This is such an easy subject and yet I’ve rewritten this introduction several times. All I wanted to share with you is how I always have fruit that is washed, ready to eat and well organized in my fridge. My trick consists of simple containers that I first use as a “bathtub” to wash the fruit, and then for storage in the fridge.
In the past, I’ve used various kinds of food containers, but I recently found these Ice Cube bins at Target which are narrow, long and high, and fit perfectly side to side in the refrigerator. They also work as mini-drawers within the fridge as each holds a different type of fruit.
So when I get home from the store I fill one of these bins with the fruit, gently rub them with my hands to remove any dirt, rinse a couple of times, add water
and let the fruit soak in the bin for about 20 minutes, on the countertop. I follow the same process for all fruit I bring home.
Then, I give the fruit a couple of more rinses, discard the water, and the bins are ready
to be stored in the fridge, neatly arranged on one shelf and filled with washed fruit.
The sides of the containers even have the shape of a handle, making them easy to pull out. And because they are open on the top, I can see exactly what I have with just a glance.
When everything is so well organized there are so many advantages! No more excuses for “forgetting” to eat fruit every day! Or any for buying pre-washed and pre-cut fruit with less vitamins for twice the price. Searching for hidden cherry tomatoes behind other food isn’t an endless adventure any more. And with this method, less fruit will go bad, since I can easily see what I have and consume accordingly.
As for the rest of the fresh produce, take a look on how they’re stored in my refrigerator.
I use the exact same process for oranges (which I usually buy in large quantities) only I soak them in a bigger bin and store them in the first drawer of my fridge, after they are dry. All ready for freshly squeezed morning juices!
The second drawer usually holds salads such as lettuce, romaine hearts, spinach etc. First I rinse the leaves under running water, and then fill the salad spinner bowl with water, let the leaves soak for about 20 minutes, discard the water, spin and store in the fridge right in the salad spinner. Un-washed romaine sits in that same drawer in its package, ready to be used to refill the salad spinner through the same process! There is always something green, washed and ready to make a salad.
The last drawer is dedicated to vegetables for meals that I’ve usually planned for the week, i.e. eggplants for moussaka, celery for a Greek traditional Pork & Celery dish, broccoli to serve with a grilled steak and so on. Today I have butternut squash for a soup and bell peppers for a week night easy recipe. This is also where I store larger fruit like melon, but also berries which are so delicate and rinsed right before consuming.
Of course, each week is different and every bin and drawer hold different fruits and vegetables depending on the seasons, the family needs, and the weekly menu, but these bins are always extremely useful! And if you just want to test the process, try using any kind of regular food container you already have. You will be amazed at how convenient this whole process is!