It seems we're all looking to add more wholesome vegetables to our diets. (Yay, us!) Of course, this starts at the grocery store, where we arrive hopeful with a list of good stuff to buy and transform into delicious meals. So a few tips and tricks to ensure we are eating the freshest greens, broccoli, and more is never a bad idea.
Avoid these five mistakes and you'll be on you're way to eating better, tastier veggies.
5 Mistakes to Avoid with Store-Bought Vegetables
1. Buying more than you'll actually use.
You overload your shopping cart with double the amount of vegetables you usually go through in a week because you're set on packing salads every day for lunch, that's commendable. But be try to be realistic — even the best intentions can be squashed by busy weeks. Plus, buying more veggies doesn't always mean you eat more of them, as some could start to spoil before you even get to them.
Follow this tip: Buy the vegetables you need rather than the vegetables you hope to eat, so they don't go bad before you can use them.
2. Skipping the vegetables with speckles and spots.
Misshapen or spotted vegetables might not look picture-perfect, but those blemishes shouldn't be deal-breakers. These ugly vegetables often get pushed aside, but as long as they aren't bruised or rotten, you shouldn't hesitate to buy them. They're still perfectly fine to eat!
Follow this tip: Don't be afraid of ugly vegetables — they're fine to eat as long as they aren't bruised or rotten. In fact, they can often be bought at a discount since grocery stores don't think you want them.
3. Refrigerating all vegetables.
Tossing your entire haul of vegetables in the fridge when you get home may seem like the smart thing to do, but not all vegetables should be stored in there. Some, like potatoes and tomatoes (technically a fruit), can become mealy, while others, like onions and garlic, can spoil faster in the fridge.
Follow this tip: Store tomatoes on the counter and potatoes, onions, and garlic, in a cool, dark pantry instead of the refrigerator. Click here for a full explainer of what goes where.
4. Misusing the crisper drawer.
If you just haphazardly toss your veggies in your refrigerator's crisper drawers and hope for the best, you're not alone. Take the time to actually learn how the drawers work and you can keep your vegetables fresher, longer. In a nutshell: The drawers can be adjusted with just a few clicks to either be low-humidity or high-humidity. Things not sensitive to moisture loss, like avocados, are best stored at low-humidity and those that are sensitive, like leafy greens, should be stored at high-humidity.
Follow this tip: Adjust one crisper drawer to low-humidity and the other to high-humidity. Then use this handy guide to know which vegetables to store in each.
5. Tossing stems, leaves, and peels.
Broccoli stems, beet greens, and carrot peels are usually quick to be discarded when you're prepping for dinner. That's wasteful! Cut down on food waste by opting to use the entire vegetable. The stems can be added to a stir-fry, the greens can be sautéed, and the peels can be turned into pesto.
Follow this tip: Before you toss the stems, leaves, and peels of your vegetables into the trash, consider cooking with them!