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14 Ways To Keep Your Fruits And Veggies As Fresh As Possible

How to keep them so fresh, so green.

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1. Keep your apples and bananas separate from your other fruit.

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Since apples and bananas produce more ethylene (a plant hormone that regulates growth) than other fruit, these two buddies tend to make just about everything nearby go ripe faster. Kick them out of your fruit basket.

2. And cover your banana stems with plastic wrap.

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**Not a euphemism**. To keep your bananas around longer, don't put them in the fridge. If it's too cold, the peels will turn black. Instead, wrap the stem end of the entire bunch in plastic wrap. That's where the ethylene comes out, so this will slow down the ripening process.

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3. Take your tomatoes out of the plastic bag.

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It's better to store tomatoes out in the open or in paper packaging rather than a plastic bag. Otherwise, you're trapping the ethylene in. On the other hand, if your tomatoes are too green and you can't wait to eat them, put them in a bag with a banana.

4. And don't keep tomatoes in the fridge, either.

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It's science! In cold environments, the actual genes responsible for creating some of the tomato's flavor will turn off. It's an irreversible process, so you might as well toss out tomatoes if they've been in the fridge for more than three days.

5. Treat your basil like a bouquet of flowers.

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You'd think that freshly cut basil would be best stored in the fridge. But it's actually better to soak the stems in a large glass of water instead of stuffing them into the vegetable crisper. And, like flowers, you should change the water every day.

6. Don't store onions and potatoes together.

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Great together in a meal, but not so much before then. Both need to be stored in similar conditions (in a cool, dry, ventilated place away from the light), but they'll sprout more quickly if they're stored side by side.

7. And definitely don't store your potatoes in the fridge.

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The fridge is too chilly for potatoes! Whenever they're stored at low temperatures, the starch starts turning into sugar, which definitely changes the way they'll taste.

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8. On that note, watermelon also doesn't go in the fridge.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers found that watermelons stored at room temperature have way more antioxidants and nutrients than ones kept in the fridge. But if you really like eating cold watermelon, cut a few slices and chill them in the fridge for a few minutes before eating.

9. You can actually keep carrots in a sandbox!

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Sand storing can extend the life of all root vegetables (like carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, etc.) for the winter by keeping them in their natural environment — AKA, "underground." For carrots, you just remove the tops and bury them into a drawer or box of sand, or potting soil. Don't forget to dampen the sand from time to time.

10. And use a pair of tights to hang your garlic.

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It's not the most authentic Laura Ingalls-y fix, but keeping your garlic in (clean, for the love of god) tights helps them last longer. Put a head of garlic in the "foot," tie a knot, put another head in, tie a knot, and so on. The idea is to keep the heads of garlic from touching each other. This tip goes for shallots and even onions, too. And if you want to save already-peeled cloves, keep them in a jar of olive oil.

11. Put your wine corks to use!

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Save your wine corks and keep them in your fruit basket, where they'll absorb humidity and give off an odor that keeps fruit flies away. Boom. It's a double whammy hack.

12. With mushrooms, humidity is the enemy.

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Keep mushrooms away from plastic boxes and bags. Instead, use a brown paper bag or even a newspaper to wrap them up. The paper will absorb humidity and extend the shelf life.

13. Layer paper towels between your leafy greens to banish humidity, too.

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When storing your lettuce or spinach in the fridge, layer them with paper towels. That way, it'll soak up any extra moisture and slow down the ripening process so your salad stays fresher, longer.

14. And finally, use lemon juice to keep your avocado ~flawless~.

Elsa Pereira / Via BuzzFeed France

After they're cut open, avocados will turn brown quickly. To slow this process down, rub the part exposed to air with a few drops of lemon juice. The citric acid in lemon juice will delay oxidation of the avocado. Then, just keep it in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic film.

This post was translated from French.

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