We all learned in high school biology that the human body is about 60 percent water. Most fresh vegetables in the typical American diet are more than 90 percent water. For example, a carrot is about 88 percent water. A fresh cucumber has about 96 percent water. Swiss chard is 94 percent water. You need to consume about 2 quarts of water per day for your body to properly function. Most of this comes via drinking, but it can also be accomplished by eating certain fruits and vegetables. I try to eat fruits or vegetables with every meal.
Have you ever went to your refrigerator and looked in that bottom drawer, “The Crisper”, and found a bunch of slow dying wilted vegetables?(see how the celery is limp and bending -we are gonna fix that)
We all have faced this situation before. Start thinking about it and you can probably do a quick tally of just how much money you have thrown out in sorry wilted produce. Well it doesn’t have to be that way. When you buy meat you use every last bit of it, including the bones (for stock), so why are we so careless with produce? Even when you try and pay attention vegetables can often wilt before you manage to eat them.
This makes me wonder why most refrigerators made for home use have the “Crisper” drawers down low to the bottom. You can do your best to make sure you buy the best fruits and vegetables, pick out the juiciest, prettiest, and most fragrant ones, but the minute you bring them home and put them in your refrigerator’s “Crisper” drawer, the refrigerator starts taking the water, the life, and the flavor out of them. In your basic home refrigerator, the cooling system is the freezer and the refrigerator gets it cold air from the freezer. The colder you set your freezer, the more humidity is removed from the air in the refrigerator, thus speeding up the natural loss of water in your fruits and vegetables. If those silly “Crisper” drawers were moved up to the middle of the icebox, closer to eye level, fruits and vegetables would be more likely to be seen and used and less likely to be “out of sight – out of mind”. If you have lost sight of some vegetables and they are wilted or slightly dehydrated, it’s worth trying to rehydrate them. Before you throw them out, or better yet before you “compost” them, try reviving them in cold water
to refill their water supply. Water often wakes up wilting produce, much like it wakes up a sleeping person!
Some people say soak just the root ends, some say soak them in ice water and ice, I’ve even heard of people adding sugar or salt to the cold soaking water, but the one common denominator that I’ve heard and seen, is WATER. I believe that adding other substances such as sugar or salt actually reduce the quality and integrity of the vegetable so don’t do it! Besides, you want the natural flavor, right? ALL YOU NEED IS WATER. Soak your ill and dehydrated vegetables in cold water,
in the fridge, to revive them. Vegetables like celery with a thick or heavy outer layer absorb water more slowly so do yourself a favor and trim a little bit off of the stem end and put them in a glass or jar of water, just like you would with fresh flowers. After a few hours the vegetables will appear crisp and refreshed.
You can then remove them from the water bath. If you’re not going to use these born again vegetables right away, dry them off and store them in a plastic bag or container with a lid to prevent drying out again.
If you can’t save them, or they are too far gone, compost them. Returning them to the earth should make you feel less guilty and shows more respect for the farmers and Mother Earth who grew them in the first place.
Remember– “The first taste you take is with your Eyes!”