produce

Do you ever wonder how to store all of your healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables?  Here is a guide to help you make sure to get the most out of every bit of produce.

Apples: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They give off a lot of ethylene gas, so do not store them next to anything else. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep 3-4 weeks.

Asparagus: Cut off about ½” of the bottom of the stalks. Store in a jar or drinking glass filled with enough water to cover the bottoms about ¾” to 1”. Cover the stalks and jar loosely with a zip-top baggie to keep in some moisture, and store in the refrigerator. Will keep up to two weeks.

Avocados: Store at room temperature. To speed the ripening process, place in a paper bag with a banana. To slow the ripening process, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Will keep 3-5 days.

Bananas: Store them away from any other fruit, as they produce a large amount of ethylene gas. Store at room temperature. To slow or stop the ripening process, store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator; the skin will turn black, but the fruit will be fine. Will keep about a week in the refrigerator.

Beans (snap, string, or wax): Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep 3-5 days.

Beets: Cut the greens to approximately 2” from the root. Store in an airtight bag in the refrigerator, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep up to two weeks. Store unwashed greens in a separate plastic bag in the refrigerator, squeezing out as much of the air as possible.

Berries: Note: the dusty white layer found on many unwashed berries is called “bloom”, and it is a natural preservative. Do not wash this off until just before use. Throw away any bruised or molding berries. Cover a shallow container with several layers of paper towel or a kitchen towel, and arrange berries loosely on top. Cover loosely with a paper towel and store in the refrigerator. Will keep anywhere from two days two weeks.

Broccoli & Cauliflower: Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep up to a week.

Brussels Sprouts: Remove the sprouts from the stalk, leaving all outer leaves intact. Store in an uncovered bowl or container in the refrigerator. Remove wilted outer leaves and wash before use. Will keep for several weeks.

Cabbage: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep about a week.

Carrots: Whole carrots: Wash thoroughly. Cut off all but 1” of the green tops (if they have them). Wrap in a damp paper towel, seal in a plastic bag, and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep 3-4 weeks. “Baby” carrots: Place in a container, cover with water, and store in the refrigerator. Change the water every couple of days. Will keep 2-3 weeks.

Celery: Rinse in water, wrap loosely in a paper towel, and then tightly wrap in aluminum foil. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks.

Cherries: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep up to a week.

Citrus: Store in the refrigerator. Will keep for 2-3 weeks.

Corn: Husks on: Store uncovered in the refrigerator. Husks off: Wrap in foil and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep for 1-2 days.

Cucumber: Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep about a week.

Eggplant: Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Will keep up to a week.

Garlic: Store at room temperature. Whole heads will keep for 1-2 months. Individual cloves will keep for about ten days.

Grapes: Store in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep about a week.

Kiwi: Store at room temperature until ripe, then place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Will keep for about a week.

Lettuces, Leafy Greens, & Spinach: Wash, wrap loosely in paper towels, and place in a plastic bag (still wrapped in the paper towel). Will keep up to two weeks.

Mangos: Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in refrigerator. To speed the ripening process, place in a paper bag along with a banana. Will keep 1-2 weeks.

Melons: Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in the refrigerator. Will keep for about a week.

Mushrooms: Pre-sliced: Store in the refrigerator in their original packaging. Will keep for 1-2 days. Whole: Store loosely in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator. Will keep up to a week.

Onions: Store in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. Store in the refrigerator if you do not have such a place. Will keep for 2-3 months. Do not store with potatoes, as they will spoil faster.

Papaya: Store at room temperature until ripe. To slow or stop the ripening process, store in the refrigerator. To speed the ripening process, store in a paper bag along with a banana. Will keep for a couple days.

Parsnips: Wash thoroughly. Cut off all but 1” of the green tops (if they have them). Once dry, wrap loosely in a plastic bag and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep for 2-6 months.

Pears: Store at room temperature until ripe, then place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Will keep for about a week.

Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, & Apricots: Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To speed the ripening process, place in a paper bag along with a banana. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep 3-5 days.

Peppers (bell, sweet, jalapenos, etc.): Store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Will keep up to two weeks.

Pineapple: Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in the refrigerator. Will keep up to five days.

Potatoes (sweet, white): Store in a cool, dry, dark place with good air circulation. Will keep for about a month. If you do not have such a place, store at room temperature. Will keep for about a week. Do not store with onions, as they will spoil faster.

Squash, Summer (zucchini, etc.): Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use. Will keep for up to a week.

Squash, Winter (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, etc.): Store in a cool, dry place. Will keep 1-2 months. If you do not have such a place, store at room temperature. Will keep 3-4 weeks. Do not refrigerate.

Tomatoes: Store in a cool, dry place until ripe. To slow or stop the ripening process, store in the refrigerator. Never store in a plastic bag. Will keep 2-3 days once ripe.