How to Keep Produce Fresh Longer
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It has happened to the best of us-- you purchase fresh produce with the best of intentions only to find that when you are ready to eat it… it’s rotten!
To avoid wasting produce, it’s important to know where and how to store fruits and vegetables to maximize the time you have between purchase and consumption.
As soon as I get back from the grocery I wash everything (except mushrooms and herbs) with 10:1 ratio water to vinegar or a fruit and veggie wash like the one to the right, dry completely then store.
Here is a list different produce and how to keep it fresh.
- Apples - Apples are ethylene gas producers so store away from other produce. They can be stored on the counter for up to a week or in the fridge for more than a week.
- Avocados – Ripen on the counter then store in the refrigerator.
- Bananas – Keep green bananas out of the refrigerator and let them ripen on the counter or a banana hanger.
- Berries – Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are delicate and should not be washed until ready to eat. Keep in refrigerator in dry, covered containers.
- Cherries & Grapes – Store in refrigerator, unwashed, in their packaged plastic containers or plastic bags until ready to wash and eat.
- Citrus fruit – Extend the shelf life of clementines, grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges by storing them in the crisper drawer or in a mesh bag in the refrigerator.
- Melons - Store cantaloupe and honeydew loose in the refrigerator, even before they’re cut. Watermelon can be kept in a dark, dry place away from other produce. Keep cut melon in the fridge.
- Stone fruit – Keep nectarines, peaches and plums in a paper bag on the counter until they are ripe then move to the refrigerator where they’ll last a few more days.
- Tomatoes – Always store at room temperature as the refrigerator will make them rot quickly. Keep loose in a bowl away from sun or heat (like the stove.)
- Artichokes- store loose in the fridge
- Asparagus- store upright in the fridge in a loose plastic bag
- Brussel sprouts- store loose in a bowl or drawer in the fridge
- Cabbage- store whole in a plastic bag in the fridg
- Carrots- if purchased with the greens cut the greens off and store separately as you would other leafy greens. store the carrots a covered container filled with water
- Broccoli & Cauliflower – Broccoli and cauliflower are best kept in separate refrigerator drawers away from other produce wrapped in foil.
- Celery – Store in the refrigerator wrapped in foil.
- Corn – Store in the refrigerator inside their husks.
- Cucumbers – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
- Eggplant – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
- Fresh herbs & Scallions- store fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley in a cup of water covered by a plastic bag in the fridge.
- Green beans – Store in the refrigerator.
- Leafy green vegetables – Greens like lettuce, collards, chard, kale, and spinach should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in foil.
- Onion family – Store garlic and onions in a cool, dark and dry space but separate from other foods because of their strong odors.
- Mushrooms – Keep unwashed in the refrigerator. Moisture makes them slimy.
- Peppers – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
- Root vegetables – Store carrots, beets, and radishes in the refrigerator. Store potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squashes in a cool, dark and dry place like a pantry or cellar.
Did I miss something? Let me know and I'll add it to the list. So what do you think? How are these tips working for you?