Labor Day is just around the corner, so now is the time to eat all the fresh tomatoes, peppers, berries and stone fruits you can get your hands on! Their fragrant flavors are at their peak right now, which means you should take advantage of them in a wide variety of ways. Here are a couple of our tips when storing, prepping and serving:
- Store refrigerated produce unwashed in its original packaging unless it is drenched in water, then remove from wet packaging and pat dry.
- Remove any rubber bands or string that are binding the vegetables.
- Do not overcrowd the vegetable bin as you will smother your produce and make it rot more quickly.
- Don’t put unripe stone fruit (apricots, nectarines, plums, etc.) in the fridge. Either let them ripen on the counter or place them in a loosely sealed paper bag for a few days.
- Berries, however, need to be put straight in the fridge. Do not cover, as they need air circulation to prevent rotting.
- Store corn husks in the fridge until ready to use. Keep in mind that that should be sooner than later as the sugars begin to turn to starch as soon as they are picked.
- Never store whole tomatoes in the refrigerator. Keep them at room temperature for optimal flavor and texture.
- Place a wet paper towel under your cutting board to prevent the board from slipping.
- Make sure to wash the outside of fruits and vegetables before cutting them, in order to prevent bacteria and dirt from getting into the flesh when you slice them.
- Wash berries (and other fruit) only when you’re ready to eat them. Likewise, remove any rotted berries to prevent spreading.
- Slice a small, flat piece off the bottoms of whole melons and pineapple so they sit flat when you’re working with them.
- Use frozen fruit in place of ice for smoothies. Your drinks will be colder and thicker, and they won’t get watered down from the ice.
- Use a serrated knife to slice tomatoes instead of a chef’s knife. The cutting is much smoother!
- Don’t mix cut tomatoes, cucumbers and other juicy vegetables – or fruits – with your salad ingredients until you’re ready to eat. This helps keep lettuce crisp!
- Cookie cutters can be used to make fun shapes out of melon slices. Kids will love experimenting!