Josiah and I recently took a super short vacation to gather with his side of the family in Tahoe, California. While we were making dinner together one night, his brother Ben (who works at one of my favorite food places) stopped me as I was cutting up some bell peppers for shish kabobs. He politely mentioned that there’s a much more effective way to cut them.
What, you mean my “cut around the top stem and try to shake out all the seeds” method wasn’t the best? Ha.
Here it is….. How to cut a bell pepper quickly:
This might not seem like that big of a change – but I had to cut 6 bell peppers that night – and there was no “shake out the seed” mess happening! This way really simplifies the process. He called it the “box method”.
As you can see in the photos above:
1. Cut off the bottom. This makes it so your bell pepper can stand all on it’s own, usually even if it’s a wonky shaped one!2. Cut off “side 1”. You’re going to be cutting off all 4 sides, making this the “box method”.3. Cut off “side 2”. 4. Cut off “side 3”. 5. Cut off “side 4”. (as you do this more and more, you can practice at getting your sides even – and your “seed avoiding skills”. Josiah did it in the photos above, for the first time ever, so our sides are all a little uneven. Noob)6. Discard the core and seeds! Admire all your lovely bell pepper chunks. And cut them up more as needed. Plus you can still use the bottom that you cut off.
Seriously, that’s all! No cutting around the stem and then digging out the seeds. This will leave most seeds in the middle with the stem, and great rectangle pieces for you to cut as you need! You can cut the big pieces in half or thirds and they are perfect for dipping – or in thin slices for lovely fajitas.
How To Store Tomatoes
Keep your Tomatoes on your kitchen counter, uncovered and away from direct sunlight. This will allow them to continue to ripen and develop their flavor. Tomatoes will last between 3-4 days stored on a countertop.
Should you store Tomatoes in the refrigerator?
You should only keep Tomatoes in your fridge once they have fully ripened. This will help extend their life—ripened Tomatoes will usually last between 5 and 7 days in the fridge.
Storing unripe Tomatoes in the fridge actually stops the ripening process, leading to a less vibrant flavor and a dry, mealy texture.
Keep in mind that storing even ripened Tomatoes in the fridge will affect the flavor, so it’s best to keep them out of the refrigerator and enjoy them while they’re fresh!
How to store cut Tomatoes
To reduce bacteria and spoilage, after Tomatoes have been cut they should be stored in the refrigerator. To keep them fresh, store them cut-side down on a paper towel in a storage container. Cut Tomatoes will only last a couple days in your fridge, so make sure you use them up!
How To Store Cucumbers
Unlike Tomatoes, Cucumbers should go straight into the refrigerator crisper drawer to keep them fresh and crisp. Cucumbers will last between 5 days and 1 week in the fridge as long as excess water and humidity is kept to a minimum, compared to just a day or two on the counter.
To help keep Cucumbers fresh longer, make sure they’re dry before you store them: excess water can lead to a spoilt Cucumber. Wrapping them in a paper towel and a loose plastic bag will help keep condensation and humidity at bay when you store them, preventing sogginess and deterioration.
How to store cut Cucumbers
If you use half of a Cucumber, cover the cut end with a piece of plastic wrap and loosely wrap it in paper towel and a loose plastic bag (keep it open at the top to encourage airflow!). This will help keep your Cucumbers dry as well as protecting them from ethylene gas produced by other fruits and veggies in your fridge.
How To Store Bell Peppers
To keep your Bell Peppers tasting great longer, store them in your refrigerator crisper drawer. In the fridge, raw Bell Peppers will last between 1 and 2 weeks. Cooked Bell Peppers will typically last 3-5 days.
Just like Cucumbers, make sure your Bell Peppers are dry before you pop them into the crisper drawer. A wet Bell Pepper will quickly become soft, slimy, and moldy—not something you want to snack on!
How to store cut Bell Peppers
Partially-eaten peppers will last longer by storing them in a sealed container with the seeds and stems still attached. For cut Bell Peppers, store them in a sealed container or plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Keep them in your crisper drawer—just don’t forget about them! Cut Bell Peppers will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Check out our graphic below to learn how to store your veggies so they stay fresher longer!
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