HOW TO REVIVE FRESH PRODUCE
February 13th, 2022
The one thing that really grinds my gears is food waste. Most of the time it is completely unavoidable. Life gets busy, and our precious produce just wilts away.
To start: trim and hydrate. If your fruits and veggies are a little too soft or have gone limp, a little bit of water can go a long way to bring them back to life.
Here’s what to do for a variety of fresh fruits and veggies:
Got soft beets, carrots, potatoes, radishes, or other root vegetables? Rehydrate your roots to bring them back to life. Simply soak them in water overnight and they should be as firm as new.
Revive wilted lettuce by giving it an ice bath. Let soak for at least an hour before enjoying in your favorite salad.
Celery, Broccoli, and Asparagus
Give limp celery and asparagus new life in a glass of water. Trim the bottom of celery, then place in a glass of water for at least 30 minutes. The water will rehydrate the celery, making it crisp once again.
Not crisp enough? Slice up your peppers and give them an ice bath. They might not bounce back to their deliciously crunchy selves, so cook and purée into a sauce to coat pasta.
Turn too-soft berries into a delicious dessert topper. Instead of an ice bath, soak berries in sugar water. After a few hours, they’ll be syrupy and thick—perfect to top on cakes or ice cream.
Note: If your fruits or vegetables are discolored, have visible mold, or don’t pass the smell (or taste) test, then they might be officially too far gone. Toss or compost.
If a good hydrating soak doesn’t bring your produce back to crunchy fresh perfection? Try this:
- Blend herbs with lemon zest and oil for an herby cooking oil
- Or, purée herbs and freeze them with oil for cooking starters
- Quick pickle veggies like peppers, cucumbers, and soft tomatoes
- Juice your fruits or blend them into a smoothie
- Save vegetables (except for cruciferous ones like broccoli and cauliflower) for homemade stock
- Roast root vegetables and blend into a dip
And just like that your produce has a longer life.
Happy Valentine's Day!