When In Doubt, Throw It Out!17
Have you ever dug deep into the bread bag to find a slice without mold? Sliced cheese just deep enough to potentially avoid the spores? Cut the brown spots out of your apple? Or had almond milk passed the ‘Best By’ date?
As a NutriBlaster, you’re probably fully aware that FRESH IS BEST. You also know the importance of getting in a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and boosts. However, you may be overwhelmed by the frequency of trips you’re taking to the grocery store, because you just cannot figure out how to keep your produce nutritious and fresh long enough and you hate to waste money by throwing it out if it is still edible. Fresh foods are confusing enough, but what about those pesky “sell by,” “use by,” and “best by” stickers that are slapped on packaged items? When do we know if our food is still good or even safe to eat?
My best advice is, “When in doubt, throw it out!” But let’s find a way to delay spoilage in order to maximize nutrients. I’ll start with the base of your NutriBlasts, fruits and veggies, and next week I’ll touch on packaged products.
- Shop at the Farmer’s Market. You can’t get any fresher than this unless you grow your own food. Look for a market in your area. Click here to see if one is located near you. Most often, the produce sold here has been picked 24-48 hours beforehand, which means it has a longer life than conventional items in the grocery store that have traveled for days and for hundreds of miles.
- Be picky; touch, prod and squeeze! Look for fruits and veggies that are free of blemishes, bruises and visible damage. Determine when you’ll use it by to judge how ripe it should be when you purchase it.
- Store it right. High humidity crispers are for leafy greens and herbs, while low humidity should be used for harder fruits and veggies like apples. Carrots gone limp? Loss of moisture in some root veggies results from lack of humidity. After peeling flabby carrots to remove any surface bacteria, place them in ice water for several hours to reabsorb lost moisture and crisp up. Cold water also helps keep fresh herbs for up to two weeks.
- Once sliced, store safely. Keep cut fruits and veggies covered and refrigerated.
Your produce will take better care of you when you take better care of it!