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Vegetables Spoiling too Quickly? Tips When Cooking for One or Two
cooking-stewby Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.


When you're cooking for one or two, buying fruits and vegetables can sometimes feel like a waste of money if they just sit in the fridge and spoil. Here are five top tips to get your money's worth out of produce so you can keep eating healthfully.

  1. Get a variety of cut-up fruits and vegetables in small amounts from the salad bar at your grocery store. Use them in salads, stews and casseroles, or steam the vegetables just as they are.
  2. Buy different types of frozen vegetables and cook only the amount you need.
  3. Use the same fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways: blanch broccoli florets and toss them into your salmon salad for lunch, add them raw to your tossed salad for dinner, and steam what's left for another meal.
  4. Buy only what you need. Pick up one apple, pear, orange, plum and so on. Buy loose Brussels sprouts and green beans rather than large packages. If grapes and cherries are sold in open bags, pull out just the amount you want.
  5. Store produce carefully. Maintain your refrigerator temperature at 40º F or below.
    • Keep unwashed broccoli, cauliflower, chard, kale, lettuce, spinach and zucchini in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper.
    • Green beans last longer in a perforated plastic bag.
    • Once you've opened a package of fresh mushrooms, place what's left in a paper bag and refrigerate.
    • If you have more berries than you can use, freeze them. (Gently wash and dry them, place on a cookie sheet, freeze for one hour, then store in a plastic container in the freezer.)
    • For more storage tips, check out this list from Farm Fresh to You.

is a registered dietitian with National Clinical Research—Norfolk, in Virginia, and a consultant to the food industry with Jill Weisenberger Health Communications LLC.


Last updated and/or approved: September 2010.
Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. This health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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