Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. has remained committed to making sure that consumers around the country will not only have continued access to fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also learn some new ways to get the most out of the fresh fruits and veggies purchased in their own kitchens.
To help families stretch fresh items further and learn to navigate this new normal, Del Monte Fresh Produce is sharing a list of tips and tricks on how to make sure that fresh produce is being used to its fullest potential and to help make it last between shopping trips.
- Have a Storage Plan in Mind Before Shopping – Many consumers wind up throwing away fresh produce before having had a chance to use it simply because it is stored incorrectly. Knowing what you have space to store properly before going shopping can ensure you are getting the most out of the produce you bring home. Some examples include:
- Avocados – To maximize shelf life, avocados should be stored in a cool, dark place in an open plastic grocery bag. Avocados can also be stored in the refrigerator for short periods of time, but too long and they will develop black areas in the pulp. Once cut open, avocados can also be stored in the refrigerator. Rub a little lemon or lime juice on the exposed pulp before storing to prevent the avocado from discoloring.
- Bananas – This potassium-packed fruit should be stored in a cool, dark place in a paper bag. When fully ripened, bananas can be stored for longer periods of time in the refrigerator (or even in the freezer if planned for use in a smoothie or cooking bread). The peel will turn brown or black, but the fruit will still be good to eat.
- Limes – Limes should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, but brought to room temperature before eating. They should be dry when stored to prevent mold and rinsed off right before eating. When refrigerated, limes and other citrus can last up to a couple of weeks.
- Purchase a Range of Produce to Hold You Over, Some Ready to Eat Now and Some That Will Last – This will help consumers ensure that they will have fresh options in the days or weeks before their next shopping trip, including:
- Pineapples – Pineapples are already ripe and packed with vitamin C when purchased and do not benefit from aging or ripening at home. They can be enjoyed immediately, and when cut into chunks and kept in the fridge, they can last up to a week.
- Brussels Sprouts – Brussels sprouts can last for several weeks when refrigerated, as they like cold temperatures and high humidity. Unwashed sprouts can be washed in a damp paper towel and placed in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer to maintain freshness.
- Refresh Leafy Greens – Leafy green vegetables that are beginning to wilt can be brought back to life by submerging them in a bowl of ice water for 15-20 minutes, which will allow the leaves to absorb the water and crisp up. Following the soak, the vegetables can be dried over a towel or in a salad spinner before being added to a salad or recipe.
- Chop and Freeze Fruits & Vegetables – Many veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower and fruits like berries, grapes and mangoes can be prepped and frozen in a zip-top bag to not only extend freshness, but to make for easy meal prep when you are ready to enjoy them!
- Make a Smoothie – Smoothies and smoothie bowls are great ways to utilize fresh fruits and vegetables that are beginning to turn, and are a fun and delicious way to sneak nutrient-rich produce into kids’ diets!
- Practice “Root to Stem” Cooking – One of the best ways to get the most out of produce and avoid food waste is to use each and every part of the produce. Try slicing broccoli and cauliflower stems into matchsticks for a light snack or delicious stir fry addition, or mixing cooked carrots or beet tops into recipes for added flavor.
“These tips come straight from the kitchens of Del Monte Fresh Produce’s fruit and veggie experts, who want to make sure that families continue to enjoy fresh produce during these uncertain times,” said Elana Gold, Chief Marketing Officer, Del Monte Fresh Produce.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. is one of North America’s leading marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. markets its products in North America under the Del Monte brand (as well as other brands) under license from Del Monte Foods, Inc. (as well as other brands). The Del Monte brand is a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 125 years. Del Monte Fresh N.A. Inc. is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Del Monte Foods Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited, Del Monte Canada, or Del Monte Asia Pte. Ltd.