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Buying and Storing Carrots... Buying Carrots: Carrots are a great root vegetable with a lot of nutrients! They make a great side to any dish and go well in stews and soups. When buying carrots we want to look for carrots with a nice orange color that are smooth and have a straight form. If possible we should buy carrots with the greens still attached, these are usually the freshest and will keep and taste better. Look for non wilted greens that look...
Buying and Storing Broccoli... Buying Broccoli: Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables for us to eat. Not only is broccoli rich in calcium, it also has anti-oxidant properties to prevent certain forms of cancer. When buying broccoli we want to look for a deep green color. Any yellowing is a sign of age and won’t last very long. We also want to make sure the florets are tight and compact. The stem should be thin but firm, it also should feel...
Buying and Storing Bananas...   Buying Bananas: Bananas are one of the few fruits that can be bought all year round. They are harvested in exotic climates and shipped all over the world for our enjoyment. While at the super market you usually will want to pick a group of bananas that have a green or light green tint to them. They should be firm and have no visible bruises on them. They aren’t ripe yet but will be in a few days and ready...

Buying and Storing Pasta

  Buying Pasta: Oh pasta, the Italians wonderful gift to this planet! Pasta is a delicious grain that is usually bought or made in bulk. Because of this we need to know how to store it correctly in both forms, fresh and dried. Pasta can be purchased either dry or fresh. Dried pasta is widely available, especially at super markets, while fresh pasta is usually purchased as small delicatessen shop. We can of course make our own fresh pasta, however that’s another topic altogether!   Storing Pasta: Store bought dried pasta can be stored indefinitely if kept in the right conditions. We should place our pasta in Air Tight Containers and store them in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Though dried pasta can usually be stored indefinitely, its always best to check the use by date on the package due to the ingredients that are used when the pasta is made. Since fresh pasta is made with eggs it doesn’t keep as long as dried pasta. We have to keep this in mind when buying or making it. Store bought pasta will usually keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in it original sealed packaging. If you open it, you should store the uncooked pasta in an airtight container. You should still consume this in 2-3 days. It is best to check the packaging on fresh pasta as you don’t know when it was made. Homemade pasta will only last 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Again, it should also be stored in an airtight container. We can also freeze fresh pasta. Fresh pasta that is frozen will last about 2-3 months before it needs to be used. Tip: We do not have to thaw uncooked frozen pasta. Simply toss it in a pot of boiling water where it will just require a few more minutes to cook and thaw....

Buying and Storing Carrots

Buying Carrots: Carrots are a great root vegetable with a lot of nutrients! They make a great side to any dish and go well in stews and soups. When buying carrots we want to look for carrots with a nice orange color that are smooth and have a straight form. If possible we should buy carrots with the greens still attached, these are usually the freshest and will keep and taste better. Look for non wilted greens that look fresh.   Storing Carrots: Carrots store very well in the refrigerator and they should be kept there for long term use. In fact, carrots stored properly in the refrigerator can last up to 3 months! First we need to cut off the greens as they can cause the carrots to rot faster. Then we should dry them prior to placing them in the refrigerator. After they have been dried we should put them down on a layer of absorbent paper towels. The paper towels will collect the moisture the carrots give off and keep them from rotting. We should check the paper towels every few days to make sure its not to damp, if it is simply replace it with a new fresh one. Tip: We like Bounty Paper Towels to store our carrots on. We find they collect the most moisture and keep the carrots fresh!   What Not To Do: Store On The Counter: Carrots stored on the counter wind up going soft and limp. Store Near Bananas and Apples: The ethylene gas can make the carrots very bitter. Leave The Greens On: We should always store carrots with the greens cut off. They will pull nutrients from the carrots as they are stored....

