Food waste is a fact, and in summer even more, since the holidays take us out of the house for several days in which perishable foods are passed and, finally, we end up throwing them away
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, more food is wasted in spring and summer. Summer is an especially critical time for the preservation of many foods. We go on vacation, we spend time away from home, and many of the perishable products we have in the fridge or pantry watch the days go by and run out of shelf life. It happens especially with fresh fruit and vegetables, which are one of the foods that are most wasted, according to the Ministry. It must also be borne in mind that, depending on the product, its conservation is better cold or at room temperature. Learn how to keep each one to prevent it from ending up in the trash.
How to preserve fruits and vegetables
– Some products can be left out of the refrigerator until they mature, but then they must be refrigerated, because they can deteriorate quickly and change from ripe to past: this is the case with
plums, peaches, avocados, nectarines, or kiwis, fruits of this season.
oranges and other citrus they are better at room temperature, since the cold can cause damage or loss in their properties, aromas, texture or flavor.
tomatoes they don’t hold up well in the fridge. It is better to buy them ripe if they are for immediate use and leave the greenest ones to ripen at room temperature; if we see that they are going to pass, it is when they can be refrigerated or used to make a gazpacho or a sauce.
Watermelon, melon and pineapple. If unopened, they should not be kept in the refrigerator. Once cut, they must be refrigerated because pathogenic bacteria can grow in the cut area, which, in addition to spoiling the fruit, can cause poisoning.
potatoes and onions they should not be kept in the refrigerator. If you decide to refrigerate them, do not use them later for frying, as they will generate more acrylamide, with the consequent risk.
carrots, chives, leeks, turnips, and green beans it is better to put them in the fridge.
What to do with the fruit and vegetables that we have left over?
The problem comes when we go on vacation and we still have things in the fridge or in the pantry that, if many days go by without consuming, they will get bad and we will have to waste.
At the beginning you can do
cold purees or creams which are then easily frozen and you can take advantage of it at any time. But there are also many vegetables that can be
freeze directly (the quickest and easiest solution). It is true that the texture of these foods can be affected, especially when they are very rich in water, but they are perfectly usable for shakes and smoothies or as an ingredient in recipes for sweets, cakes, cookies, etc.
tomatoes They can be frozen whole directly and used around the corner for sauces or gazpachos: their texture is spoiled, but not the flavor.
zucchini and aubergines They can be frozen in sticks, pieces or slices with a previous blanching and rapid cooling, they are left to dry well and then they are packed in bags trying to remove the air.
onions, garlic, aromatic herbs they can be chopped and frozen. In the case of the onion, better in rings or in pieces, the water is allowed to drain and then they are packed. They can then be used directly frozen in pan recipes or in a stew.
potatoes they are not well frozen. It is preferable to try to keep them out of the fridge protected from light.
bananas They can be frozen, and then used to sweeten cakes, cookies, smoothies, etc.
– Small fruits like
grapes and red berries They can be frozen and used for smoothies or recipes for sweets, cakes or desserts.
– Large fruits like
peaches, strawberries, nectarines, mangoes or kiwis they can be cut into chunks and frozen to use in shakes and smoothies.
Beware of moldy parts
All these recommendations are for pieces in good condition, or so ripe that they will not last much longer, not for spoiled fruits or vegetables. If the vegetables get moldy in many cases they will have to be thrown away. Only “turgid” fruits can be saved, in which it would be enough to remove the moldy part and a piece around it; On the other hand, the tender and moist meat of soft or floury vegetables (tomato or pear, for example) lends itself to penetrating the filaments of the mycelium of fungi, so we must discard them.