Mum-of-two Amy Lynn Cross has shared the one simple ingredient she used along with proper storage and prep to make her fruit and veg stay fresh for weeks — or even months
There’s nothing worse than stocking up on a fridge full of fruit and veg for it to wilt and turn soggy within a matter of days.
Not only does this mean you aren’t getting as much band for your buck, but the food is unnecessarily being wasted.
But worry no more because one mum has shared her genius hacks to make your produce stay farm fresh for longer.
Amy Lynn Cross, a food blogger and mum-of-two from Washington, US, has revealed she uses one simple ingredient along with proper storage to make her produce last longer.
The 45-year-old claims distilled white vinegar helps keep strawberries at their best for weeks and peppers lasting up to two months.
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Not only does this mean her family is less wasteful, she only has to shop for her family of four once every three weeks and spends just £200.
Here’s a look at her top tips to help make your produce last longer:
Fresh, colourful peppers can make a tasty addition to any meal and Amy can make hers last up to two months.
The mum-of-two recently made a delicious ramen soup using bell peppers bought from a farm stand in October.
While this might not sound very appetising, Amy says the vegetables were as crisp and tasty as the day she bought them thanks to proper prep and storage.
Jam Press Vid/@thecrosslegacy)
To make yours last just as long, fill a large bowl with 10 cups of water (2.3L) and a quarter of a cup of distilled white vinegar (60ml) and soak the peppers in the mixture for two minutes.
Next, remove the peppers and leave them to dry on a towel for a few hours. Once the peppers are completely dry, Amy chops hers into strips or cubes and stores them in pint-sized mason jars in the fridge.
She told Jam Press: “Washing and prep to properly store bell peppers doesn’t take long and it doesn’t require a ton of special, hard-to-find ingredients.”
If you’re like us and chuck the box of strawberries into the fridge and hope for the best, you might notice they turn mouldy within a matter of days.
But Amy swears she can make the fruit stay fresh for weeks by also storing them in a jar — and prepping them straight away.
To start, let strawberries soak in the solution of 10 cups of water (2.3L) and a quarter of a cup of distilled white vinegar (60ml) and leave them to soak for a maximum of three minutes. Any longer and the fruit could begin to ferment.
Then drain the berries in a colander and let them dry on a towel. Once completely dry, put a paper towel at the bottom of a jar and gently place the strawberries inside and store them in the fridge.
Amy said: “Your strawberries will last longer if the jar you store them in is airtight. I do not puncture holes into the lid for this reason.”
While Amy’s hack can keep the strawberries fresh for weeks, she warns it’s crucial to check the jar for condensation. If there are any signs of condensation, simply take the berries out and pat dry before returning to the jar.
Lettuce can start to wilt after just a few days, but Amy has come up with a failsafe method to ensure it will last for up to six weeks and you’ll always have fresh lettuce on hand.
To extend the life of your leaves soak the lettuce in the same mixture of water and distilled white vinegar for two minutes before rinsing to remove dirt or bugs.
Next, spin the leaves in a salad spinner before laying them out on a towel to dry for a couple of hours. Once dry, store the leaves in a glass container with a paper towel at the bottom and store them in the fridge.
Amy said: “It is worth the extra effort to know we have fresh lettuce anytime we want a salad.”
Following the same method of washing lettuce, Amy says her spinach lasts for as long as three weeks.
The spinach can also be put in the fridge if any is left before your next shopping trip.
Amy added: “No more bags of mushy greens that go bad before you have a chance to use them.
“When I make my triweekly trip to the store, I always look for a bag that doesn’t already have wet leaves in it.”
Amy favours a glass container or silicone bag to store the leaves most effectively.
Amy’s process for making pomegranates last longer is slightly different and this time begins in the supermarket.
She selects the heaviest fruit and inspects the pomegranate before adding it to her shipping trolley.
“The heavier ones have more juice,” she explained. “You want it to be firm like an apple, and brown spots are ok, as long as there are no cuts into the fruit.”
Amy doesn’t wash the fruit or seeds, instead properly prepping them before popping them in the fridge or freezer.
To start, she cuts the crown off and makes four slices so it has an ‘X’ shape with alternating pockets of seeds and a white membrane. She makes the slices where the membrane is but doesn’t cut all the way to the centre.
Once the pomegranate is almost quartered, she pulls apart the pieces by grabbing two sections and pulling in opposite directions.
Once the pomegranate is open, Amy removes the seeds and puts them in a bowl, removing any that are not ripe. She then stores the seeds in a glass jar for up to two weeks — or a year in the freezer.
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