Buying and Storing Eggplant

  Buying Eggplant: Not many people know it, but eggplant is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. It is party of the nightshade family and is closely related to the tomato. Eggplant is very delicate and should be used in a few days. The eggplant we pick should have a smooth and shiny skin that is the same color all over. When picking them up they should feel heavy in size. We can tell if an eggplant is ripe by pressing it with our finger. If it leaves a light imprint then we know its ripe and ready for use.   Storing Eggplant: Eggplant isn’t a fruit that keeps long so really we want to use it within 2-3 days of purchase. We can store eggplant either on the counter or in the refrigerator. When storing outside of the refrigerator make sure you store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight. Eggplant is very fragile and any bruising or exposure of the skin will cause it to go bad fast. If you want to keep the eggplant for 3-4 days then the best place is the refrigerator. Make sure you put it in a perforated plastic bag and wrap it in a paper towel. Tip: These Ziploc bags are great for storing eggplants and other fruits & vegetables. They allow air flow and help keep the moisture out, allowing your fresh produce to last longer.   What Not To Do With Eggplant: Avoid Bruised or Soft Eggplants: These are likely going bad, and if you aren’t planning to use them within a few hours of purchase they won’t make it over night. Put In Direct Sunlight: Eggplant is a nightshade fruit, it shouldn’t be stored in direct sunlight. Never Store In An Airtight Plastic Bag: This will restrict airflow and cause the eggplant to spoil faster....

Buying and Storing Ginger

  Buying Ginger: Ginger is a great root vegetable to make our dishes flavorful and delicious! Ginger is readily available and very easy to store for long term. We should always buy fresh ginger and avoid easy peeled or easy cut ginger. They lack the true flavor of ginger and wind up being pretty expensive. When buying ginger we want to buy the freshest ginger available  We want a firm, plump and unwrinkled root. This will provide the best flavor and also last the longest during storage!   Storing Ginger: Freshly bought ginger can last quite a long time if stored properly. Depending on how often you use ginger is how we should go about storing it. If you are a regular ginger consumer, the best place to store ginger is in the refrigerator. We should cut off the chunk we need for our recipe and then place the  rest of the root in a Ziploc Bag to keep it fresh and the aroma contained. Ginger stored this way will keep fresh for 2-3 weeks. If we you are a casual ginger consumer or simply bought to much ginger we recommend storing it in the freezer. The root should be stored in a Ziploc Freezer Bag where it can last up to 6 months! Tip: If you are freezing your ginger, there is no need to thaw it ahead of time. Frozen ginger actually grates very easily!   What Not To Do: Store Unwrapped: Ginger is very aromatic and if tossed in the fridge it can transfer its odor to other foods. Avoid Soft Ginger: Ginger should be hard and not soft. This is a sign of spoiled ginger and should be avoided. Avoid Wrinkly Dry Ginger: This is a sign of old age and usually means the root has lost most of its nutrients and won’t keep long....

Buying and Storing Avocados

  Buying Avocados: Avocados can be a very delicate fruit and usually don’t last long. For this reason we want to make sure we buy the correct avocado based on our needs. If we need our avocados immediately then we want to pick one that is just slightly soft. Avocados should yield to a light squeeze and that’s how we can tell if they are ripe and ready to eat. For all other uses we should buy firm avocados. We can speed up or delay the ripening process at home based on how soon we need them.   Storing Avocados: Depending on how soon you need your avocados is how you should go about storing them. If you are looking to consume them in 2-3 days then leave them out on the counter. They will naturally ripen and will be ready to eat in no time! If you want to keep them for 5-7+ days then you should store them in the fridge. This will slow down the ripening process and allow you to keep them for longer. You should begin to take them out of the fridge as you need them and let them sit for a day or two to ripen naturally. Just remember that the longer they have been in the cold the faster they will ripen when you take them out. Tip:  To keep a half used avocado buy an avocado saver and sprinkle some lemon juice on the fruit to prevent it from browning in the fridge.   What Not To Do: Avoid Bruised or Soft Avocados: These are either already to ripe or won’t ripen correctly. Avoid a Loose Pit : Give the avocado a shake, if you can hear the pit bouncing around then you know its already began to spoil on the inside. Don’t Store Near Apples or Bananas: Both these fruits produce a high amount of ethylene gas and will cause your pears to ripen much faster....

