Produce can be expensive and even if you don’t spend too much on fresh fruits and veggies, it is still a pain when you see them go to waste. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to help you store them properly to get the most out of these healthy and delicious fruit and veggies. From countertop to freezer storage, we’ve got you covered!
The countertop is a place to keep fruits and veggies that need to ripen at room temperature before putting in the fridge. Keeping specific produce at room temperature, such as avocados and bananas, maximizes their flavor and sweetness. Make sure to keep an eye on your fruits and veggies to ensure they don’t over ripen.
Most refrigerators have drawers to keep produce in. Take advantage of this because fruits and veggies should be kept separately in the fridge. Fruits release ethylene gas that can spoil vegetables. A crisper drawer will help protect your produce and keep the moisture in to maintain freshness for longer. Most fruits and veggies, especially apples and berries, should be kept in the fridge to help keep their freshness. Also, try to keep the apples away from citrus since they produce a lot of ethylene that can spoil the apples.
Dry vegetables such as potatoes and onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark space such as a pantry. Just be sure to store your onions away from other veggies as they release a gas that can spoil them much sooner.
What would we do without the freezer? This is a great place to store fruits and veggies for later use (not to mention a perfect place to have a great supply of smoothie ingredients). You can easily store plenty of fruits in the freezer in an airtight bag to help preserve their freshness and maximize on their nutrients if stored in the freezer at the right time.
Below is a helpful table that displays the best ways to store some of your favorite fruits and veggies.
Avocados – Whole avocados should be kept at room temperature. If cut, place in a bag in the fridge and zest with lemon juice.
Bananas – Keep at room temp until it begins to get brown speckles, and then transfer it to the fridge to give it a longer lifespan or place in freezer for later use.
Kiwis – Let kiwis ripen at room temperature. They can stay fresh for up to a month without refrigeration.
Mangoes – Keep at room temperature until ripe.
Melons – Whole, un-cut melons should always be stored at room temperature.
Oranges – Store at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
Peaches – Keep peaches in a cool, dry spot in your kitchen as refrigerators act as a dehydrator, zapping moisture from these fruits.
Pears – Store them at room temperature until ripened. Then, pop them in the fridge to extend freshness.
Tomatoes – Should never go in the fridge because refrigeration makes them too soft. Keep them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
Apples – Keep apples away from citrus and in the crisper drawer.
Asparagus – Clip the ends and pop in a glass of water in the fridge for ultimate freshness.
Beets – Store in the crisper drawer and don’t wash until you are ready to eat them.
Bell Peppers – Store in the fridge unwashed until you are ready to eat them.
Berries – Store in a container with vents and keep as cold as possible.
Broccoli – Can withstand the cold. Place a wet paper towel over the head of the broccoli to keep cool for optimal freshness.
Brussels Sprouts – Keep these unwashed in a bag in your fridge. Wash them off when you are ready to eat them.
Cherries – Stone fruits like cherries are best if you keep them as cold as possible.
Grapes – Keep your grapes in a cool place and do not wash until you are ready to eat them.
Leafy Greens – these are safest in your crisper drawer and away from moisture. Wash and dry them fully, then store them in a plastic bag with a paper towel.
Garlic – Keep it in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration changes the texture of garlic for the worse.
Onions – Keep onions in a cool, dark place, but not in the fridge because it will change their texture.
Potatoes – Keep potatoes stored in a cool, dark place that isn’t the fridge. However, do not store with onions, because the gasses from onions can cause the potatoes to sprout.
Sweet Potatoes – Avoid storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, which will produce a hard center and unpleasant taste. Instead, store your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, well-ventilated container such as your pantry.
Winter Squash – Stores best in a cool, dark place such as a shelf, cabinet, or drawer in the pantry.