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If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’m not great at meal prep or planning but I *am* pretty great at fruit & veggie prep ;). Really excited to get this post up to help you keep your fruits and veggies fresher for MUCH longer than usual!
Today, I’m breaking down how to prep your fruits & veggies + how to store them so they actually stay fresher for longer. It’s a win/win because you’re saving money on wasted food + you’re able to eat more healthy foods when they’re fresh, portable + ready for you to eat any time!
If one of your goals for the new year is to eat more fruits & veggies, Walmart has you covered. I found everything you need to fruit & veggie prep at Walmart at a great price. If you haven’t hit Walmart’s home section lately, it’s a must! So many cute, practical items for organization, decor and storage at an awesome price – check it out here.
How to Keep Berries Fresh Longer
Ever wonder how to keep berries fresh longer? This hack came from my friend Mika Perry and I saw her sharing it for months on Instagram and I was SO skeptical… but she was right! It’s so simple to make your berries last longer!
How? Basically, you wash your berries (and veggies) really well, then let them DRY entirely, then store them in glass jars in the fridge, versus keeping them in the plastic and prepping them whenever you’re ready to eat them.
Supplies to Make Your Produce Last Longer
How to Keep Berries Fresh Longer: Fruit & Veggie Prep 101
Step One: Wash
the produce really well. I buy organic when possible and rinse mine with water in a colander in the sink.
Step Two: Cut & Choose
what you’re keeping. This is the time to slice peppers, remove stems from berries, take grapes off their stems, and remove any mushy, moldy or bruised berries from the bunch. Be picky – if they aren’t fresh right out of the package, they won’t get better in a glass jar ;).
Step Three: Dry
everything really well. This means I let my berries and veggies sit out for HOURS on the counter to dry. You can use a paper towel on the counter OR to keep it a little more environmentally friendly, use a cooling grid with a drying mat underneath. I use this one exclusively for food prep.
Step Four: Can It
Just add all the berries, fruits & veggies to appropriate sized mason jars. Totally depends on the quantity and size of your produce to determine which size – 16 oz or 32 oz – jars to use. I LOVE using plastic lids (regular mouth here, wide mouth here) because they’re easy to clean (no rust) and easy on and off (for my kids). If it still looks like there’s some condensation in the jar, you can add a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture.
Step Five: Store It
By putting the fruits & veggies in sealed jars straight into the fridge. They last about twice as long as they would in the plastic, BUT they won’t last that long… because you’ll eat them before they have a chance to spoil.
I’ve been berry prepping for about 5 months now and I can honestly say that IT DOES WORK, although I have no idea how or why. A few reasons I love prepping my berries, fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week:
- the berries truly stay fresh for longer – they don’t mush or mold nearly as quickly as they do in the plastic
- they’re easier and more convenient to grab as a quick snack. Because the produce is already washed + cut, all you have to do is dump into a lunch box or bowl – total timesaver!
- if you’re running out the door, you can just toss the entire jar with the lid into your bag and GO. you can’t do that with plastic cartons of fruit – holy mess!
- you save money by wasting less produce
- my kids can screw and unscrew the mason jar lids – aka they can serve themselves fruit because it’s already clean and convenient for them #WINNING
- honestly, it’s prettier to look at colorful fruit in glass than mushy fruit in plastic 😉
- you save money by wasting less produce
What kinds of berries, fruits, and veggies can you store in mason jars?
I’ve had success with:
- grapes – both green & red
- strawberries – you can also cut & slice, they stay good!
- bell peppers
- baby carrots
For a lot of these veggies and fruits, it’s impossible to get them completely dry. You just want them as dry as possible before putting them into jars.
A few general things…
- I buy organic when/where I can.
- I only rinse my produce with water – I’ve heard using some kind of white vinegar/water combo can extend the life of your produce but I can’t personally confirm.
- Metal lids work – as reported by my Instagram community – but I find metal mason jar lids are a little harder to clean and for my kids to maneuver. I found some great inexpensive ($2 for 8!) plastic mason jar lids here.