Simple tips to make your fall produce and meals last

Posted at 7:52 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 09:59:50-04

Looking for simple ways to keep your fall foods fresh? Bashas' gave us some insider tips!

You can save money by shopping for seasonal items, and by using these tips to extend them, and your meals!

Picking fall produce

For winter squash (pumpkin, butternut and acorn), always look for a nice, firm skin with no dents, bruises, or "squishy areas".

For pears, take your thumb and press down near the stem. It should be soft to the touch when it's ripe. Pears are not typically ripe in the store. So, when you buy them, let them ripen at home from the inside out. To speed up the process, you can place them in a paper bag with an apple.

For apples, a solid outside and sweet smell are good indicators that they're ready to go home with you!

Making your items last

Thyme, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, chives, lavender, mint, and sage are the in-season herbs you'll want to stock up on.

To keep your fresh herbs just that, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place in a gallon Ziploc baggie in the refrigerator. That will extend the shelf-life for two to three weeks.

For apple leftovers, cover with lemon juice and Glad Press'n Seal, and place in the refrigerator. This keeps the apples fresh for at least a few more days.

Pumpkins and squash can last up to a couple months if kept in a cool and dry room.

Keeping leftovers fresh

If you've had a Bashas' rotisserie chicken before, you know that it can extend into two or three meals.

After it's been cooked, shred the meat or slice it. You'll want to use airtight storage in the freezer.

Instead of getting a vacuum sealing system, you could put a thin layer of chicken between sheets of Glad Press'n Seal, which helps get out most of the air, and is more affordable. It will be good in the freezer for a couple months. 

In store, Bashas' announces over the intercom when their famous crusty bread is hot and fresh from the bakery. This unique bread also comes in a perforated bag that extends how long you get to enjoy it.

If you're carbing up with any other bread though, wrap a slice or entire loaf tightly in two layers of foil, put in a Ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator. That should give it 10 more days of freshness!