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How To Extend The Life And Nutritional Value Of Your Wholesale Produce

Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, especially during winter when half of the U.S. Is covered with ice and snow. When you find a good deal on wholesale produce, you want to stock up, but then, how do you make it last and remain healthy? There are a few ways you can extend the life and nutritional value of your produce prizes.

Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealing your fruits and vegetables removes any opportunity for bacteria to grow and decreases the anaerobic process that causes fruit and vegetables to decompose. Sometimes wholesale fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf life, and if you stock up without vacuum sealing and freezing or refrigerating it, you could lose a lot of it to your garbage can.

Canning and Pickling

If you have never learned the old-fashioned art of canning and pickling, now is the time. Most vegetables respond to the canning process well. If you want to can some vegetables, try your hand at these:

  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Peppers, especially hot peppers of any variety
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkins

If you want to take a shot at pickling, these are the vegetables that work best:

  • Cucumbers
  • Pickles (immature cucumbers)
  • Zucchini
  • Bell peppers and onions
  • Some types of squash

All the produce you choose to pickle should be sliced, with the exception of cucumbers, since you can pickle them in the brine whole or sliced. Sliced, fully-grown vegetables are crunchier and easier to pickle than if you try to pickle them whole.

Preserves, Jams and Jellies

Most fruits are easily converted to preserves, since you only have to boil and sugar the fruit. Jams and jellies us a similar process, but incorporate pectin or gelatin into the smashed or puréed fruit before it is sealed. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you will want to avoid making jams and jellies because of the origins of gelatin and pectin.

Nutritional Value and Shelf Life of All of These Processes

Your very best option is to vacuum seal your wholesale produce because it will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month an in the freezer for a minimum of six months. If you cannot afford a vacuum sealing machine, then canning, pickling and preserving, as well as jams and jellies, can keep the fruits and vegetables (on which you got a great sale price!) for up to two years or as long as the jars remain sealed.

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