Storing Produce

8 Helpful Tips that may surprise you. Number 7 will amaze you!

Read the directions on the label. Many items may be kept on counter or pantry but must be refrigerated after opening.

Check expiration dates. If date is getting close, you may freeze to get a few more weeks out of them.

Keep your fridge cleaned out. It needs to circulate air to work at its best to keep foods fresh and cool.

Foods with vinegar or salt in them like jams, mustards, and hot sauces, may be stored in the pantry or counter, but not salsa.

Keep or fridge at an ideal temperature of between 35 and 38 degrees. Below 32 and food may freeze, above 40 and bacteria may grow.

Try buying fruits and veggies frozen. They are usually flash frozen, keeping more of the nutrients.

Store cottage cheese and sour cream upside down in the fridge. This puts pressure on the lid making it airtight so it will not spoil quickly.

Put a bay leaf in flour when storing in the pantry. This will keep it fresher longer.

Apples

Store on counter or fridge. They release ethylene gas which makes them spoil faster. Keep separate from veggies.

Asparagus

Store upright in a cup or glass with an inch of water.

Bananas

Buy green bananas. They will ripen in a few days. Wrap the tips in plastic wrap to slow ripening. You may separate each banana and wrap each tip individually. You can wrap bananas in a plastic grocery bag and then place them in another plastic bag and secure the top with a clip to keep them fresh on the countertop. If bananas turn brown, you may freeze for smoothies or banana bread.

Bell Peppers

Store unwashed in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper in fridge. Keep them dry to avoid rotting.. red peppers are mature green peppers. Yellow and orange peppers are a sweeter variety. Green peppers will last the longest. Peppers can be cut and frozen to last longer.

Berries

Berries are bought in the proper containers for storage They are packaged that way to absorb the ethylene gas they release. Keep them in the plastic grocery container in the fridge and wash them before using.

Broccoli

Wrap completely in aluminum foil and keep in the fridge crisper drawer.

 

Carrots

Keep in fridge. If they get limp, just place them in water and they will become crispy again.

Celery

Wrap in aluminum foil and keep in crisper drawer. Wrap in parchment paper to last even longer.

Cucumbers

Aluminum foil in crisper drawer away from tomatoes (they will ripen faster)

Garlic

Keep garlic in a cool dark and dry place with good ventilation, not the fridge. Keep away from potatoes, onions, and squash. You may store in a plastic grocery bag.

Ginger root

Ginger will keep a long time if peeled and stored in freezer.

Grains

May be stored in fridge or pantry. Like flour, bugs can be a problem, so put them in the freezer for 2 days before storing in the pantry to kill any bug eggs.

Grapes

Grapes may be stored on the counter or in the fridge. If you pluck one of the grapes off and place it over the main stem, they will last longer.

Green onions/scallions

Wrap in foil and store in fridge. You may also place them upright in a cup or glass in an inch of water. Change out water regularly to keep fresh.

Fresh Herbs

They will last longer on counter in a cup of water, changing water regularly.

Lettuce

Wrap in paper towel and place back in the bag they came in. make sure lettuce is dry, paper towels will help absorb moisture.

Melons

Do not put whole melons in fridge, they will lose their antioxidants, their biggest health benefit. Keep on counter and refrigerate after cutting.

Mushrooms

Place in a brown paper bag with top folded over and kept in fridge.

 

Nuts and seeds

Keep in fridge to keep them from going rancid.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be kept in fridge or pantry. Freeze for 2 days to kill bug eggs if storing in pantry.

Oils

Store oils in a cool, dark place on counter or pantry away from light or heat. Nut oils should be refrigerated, or they could become rancid. Other oils should not be stored in fridge as they will harden and lose their smoothness. Be sure to store away from oven and use within 3 months.

Onions

Should not be stored in fridge but rather a cool dark and dry countertop. Cold will damage their cell structure and promote mold growth. Keep separate from potatoes, squash, and garlic. Keep in a plastic grocery bag on counter and use within a week.

Squash

Keep squash on counter in plastic grocery bag, not fridge, away from potatoes, onions, and garlic.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes should be stored on the counter or pantry. They will ripen much faster in the fridge. Keep them away from sunlight on the counter, cut the stems off and turn them upside down.

Refrigerate after cutting and use quickly. Refrigerated tomatoes lose their lycopene, the main nutritional benefit that protects men from testicular and prostate cancer.

Keep tomatoes away from cucumbers. They will both ripen much quicker.