Shopping and storage

Fruit & Salads – know more, waste less!

Fruit & Salads – know more, waste less!

Summer is the season of plenty when it comes to fresh produce and it’s a great time to enjoy eating more fruit and salads than we usually would.  However, some of the fresh fruit and salad we buy can end up going to waste.

In fact, fruit and salads are two of the food items wasted most by Irish households. Let’s do something about that, shall we?

This summer we’ll be sharing our top tips and advice on buying, storing and freezing fruit and salad – as well as delicious ideas on how to enjoy them too!

Top Tips: Know better, waste less

Choose well and only buy the fruit and salads you need

  • Berries  have a short shelf-life so try to buy them as close as possible to when you’re planning on using them.
  • Packaged fruit – if you are buying fruit in packs make sure that it won’t result in you buying more than you need and check all of the individual pieces before you choose.
  • Loose fruit – Buying loose fruit is a great way to choose and only buy the fruit and salads you need.
  • Bananas – Try picking bananas that are at different stages of ripening – a few yellow ones for now and some greener ones for later in the week.
  • Salad greens – remember a whole head of lettuce will stay fresh longer than a bag of leaves – especially hardier lettuce types, such as cos, endive or little gem.
  • Tomatoes on the vine – eat the ones that have fallen off the vine first as they are riper, while the ones still on the vine will keep for longer.
  • Avocados – are often firm in the supermarket. Don’t worry, they will ripen at home!


Store right – keep fruit and salads for longer by storing them the right way

  • Refrigerate for freshness – Salad leaves, spinach, berries, peppers, grapes.
  • Store at room temperature – tomatoes, bananas, avocados, pineapples.
  • Remove from the fruit bowl – bananas, apples and pears produce ethylene gas which causes other fruit to ripen faster. Store them separately from other fruit to keep for longer.
  • Raspberries and blueberries – store in a rigid container and keep it level to avoid damage. Check and remove any that are spoiling. Find out more.
  • Lettuce – store in a rigid container, lined with damp kitchen paper to prevent the leaves getting squished and to slow wilting.
  • Peppers – keep in the vegetable drawer of the fridge for up to one week and wash only when you’re ready to use them.


Eat it – discover delicious ways to use up fruit and salads

  • Strawberry pizza – spread a layer of cream cheese on a baked pizza base and top with sliced strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.
  • Embrace fruity dinner recipes – who said fruit was just for dessert?? Check out this recipe list from Lauren Paul.
  • Get ready to crumble – where there is leftover fruit, there is the perfect excuse to make a crumble. Any fruit will do with this guide from Kitchn.
  • Different dressings everyday – Check out Donal Skehan’s favourite summer salads – using the same basic ingredients, with added fresh flavours.
  • Vegetable kebabs – use up summer veggies with this tasty recipe from Catherine Fulvio.
  • Leftover lettuce or cucumber – can be whizzed up in a summery vegetable soup.
  • Leftover salad leaves – can be blitzed with nuts to be used for a homemade pesto.
  • Leftover spring onions / scallions – can go into a fried rice dish.


Freeze it – learn which fruit and salads can be frozen for later use

  • Strawberries – can be frozen chopped or whole. To avoid crushing, freeze on trays for 1 hour before transferring to a freezer bag and keep for up to 1 year!
  • Frozen smoothie packs – chop up a selection of leftover fruit such as bananas and raspberries, pop into freezer bag together and hey presto – ready-to-go smoothie packs.
  • Frozen grapes – can make for a cool snack or as ice cubes for summer drinks!
  • Tomatoes – can be frozen whole, simply blanch, peel and cool first. Use within 4 to 6 months.
  • Homemade tomato puree – chop and cook tomatoes to reduce water content, add basil, cool and store in ice cube trays to be added to your next soup or pasta dish.
  • Peppers – wash, cut and freeze. Once defrosted, they’ll have a softer texture but will retain all their flavour – perfect for sprinkling over pizza.


Will you take action to stop wasting fruit and salad?

By trying any of these simple steps to use up fruit and salad, you’ll reduce your food waste and save money on your food shop! Now you know more, you can waste less.

And if you want to try even more, check out our A – Z Guide which is jam-packed with top tips to stop food waste.

We’d love to hear about the steps you’re taking to stop wasting fruit and salad. Maybe you have your own top tips to share with us using #StopFoodWaste on social media?

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