Produce Storage Tips
Listed below are some tips on storing produce for longer shelf life. An important tip to remember:
Keep ethylene-sensitive produce (apples, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, lettuce + other greens, potatoes, summer squash, water melons) separate from ethylene gas-producing fruits & vegetables (apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes). This will help keep your produce fresh for longer.
- Berries can be kept on the counter if you will eat them in a day or two. Keep in the fridge for longer storage without rinsing them first. (Keep a piece of paper towel in the container with the berries.) Only wash berries before you eat them. Bring berries to room temperature before eating them for best flavor.
- Store apples, peaches, nectarines on the counter top away from other produce. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator in the fruit bin.
- Store melons including watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew on the counter top.Keep them in the fridge for three- four days after they have been cut.
- Avocadoes should be kept on the counter until they ripen. They can be ripened faster by placing them in a brown paper bag. When they are ripe they can be placed in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Mangoes, plums, pears, apricots and pineapples can be left on the counter until ripe and then stored in the refrigerator.
- Herbs with stems should be placed in a glass or cup with water and stored in the refrigerator or on the counter top depending on the room temperature. For cut herbs or those without stems, wrap them in a damp paper towel and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
- Store whole onions and garlic at room temperature in a cool, dry place in the pantry. Cut up onions and garlic should be stored in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag in the refrigerator separate from other produce in the vegetable drawer.
- Keep tomatoes on the counter top with the stem side down and not in the refrigerator. The fridge makes the tomatoes mealy and less flavorful.
- Keep lemons and limes on the counter.
- Store potatoes and sweet potatoes outside the fridge in a cool, dark place.
- Asparagus should be stored in the refrigerator with the stems in a glass of water or wrapped with a damp paper towel. Limp or rubbery asparagus can be brought back to life by placing them on a wet paper towel for around half hour or so.
- Grapes should be stored in a perforated plastic bag or paper bag in the fridge.