Buying and Storing Kiwis

Buying Kiwis: A kiwi is a nice treat to have around the house, however it is a seasonal fruit so when we buy it we don’t want to waste it! Proper storage will help you keep your kiwis fresh and make them last longer. When at the store we should buy kiwis based on when we want to enjoy them. A ripe kiwi will give on a slight touch and feel just a bit soft. These are good to eat right away, while a firm kiwi is not yet right and good for storage.   Storing Kiwis: Kiwis are best stored in the fridge to delay the ripening process. If your kiwi was already ripe when purchased then you can prolong the life about 3-5 days in the fridge. Where a very firm, not yet ripe, kiwi can last up to 4 months! We should check on these every few days though to make sure they are still firm while sitting in the fridge. To ripen a kiwi we should take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter 2-3 days. The natural ripening should take place and it should be yield to gentle pressure. To speed this process up we can place them in a paper bag with a apple or banana.  Tip:  If you have a bunch of ripe kiwis you can store them in the fridge within a Ziploc bag. This will help them last twice as long!   What Not To Do: Eat The Fuzz: You don’t actually have to peel a kiwi, but you shouldn’t eat the fuzz. You can give the kiwi a good scrub and eat them with the skin on! Avoid Bruised or Very Soft Kiwis: These have already begun to spoil and will just make a mess on your trip home from the store. Don’t Store Near Apples or Bananas: Both these fruits produce a high amount of ethylene gas and will cause your kiwis to ripen much faster....

Buying and Storing Broccoli

Buying Broccoli: Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables for us to eat. Not only is broccoli rich in calcium, it also has anti-oxidant properties to prevent certain forms of cancer. When buying broccoli we want to look for a deep green color. Any yellowing is a sign of age and won’t last very long. We also want to make sure the florets are tight and compact. The stem should be thin but firm, it also should feel heavy when picking up. These are all signs of good broccoli and the best way to get all the beneficial properties.     Storing Broccoli: Broccoli isn’t a vegetable that keeps long so really we want to use it within 2-3 days to get all the benefits. As broccoli starts to age it starts to lose its nutritional benefits. Having said that, we should still store our broccoli correctly to get all those benefits when we do decide to cook it. Broccoli is best stored in the fridge in a plastic bag with holes in it. This allows airflow for the broccoli and makes sure it doesn’t spoil faster in the refrigerator.  Tip: These Ziploc bags are great for storing broccoli and other vegetables. They allow air flow and help keep the moisture out, allowing your fresh produce to last longer.   What Not To Do: Never Store On The Counter: Unless you plan on using the broccoli in a day or so its best to store in the fridge. This will keep it fresh for longer and prevent it from drying out and becoming soft. Never Store In An Airtight Plastic Bag: This will restrict airflow and cause the broccoli spoil faster....

Buying and Storing Pears

  Buying Pears: Pears can be a very delicate fruit and usually don’t last long. For this reason we want to make sure we buy the correct pear based on our needs. If we need our Pears immediately then we want to pick one that is just a tad soft. Pears ripen from the inside out, so a soft pear will mean its ready for eating. The best place to check is near the stem, this is the narrowest part of the pear so this should be soft to the touch. A soft bottom indicate a pear thats past its prime and shouldn’t be bought. For all other uses we should buy firm pears. We can speed up or delay the ripening process at home based on how soon we need the pear.     Storing Pears: Depending on how soon you need your pears is how you should go about storing them. If you are looking to consume them in 2-3 days then leave them out on the counter. They will naturally ripen and will be ready to eat in no time! If you want to keep them for 5-7+ days then you should store them in the fridge. This will slow down the ripening process and allow you to keep them for longer. You should begin to take them out of the fridge as you need them and let them sit for a day or two to ripen naturally. Just remember that the longer they have been in the cold the faster they wil ripen when you take them out. Tip:  Don’t forget, a pear is ripe when the tip near the stem is soft. You should check them daily to make sure they don’t spoil!   What Not To Do: Avoid Wilted or Shriveled Pears: Avoid buying these, they won’t ripen and will never be good to eat. Never Store In a Plastic or Paper Bag: The ethylene gas will be contained causing the pears to ripen much faster.  You could do this if your pears sooner rather than later. Don’t Store Near Apples or Bananas: Both these fruits produce a high amount of ethylene gas and will cause your pears to ripen much faster....