Tips in Selecting and Storing Vegetables

For green smoothies, you should use the freshest vegetables available. Doing so will enable you to not only obtain the maximum amount of nutrients from them but also the best taste. However, having fresh vegetables all the time is not possible but don’t let this stop you from enjoying your smoothie drink. Days-old leafy greens, if stored properly, can still produce the delicious and nutritious beverage that you want.

Always buy vegetables that are in season and grown locally, if possible. The freshest ones are those that traveled the shortest distance from the farm to the supermarket. If you are fortunate enough to live close to a farmer’s market, purchase your green smoothie ingredients there.

  • Look for crisp, brightly-colored veggies. They must be free of blemishes although organic produce can have blemishes. Further, there must be no signs of rotting, such as brown spots on the stems.
  • The leaves must be crisp, not limp. A test for crispness is to snap off a small portion of a leaf. If the vegetable is crisp, you will hear a distinct sound.
  • Buy enough vegetables to last for one week. Although there are certain kinds of greens that will keep for a few days only, most can be stored for about seven days.
  • Store the greens immediately after buying. Do not wash them before storage since washing should be done only before use. Wrap the vegetables in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Put the wrapped veggies in separate plastic covers in the fridge.
  • Chop the vegetables immediately before use, since exposure to air and light speeds up nutrient loss.
  • Always store the leafy greens in the body of your refrigerator and not in the freezer.
  • Many vegetables are sensitive to ethylene, a gas that is emitted by some plant-based foods as they ripen. These should be stored in a separate compartment because they can cause leafy greens to wilt quickly. Fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene include apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, mushrooms and tomatoes.

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