Be honest, when did you last have a good look in the veg drawer of your fridge? That pack of shallots you fancied for Christmas but didn’t quite use, those carrots that are sprouting leaves, and mouldering tomatoes that are only good for the compost bin…
As a nation, we spend an average of £9.80 per person per week on fresh veg. Unfortunately, every household throws £10’s worth of food into the bin each week, according to new research from online electricals retailer AO.com.
March is animal charity Animal Aid’s Veggie Month – and we all know we should cut down on cancer-causing processed meat and have at least one meat-free day a week for our health.
But how can we look after our veggies better so they can look after us?
1. Keep leaves crispy
Put a couple of paper towels/kitchen roll on top of your salad leaves and tightly cover with cling film when storing in the fridge. This prevents moisture from settling on the leaves, helping them to stay crisp and prevent wilting.
2. Keep bulbs away from the sun
Store garlic and onions in a bamboo steamer, giving them a cool, well-ventilated home that protects them from the light. This will prevent sprouting, which means they’ll be edible for much longer.
3. Add some spring to your water
Chop spring onions up and freeze them in an empty water bottle. When you need them for a stir fry, stew or anything else, shake out what you need and return the rest to the freezer.
4. Create an asparagus bouquet
Wrap damp paper towels around the bases of your asparagus or put them upright in a glass with about an inch of water, to keep them hydrated and slow down wilting.
5. Apples and pears, or is it apples and potatoes?
Store an apple or two in a ventilated bag with your potatoes and keep them in a cool, dry place. Gases emitted from the apple will keep your spuds from sprouting.
6. Wrap your carrots in foil
Store fresh, raw, peeled carrots in a plastic bag (with as much air squeezed out as possible) or aluminium foil in the fridge. Stored like this, they will last up to two weeks.
7. Don’t wash too soon
Avoid washing your berries until right before you're ready to eat them, as moisture encourages mould growth. Using berries for juice or smoothies? Freeze them to keep them fresh for a later date.
8. Chop off the top
Cut the leafy tops off your pineapple and store it upside down. This helps redistribute the sugars that sink to the bottom during shipping and keeps it fresh for longer.
9. Cold as ice
Freeze leftover herbs in ice cube trays to retain their freshness. Just place the chopped herbs in an ice cube tray, fill with water and place them in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, just pop as many cubes as you need into your cooking and the water will evaporate, leaving you with fresh herbs every time.
For more tips and ideas on things to do with your vegetables, visit AO.com/life for recipes and inspiration.
How do you keep your veg fresh? Share your top tips in the Comments section below.