9 Tricks to Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh Longer

Purge that guilt over food waste (and save cash and time grocery shopping) with these smart tricks to make your produce last longer.

Berries: Rinse with vinegar

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Before you stash them in the fridge, wash strawberries, raspberries, and other berries with a mix of vinegar and water (think a 1:3 ratio). This disinfects against mold, which can lengthen shelf life by weeks. Then rinse with water and dry thoroughly. Here are other genius uses for vinegar.

Lettuce: Store with paper towel

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Prepared a bit too much lettuce for your salad? Store leftover leaves in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. The towel absorbs moisture, which is what turns leaves soggy and brown. Replace the towel when it becomes damp. Another trick: Sprinkle the leaves with a dash of salt, which also helps draw out extra wetness.

Avocado: Squirt with lemon

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Avocado contains enzymes that produce a brown pigment when exposed to oxygen, which is why that halved avocado looks unappetizing so soon after its stored. To avoid this, squirt it with lemon or lime juice. (You can also do this on guacamole.) The citric acid will help prevent browning for at least a day. You could also store avocado slices with large chunks of onion. The same gasses that make your eyes burn when you chop an onion also prevent oxidation in your avocado. As long as the onion touches only the skin of the avocado, there won’t be a noticeable flavor. These are amazing avocado benefits you might not know about.

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Carrots: Store with water

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To avoid that dried-out look old carrots tend to get, first chop off the leafy greens if you bought your carrots whole (the leaves can pull nutrients out of the roots). Carrots do best with moisture, so put them in a container filled with water, seal with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator. Or, wrap them in bubble wrap before stashing in the fridge: It will allow just enough moisture to reach the carrots if you prefer not to soak them in water. Check out these surprising health benefits of carrots: they're even better for you than you thought!

Lemons: Avoid cutting in half

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If you need just a squeeze of citrus juice for your recipe or drink, puncture a whole lemon with a fork or skewer instead of cutting it in half. This way, you can squeeze out what you need without drying out the entire lemon. Here are dozens of ways to use lemons around your house.

Onions: Wrap in pantyhose

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It sounds strange, but the mesh-like material allows just enough air to reach the vegetable, which helps them stay fresh. Simply slip the onions into the nylons, tying a knot between each bulb. Tip: Use a new pair of pantyhose to avoid any foot odors in your next stew. Here are more strangely awesome ways to use pantyhose (besides wearing them!).

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Potatoes: Store with apples

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Apples produce ethylene gas that can keep your spuds fresh for more than eight weeks. Say goodbye to those pesky sprouts that pop up on potatoes after just a few weeks.

Apples: Soak slices in salt water

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Sliced apples are a convenient snack or salad topper, but browned leftovers aren’t appealing. Soak remaining slices in a bowl of cold salt water to prevent oxidation (but no more than ½ teaspoon of salt per quart of water, or you’ll taste it in the fruit). After five minutes, dry and store your slices in the fridge in an airtight plastic bag. Here are food hacks to make eating apples even healthier.

Celery: Wrap in aluminum foil

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Unlike a plastic bag, the foil will let the ripening gas ethylene escape. When ethylene is trapped in a plastic bag, it causes moisture loss and spoilage to occur faster. Here is proof that aluminum foil is much more useful than you thought.

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