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Extend the Life of Produce

Keeping your produce fresh can be a challenge. Following some simple tips could help extend the life of some of your favorite fruits and vegetables, including onions, strawberries, potatoes and bananas.

ONIONS:

The key to storing onions is to keep them cool, dry and separated.

A popular and inexpensive method of storing onions is to use a nylon stocking. Remove the leaves by cutting them an inch or so above the bulb. Place the onion in the stocking and tie a knot above it. Repeat this process until the bag or stocking is filled. Then hang from a nail in a cool dry place. When an onion is needed, simply cut off the bottom most bulb, leaving the knot or twist tie above it in place. The stocking allows the onions to breathe.

STRAWBERRIES:

Wash the berries in a diluted vinegar bath (1 cup vinegar plus 3 cups water) and dry completely. Store the cleaned berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels, leaving the lid open a little to allow moisture to escape.

The vinegar destroys bacteria and mold spores on the berries, helping them stay fresh longer by days, sometimes even weeks.

POTATOES:

This can be a bit controversial; there are definitely two schools of thought behind this one.

Some experts say storing your apples with your potatoes keeps them firm and sprout-free for about 8 weeks compared with potatoes stored without them.

Experts say the ethylene gas produced by apples prevents potatoes from sprouting, however we know that apples can cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen too quickly - so you'll want to avoid storing them with your other produce.

BANANAS:

Slow down the ripening process by wrapping a piece of plastic cling wrap around the crown of the banana bunch.

You want to wrap it tightly around the crown. Each time you remove a banana, carefully remove and replace the cling wrap. If done correctly this trick should give you another three to five days before your bananas are too ripe to enjoy.

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