Preserving fruits and vegetables

07 May 2020
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The national lock down has been extended all thanks to COVID-19. Some of us are happy, others aren’t but whatever the case this continues to have an effect on how we eat. For the past month we have all been eating home cooked meals.

Whether you are running out of your stash or not, you have to continue eating. So we take it off from last week and discuss the preservation of more food stuff that we bought. We started off with grains and today. We are talking about fruits and vegetables. This will apply to everyone who consumes these fresh foods from the vegans to those with even more complicated diet plans.

Fruits and vegetables are largely considered as perishable food items because of their short life span and how they handle. No matter how hard the shell of the fruit is, it won’t last you forever. If so, the insides will deteriorate and you won’t have a great tasting and nutritious fruit. The same applies for vegetables and even those that are harvested daily won’t last you forever, rather, depending on the kind of vegetable or fruit it is, it might last you longer than usual but not forever as a rock.

So what then is the solution to all this. You may have already lost some during the past 4 weeks of the national lock down but how do you preserve those you already have? Chef Unami shared her tips on how to do this. Most fruits have a shelf life of 7-14 days therefore storage is very important she says. If you use your fruits for smoothies, you’d have to peel and cut them up and if some are left over you can just freeze them for future use. The next time you want to make a smoothie just pull them out, throw them in the blender and blend away to some goodness.

Another useful tip she has is to snack on these fruits and vegetables instead of the usual, not so healthy snacks like crisps. Having yourself and the young ones snack on Oranges and Apples whenever they feel like taking a bite at something will ensure that none of the perishables you have in the house go to waste. The Orange peels in this case can be used for a compost pit or pile to make some good manure for that vegetable garden.

Lastly, as we draw close to the end of the lock down, exercising good judgement when buying your fruits and vegetables will do you good. When buying new ones, make sure to mix them up, the ripe with some not so ripe ones so that they last you longer. The ripe ones will take longer to ripen while giving you time to use the already ripe ones in whatever way you choose. And when using these, use that accounting principle of “First In, First Out” (FIFO). Whatever you buy first (First In) make sure you use first (First Out) so that whatever is older gets out of the kitchen to make room for the new ones.