I have this weird thing where I’m paranoid about my food going bad. So I eat it up like crazy. Not the best habit. I also have this thing (that I totally hate) where I get totally judgey when I see someone storing their produce wrong. Tomatoes in the fridge - no way! If you’re feeling paranoid, confused, or concerned about me judging - no fear! The realm of fruit and veggie storage may not be the most familiar, but I promise it’s easy peasy. Follow below to help your happy produce last for days.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight bag or container
- These you can can wash either before storage or at time of eating
- Pro-tip: I've had luck wrapping the greens in a damp paper towel and then storing the whole bundle in a produce bag to prolong shelf life. If you’re not into bags or clunky containers, one of farmers market friends recommending wrapping a bunch of greens in a damp tea towel. I have yet to try and will report back!
BANANAS, AVOCADOS, TOMATOES
- Don't ruin these guys by keeping them in the fridge! Like stone fruit, these ripen on the counter and are tastiest at room temp
- They emit a gas called ethylene that quickens the ripening of other produce
- Pro-tip: I do place avocados in the fridge once they're ripe to slow the process, but, as I’m sure you’ve experienced the road from perfection to mushy mess is a quick one. It's definitely better to just eat them at that sweet spot instead!
STONE FRUIT (peaches, plums, nectarines, etc)
- These should live on the counter and will ripen at room temperature
- Once ripe you can store in the fridge to prolong shelf life
- The exception here is cherries, which want to stay refrigerated
- Pro-tip: If you’ve overdone it and find yourself with an excess of ripe stone fruit, and aren’t feeling up a pie or jam sesh, slice those juicy babies and pop in the freezer for an off season (and convenient - yes!) treat
- Most root vegetables love cool, dark storage
- Potatoes, garlic, and onions want to be out of direct light and out of the fridge
- I do often keep turnips (especially those cute small guys that are around this time of year), beets, and carrots in the fridge, but as long as your kitchen isn't too hot these can last at room temperature for some time
- Cabbage is another good storage vegetable that can go either way. I keep mine refrigerated, especially in the summer when the house temperature tends to be warmer
- Radishes tend to be fragile, so keep refrigerated
- Pro-tip: cut the leafy end from the veggie part of radishes, turnips, and beets to keep each part lasting longest. If kept on and stored for a bit, both parts fade faster. Definitely keep those greens for a nice sauté, addition to pasta, or funky pesto
- Like leafy greens, these belong in the fridge; put them in a bag or, like the greens, wrap in a damp towel and then store in a plastic bag
- You can also keep herbs fresh in the fridge by placing in a jar of water like a bouquet of flowers
- Up to you! There are 2 camps here and I’m a party of both
- I keep most citrus in the fridge, but the sticklers recommend eating grapefruit, oranges, clementines, etc at room temperature for best flavor
- According to people who have done their research, lemons and limes last a long time kept in the fridge in a plastic bag
- Store these UNWASHED and in the fridge
- I recommend picking out any moldy or sad pieces before storing to maintain the integrity of the rest of the bunch
- Of course, wash at time of eating.
Almost everything else
- Eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, corn, celery, artichokes, apples, asparagus are best in the fridge as well. Most want to be sealed for longevity
Any storage tips I'm missing? Let me know in the comments.