Helpful Tips for Your Fruits and Vegetables 

 Originally Written: July 26, 2010

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on July 26, 2010 by Hanna Trafford

This is the time of the year when there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to choose from and to use daily. Whether you use fresh fruits and vegetables or decide you will do some preserving, having that little extra help by understanding what can help you get the most out of your fruits and vegetables will avoid waste and save you money. I have put together a list of helpful tips so that you can do just that:

  1. To ripen avocados quickly, place them in a wool sock and set in a dark place.
  2. To revive limp asparagus, try placing them in a tall pot with ice water in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Pickle juice should be saved and used for making coleslaw, potato salad, etc.
  4. When making pickles, cut off ¼ inch from each end. The ends contain enzymes that may cause the pickles to soften.
  5. Use a well-greased muffin tins to bake tomatoes, apples or peppers. They will keep their shape better.
  6. If you cook your vegetables with a small amount of milk, it will bring out more colour
  7. If you sprinkle salt into the water when you are washing vegetables, it will draw out insects.
  8. When cooking onions or cabbage, boil a small amount of vinegar in a pan to remove the odours.
  9. To prevent soggy salads, place an inverted saucer in the bottom of the salad bowl. The excess liquid will drain off under the saucer and the salad stays fresh and crisp.
  10. To ripen a pineapple, cut off top, remove skin and slice. Place in a pot and cover with water, sweeten to taste, boil for 5 minutes, cool and refrigerate.
  11. Oranges that need to be peeled for dishes should be soaked in boiling water for at least 5-7 minutes before peeling. This will make it easier to peel and remove all the white pulp.
  12. If you sprinkle lemons with water and refrigerate them in a plastic bag, they will last a month or more
  13. Salt will make grapefruit taste sweeter.
  14. If you allow grapefruit to stand in boiling water for a few minutes, it will be easier to peel.
  15. To make ripe olives taste better, soak them overnight in olives, place them in a brown be oil with a clove of garlic added.
  16. To ripen fruit, place it in a brown bag in a dark place for a few days.
  17. If citrus fruits are warmed in the microwave or warm oven for a few minutes, they will yield more juice.
  18. Toss freshly cut fruit in lemon juice and it won’t darken. The juice of half lemon is enough for a quart or two of cut fruit.
  19. Cook cranberries only until they “pop”- further cooking will make them bitter. And always use a teaspoon of butter to each pound of cranberries – it will eliminate overboiling and excess foam.
  20. To eliminate the smell of broccoli, add a slice of bread to the pot
  21. Cabbage odours can be container if you place a piece of bread on top of the cabbage when cooking in a covered pot
  22. To keep cabbage red, try adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to the cooking water
  23. To slip skins off carrots, drop them in boiling water, let stand for 5 minutes and then drop them into cold water
  24. To keep cauliflower white during cooking, add lemon to the water. Overcooking tends to make cauliflower darker and makes it tougher.
  25. The best way to remove kernels from an ear of corn is to use shoehorn.
  26. A food brush will remove silk from corn.
  27. Lettuce will not rust as quickly of you line the bottom of the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment with paper towels or napkins. The paper will absorb the excess moisture.
  28. To keep mushrooms white and firm when sautéing them, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to each quarter pound of butter.
  29. To shed fewer tears when slicing onions, cut the root off first, refrigerate before slicing and peel under running water,
  30. When making stuffed peppers, coat the outside of the pepper with vegetable oil and it will retain its colour
  31. Stuffed peppers should be cooked in muffins pans to retain their shape
  32. To reharden potatoes, place soft raw potatoes in ice water for half an hour or until they become hard
  33. When you store potatoes, place an apple with them and they won’t sprout.

I hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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