How to Store Fresh Produce
You head out to the farmer’s market and pick out your favorite fruits and veggies, and quickly head home to place your purchases in the aptly-labeled “fruit” and “vegetable” drawers. You open your fridge a few days later and find limp carrots, soggy greens, and moldy berries. What happened?
The truth is, each fruit and vegetable has their own set of rules for prime storage. Wash, don’t wash, refrigerate, keep at room temperature, and trim… never fear, we’ll help you keep it straight!
Asparagus: Trim the bottoms of spears. Submerge ends in water and refrigerate.
Beets: Do not wash. Trim stems to about 2 inches. Store in plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate.
Broccoli: Store in perforated plastic bag, refrigerate.
Cabbage: Store in perforated plastic bag, refrigerate.
Carrots: Remove tops and Store in perforated plastic bag, refrigerate.
Cauliflower: Store in open or perforated plastic bag, stem-side up in refrigerator.
Celery: Keep in plastic, refrigerate.
Green Beans: Store in plastic bag, refrigerate.
Lettuce: Store in plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Keep away from gas-emitting fruits such as melons, apples or pears.
Mushrooms: Once package is opened, transfer mushrooms to paper bag and refrigerate.
Onions: Uncut – store in cool, dry place with good air circulation. Cut – wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Peas: Store in plastic bag, refrigerate.
Peppers: Store in plastic bag, refrigerate.
Potatoes: Keep in a cool, dark, dry place.
Squash: Store in plastic bag, refrigerate.
Tomatoes: Store at room temperature until cut or cooked or used in a dish, then refrigerate. Once ripe, tomatoes should be refrigerated.
Apples: Do not wash before storing. Store in plastic bag in fridge, but be careful not to place near veggies… apples give off ethylene gas, which will cause other produce to ripen faster.
Cherries: Refrigerate right away in a shallow container, allowing air to circulate. Wash just before using.
Grapes: Do not wash before storing and get rid of spoiled grapes right away. Refrigerate grapes in plastic bag.
Oranges: Room temp if fruit will be eaten within the week, if not, refrigerate in crisper.
Pears: Refrigerate once ripe, do not wash until ready to use.
Strawberries: Remove any bruised, spoiled berries. Refrigerate immediately. Place in a single layer in a moisture-proof container. Wash just before eating.
Watermelon: Store at room temperature. Once cut, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Other Handy Tips
- To ripen fruits such as bananas, mangos, and peaches, place in a paper bag at room temperature.
- Wilted greens can often be revived by placing them in a dish, filling it with cold water, and refrigerating overnight.
- Berries and cherries have a very short lifespan. Eat them up quickly or freeze them!
- Always make sure you remove any spoiled produce right away!
Do you have any produce-storage tips to share? Do tell!
About Guest Blogger Melissa Anderson:
Melissa Anderson enjoys traveling, photography, and coffee. She is a momma to four -wait, make that five with their little foster baby – and has been married to her best friend for 12 years.
In her free time, Melissa writes about her life adventures at Wherever I May Wander, her health and fitness journey at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, and shares her delicious, healthy recipes at Shrinking Kitchen.