Remember to consider your schedule for the up-coming week. If it looks like a busy week, adjust your meal plan and buy less food. It’s okay to eat out or use convenience items, such as rotisserie chicken, minute rice and frozen vegetables. You don’t have to plan every meal; planning for four or five meals allows for flexibility and leftovers.
The adjustable levers on the produce drawers in certain fridges change humidity levels; set one to high and one to low. The high-humidity drawer prevents air from coming in and is the best place for vegetables that wilt, such as carrots, leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, green beans, and summer squash (including zucchini). However, don’t give up on your vegetables if they are wilted. Fill your sink or a large container with ice water and soak wilted vegetables for 5-10 minutes. A quick soak is often enough to revive droopy veggies; lettuce will once again crunch, and bendy carrots will strengthen. If an ice bath doesn’t do the trick, wilted veggies can still be used in a stir-fry or other cooked dishes.
The low-humidity drawer is best for fruits that give off a gas called ethylene, which speeds the ripening process. Keep ethylene producers away from vegetables and other fruits that don’t need to be ripened quickly. Examples of ethylene producers include avocados, apples, pears, melons, tomatoes, peaches, plums and mangoes.
Remember to check stored produce throughout the week and throw away any spoiled pieces. If a fruit or vegetable has gone bad, it can cause nearby fruit and vegetables to go bad.
Connecting Albert County's Guide to Healthy Meals project is supported with a Community Food Action Grant from the Province of New Brunswick.