By Kellene Bishop
There’s not much that I dislike more than spending money on produce only to have it go bad before I get a chance to use it. I don’t just view it as food going to waste, but also the money and the time it took to obtain it. So today I’d just like to share a couple of tips to help you extend the life of your food. I like crisp celery but nowadays it seems that every time I purchase it, it becomes limp and lifeless before I get to use it. I discovered that you can resurrect wilted celery though, as well as many other similar vegetables. The first rule it to make sure you get your produce out of the plastic bags that you typically put them in in the store. Then be sure to use a quality rinsing agent (I prefer all natural solutions such as medicinal quality lemon essential oil mixed with water and allow the veggies to soak for a couple of minutes in that solution. Just the observation of these two steps is enough for you to see a marked difference in the life of your produce!
However, in spite of my best efforts I frequently run into wilted celery, lifeless lettuce, etc. Fortunately, there’s a solution for that scenario as well.
First remove any brown or yellow parts of the produce, that are clearly lifeless. There’s no chance for those parts. Then cut it up in large chunks and soak it in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours. You’ll be happy to see happy produce again. As you can tell in the pictures there’s a marked difference! This tip can be used for herbs, cabbage, peppers, and lettuce. It’s important that you don’t forget and leave the produce in the water any longer than a couple of hours. (Remember, water is the universal solvent.) Once you’ve revitalized your produce, be certain to remove it from the water and toss it in a salad spinner in order to get it dry again. Also, if you’ve got a vegetable soup or stew recipe planned in the next 24-36 hours, you can actually use the water you used to refresh the produce as well as that which ends up in the bottom of your salad spinner in your upcoming recipe in place of the water that a recipe calls for. It’s got great flavor and nutrients in it.
Once I’ve dried out the produce, I then put it in a wide mouth Mason jar and then seal it with the FoodSaver. Then I put the jar in the refrigerator. This enables it to last significantly longer without losing it’s moisture and without oxidizing and turning brown. I don’t know about you but I hate it when I splurge on fresh herbs and have them go bad before I get to use them all. This is a GREAT way to stretch your dollars and give yourself access to the produce you purchase longer. Obviously, having refrigeration isn't a "crisis scenario" reality, but the more money I save today the more money I have to spend on getting some gidgets and gadgets for a crisis scenario. *grin* For more details on how to use the FoodSaver check out our YouTube video.
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