moisture and create airflow underneath with a vented tray. The lid, lined with a special membrane, controls the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide. In their testing, strawberries stored in the containers lasted 80 percent longer than berries kept in their original packaging.