Sierra Club
The Green Life  
Daily tips for doing good and living well from Sierra magazine


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Nothing puts a dent in your day like discovering moldy, wrinkled fruits and veggies in your kitchen. This week, we'll share some natural tricks to keep your produce fresher, longer!

Case #4: Atrophied Asparagus

Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, asparagus is always a great vegetable to add to your diet. Yet while it is renowned for the health benefits it provides, it is simultaneously notorious for its shelf life. Asparagus stored in the refrigerator lasts for only about two days after it is has been bought from the market. If you are an avid asparagus eater, you know that the stalks shrink in size, crispness, and taste if you don't cook them within 48 hours.

Their shriveled and wrinkled appearance isn't an indication that the thermostat in your fridge is too low, but a result of asparagus's respiration rate (or the rate in which fruits and vegetable spoil), which is high. Of course, the best way to enjoy this delicious veg is to cook it the day it's bought. But that isn't always going to be the case, especially when your in-laws come unexpectedly into town and are dying to try the neighborhood BBQ place featured on Man v. Food!

So... kick into plan B. Another great way to ensure that your asparagus doesn't become your next produce casualty is to do the following:

Cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stalks. Then, store upright in a cup, vase, or jar of room-temperature water. Lastly, cover the tops of the asparagus with a plastic bag (grocery bags or ziplocs will work) to retain moisture, and store in the refrigerator. Your asparagus will last a few days longer and, what's better, your cream of asparagus soup or prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus will taste just as new and fresh!


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