As a Registered Dietitian who works in the Supermarket, I’m always sharing my tips with our guests for fun ways to make fruits and vegetables easy and more convenient to eat. Often, individuals lack the time to prep fruits and veggies, which may reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat in a day.
These 10 Fruit and Veggie Hacks have always worked for me and I hope you can find a few new ones that you’ll try for yourself!
I grew up eating large triangle-shape slices of watermelon on hot summer days. It was quick for my parents to prep, but it was always a little messy with watermelon juice running from cheek to cheese. Rather than slicing it in triangles, or taking the extra time to cube it, try watermelon sticks! Simply cut the watermelon in half. Then, make perpendicular cuts, about 1 inch apart to make large watermelon sticks.
Shucking Corn on the Cob
Fresh corn on the cob in the peak of summer tastes so good! But if you’re like me, you get a bit frustrated with all the hairs when you remove the husk.
The easiest way to shuck corn without all the mess is to start by microwaving the corn on the cob (with the husk on) for 4 minutes. Tip: if you have 2 ears of corn, cook for 8 minutes in the microwave. Then, carefully cut off the root end. You can use a towel to help hold the corn, as it will be hot. Then, carefully slide your corn right out of the husk!
Speed up the Ripening Process
I love pears, but I often wish I didn’t have to wait as long for them to ripen. Instead I put them in a bowl on the counter next to bananas, which release ethylene gas, and in turn, causes the pears to ripen much faster. They are then ready to use for a simple snack, or you can pair them with your favorite cheese for an easy appetizer.
Chop and Freeze for easy Meal Starters
If you’re like me, you cry with the first slice into an onion, but I love the flavor they bring to so many dishes. Next time you’re cutting an onion, go at it and chop up more than you need and store the rest in a plastic freezer bag and pop into the freezer. If I’m feeling ahead of the game, I’ll freeze small bags of chopped onions, celery and carrots to have a perfect base for soup, pot pie, or a hot dish (yes, I am from Minnesota!). You can even freeze onions and chopped bell pepper to add in with eggs for a quick breakfast omelet.
Store Cut Avocados with Onions to Prevent Browning
Speaking of onions, they can also help prevent your deliciously sliced avocados from browning! I love avocados, but sometimes I don’t eat a whole one all at once. To help prevent my sliced avocado from browning, I pop it in an air tight container with some large slices of red onion. It keeps for 1-2 days.
Cutting a Pomegranate
Carefully make 4 shallow slits from top to bottom on the skin of your pomegranate. Then, submerge the pomegranate in a large bowl of water while you pull apart the four sections. The seeds (edible portion) will sink, and the extra (skin, membranes) will float to the top. You can then easily discard the non-edible pieces and you’re left with your fruit in the bottom of the bowl.
Meal Prep with Potatoes
After washing, cut potatoes and submerge them in water overnight to prevent them from browning. This way you can prepare your vegetables a day ahead of time!
Peeling butternut squash
We all love butternut squash, but we know it’s not the easiest thing to peel. Before peeling, cut the end off each side, then carefully poke holes throughout the squash with a fork. Place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Let cool, it might be hot! Then, use your peeler or a knife to get the skin off- it will be much easier!
Refresh your greens!
Does your lettuce or leafy greens wilt? Bring them back to life by filling a bucket (or your sink) with ice cold water. Fully submerge the lettuce into the water as much as possible for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the lettuce to absorb water and crisp up. Dry over towels or in a salad spinner.
Happy & healthy eating in the new year!