Tips to preserve fresh produce with Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks

CHICAGO (WLS) -- June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month.

It's still very early in the gardening season but after all of the rain the Chicago area has gotten, those gardens will be bursting with fruits, vegetables and herbs soon.

Shelly Herman, owner and CEO of Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks joined ABC7 to share some "do's and dont's" of storing fresh herbs and produce, plus ways to get the most shelf life out of all those growing goods.

Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks founded the Fresh Picks Farmer Alliance with a select group of local Midwest farmers, expanding delivery of local organic foods in the Chicagoland area.

Tips to Storing Produce

  • Spring crops include lighter foods like salad greens and spring onions. Salad greens can include a wide variety of lettuces and baby greens like baby kale and chard.

  • The best way to store loose greens is to make sure they are dry and not too tightly bunched together and stored in a bag. Think light and fluffy with airflow. Remove any leaves starting to break down before storing. You can add a paper towel to the bag if there is a need for extra drying.

  • Spring onions come in many varieties like scallions, green garlic and potato onions and in colors of white, yellow, and red. You get the health benefits of eating both onions and greens by chopping up the entire bulb and attached greens!

  • The best way to store spring onions is in a jar with some water at the bottom, rubber band or twist tie removed, and a plastic bag over the top. If you don't have room for a jar in your fridge, you can just take the twist tie off and make sure there are no greens that are breaking down.

  • Cucumbers and zucchinis like to be clean and dry to last a week or so.

  • The best way to story cucumbers and zucchinis is rinse, cut away soft areas, dry off and wrap in a paper tower or put in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keep away from fruits like melons that give off ethylene gas and increase the speed of ripening and spoilage.

  • Mushrooms! It's always a good time of year for mushrooms as they grow inside in the dark.

  • The best way to store mushrooms is in the fridge in a paper bag, which is moisture absorbing, and with the top open for airflow, and not in a plastic bag. Don't wash before storing. You can do a quick rinse or wipe with a towel before cooking.

    For more information, visit www.freshpicks.com.
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