Do the fruits and vegetables you buy go bad or get mushy after a few days? You may not be storing them properly. Learn how to store fruits and vegetables properly, so they retain their nutrition and just plain last longer.
If you are like most people, you throw everything in the fridge and hope for the best. Unfortunately, this increases chances of foods losing nutrients or going bad fast.
3 RULES FOR STORING PRODUCE PROPERLY
Before I share with you how to store different foods, here three rules you should observe when storing fruits and veggies.
1. Don’t clean your produce before storing.
A general rule of thumb is not to wash fruits and veggies before storing them. Washing causes dampness, which promotes bacteria growth. Only wash produce right before you cook or eat it.
2. Don’t store fruits and veggies in the same drawer.
Most fruits produce ethylene (a ripening agent), which can speed up spoilage of the veggies stored next to them.
3. Let the veggies breathe.
Store veggies in mesh bags or plastic bags with holes.
HOW TO STORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Here’s is how to store some specific fruits and vegetables that might need a little bit of special handling to last.
How to Store Avocados
You should store avocados at room temperature until they have ripened, because refrigerating them can slow down the ripening process. Refrigerate avocados when they are fully ripe, and they will last longer than they would have on the counter.
Store cut avocado in airtight containers with a spritz of citrus juice or vinegar, to prevent browning.
How to Store Tomatoes
I understand if you are not sure whether to store tomatoes in the fridge or the countertop. Different experts have conflicting opinions. However, most recommend we store them at room temperature. Refrigerating tomatoes interferes with their flavor.
How to Store Garlic
Refrigerating garlic can ruin its texture. Store it at room temperature, and don’t peel off the skin until you are ready to cook. It is safe to store onions and garlic together.
How to Store Asparagus
Storing asparagus requires some work, according to The Kitchn. Trim a half-inch off the ends of the stalk, then stand them upright in a glass of water and cover it with a plastic bag.
How to Store Bananas
You probably know that bananas should be stored at room temperature. What you may not know is that it is okay to refrigerate them after they’re fully ripe.
Breaking up the bunch of banana reduces the release of ethylene, which slows ripening.
How to Store Cucumbers
Cucumbers spoil faster when exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees, but they’re also sensitive to warm temperatures. If your kitchen is cool, you can store cucumbers on the counter. Otherwise, keep them wrapped up inside of your produce drawer.
You should also avoid storing cucumbers next to fruits, since they are highly sensitive to ethylene.
How to Store Potatoes
You should never refrigerate potatoes. Storing them in the fridge ruins the texture. Store them in a cool and dark place.
Like cucumbers, you should keep potatoes away from fruits, onions, and garlic because they emit gases that cause them to sprout.
How to Store Pears
Did you know that pears last longer in the fridge? However, you can store them at room temperature until they’re fully ripe. Remember to sprinkle lemon juice on cut pears to prevent browning and oxidation.
How to Store Apples
This nutritious fruit should be stored by itself, since it emits a lot of ethylene. Apples can last for a few days when stored at room temperature, but they can last for up to a month when refrigerated. Put them in a plastic bag with holes and place them in the crisper drawer.