ULTIMATE GUIDE HOW TO KEEP FRUITS AND VEGGIES FRESH !

Most fruits emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process in other fruits and vegetables around them. This can be good if you want things to ripen fast, but bad if you don’t. So remember to separate your fruit from your vegies.

Check out these handy fruit and vegetable hacks and keep your stuff fresh as long as possible.

Wrap celery, broccoli and lettuce in foil before refrigerating. 

Berries are delicate. Try to avoid stacking them on top of each other, as they bruise and spoil easily.

Some fruit and vegetables last longer than others so at the start of your week, plan which you’ll need to use first. For instance, bananas strawberries and mushrooms won’t last as long as oranges, tomatoes and spinach.

If you really want to maximize the lifespan of your peppers, slice them up and pop them in a zip lock bag in your freezer.

Mushrooms are usually packaged in styrofoam with plastic wrap, which is how they keep best in the fridge. It’s important to keep them sealed so if you’ve already opened your mushrooms, remember to replace a new film of plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

Tomatoes are fruits, so they are sensitive to the cold, and can lose texture and moisture and taste from being put in the fridge. Keep them on the counter if there’s room for them.

Remember to store garlic in a dark and cool place.

On a counter, lemon last around a week. In a zip lock bag in the chiller drawer of the fridge, however, they can last up to 4 weeks!

Keep potatoes at around 40° to 50° Fahrenheit (4° to 10° Celsius). Your basement is an ideal storage place for potatoes.

An orange’s lifespan can be doubled (if not tripled) by keeping them in the fridge.

Similarly, apples also last longer in the fridge. You can even put a wet paper towel on top. This helps them retain crunchiness.

Despite the popular belief, bananas, can be kept in the fridge to make them last longer. Don’t panic to find black skins, inside the bananas will be as fresh as ever!

Keep your produce as fresh as possible with these guidelines* for storing fruits and vegetables:

Leave refrigerated produce unwashed in its original packaging or wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. (Exceptions, such as mushrooms and herbs, are noted below.) If your greens seem sandy or dirty (lettuce from the farmers’ market) rinse and dry them well, then wrap them in a paper towel before placing in a plastic bag.

Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be removed from any packaging and left loose. |

The guidelines below assume that your produce is ripe and ready to eat. Some items, like apricots and avocados, will ripen faster in a paper bag on the countertop (see below).

The bag traps ethylene gas, which is released by the produce and acts as a maturing agent. If you want to speed the process up even more, simply put an apple in the bag, too.


Alfalfa sprouts – last 3 days in the refrigerator.

Apples – last 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Apricots – last 5 days in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft and fragrant.

Artichokes – last 1 week in the refrigerator

Arugula, bagged and in clamshells should be kept in the refrigerator. No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop.

Arugula, bunch – lasts 5 days in the refrigerator. Tip: If the bunch has roots, wrap it in a damp paper towel before bagging.

Asparagus – lasts 3 days in the refrigerator. Tip: Trim the ends before wrapping the spears in a damp paper towel, then in a plastic bag.

Avocados – last 3 days in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft.

Bananas – last 5 days on the countertop: Tip: Ripe bananas can be frozen for baking (the skins will blacken, but the flesh will be fine).

Beets  – last 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Tip: Separate the leaves from the roots before storing them separately in a plastic bag; the leaves will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

Bell peppers – last 1 week (green) in the refrigerator.  The red, yellow, and orange ones last only 5 days.

Blackberries – last 2 days (spread in a single layer on a paper towel–lined plate) in the refrigerator.
Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold.

Blueberries – last 1 week in the refrigerator. Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold.

Bok choy – lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.

Broccoli – lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.

Broccoli rabe – lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.

Brussels sprouts – last 1 week in the refrigerator.

Cabbage, green and red – lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cabbage, savoy and napa – lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.

Cantaloupe – lasts 5 days (whole); 3 days (cut) in the refrigerator.
Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag. Before slicing the melon, wash the rind thoroughly to prevent the transmission of bacteria.

Carrots- lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cauliflower- lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.

Celery – lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Chard (such as Swiss and rainbow)lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.

Cherries – last 3 days (in an open bag or bowl) in the refrigerator.

Chili peppers, fresh – last 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Note: Dried chili peppers will keep for 4 months in an airtight container.

Clementines – last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Collard greens – last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Corn, unshucked – Best on the first day in the refrigerator. 3 days are possible.

Cranberries – last 1 month in the refrigerator.

Cucumbers – last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Eggplant – lasts 5 days in the refrigerator.

Endive- lasts 5 days in the refrigerator.

Escarole- lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.

Fennel- lasts 1 week in the refrigerator.

Garlic – in pantry (storeroom) it lasts up to 2 months (make sure air can circulate around it).

Ginger – lasts 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Tip: Ginger can be frozen for up to 6 months. It’s not necessary to thaw it before grating.

Grapefruit – lasts 1 week on the countertop. In the refrigerator: 3 weeks.

Grapes- last 3 days in the refrigerator. 1 week is possible (in a bowl or ventilated plastic bag).

Green beans- last 1 week in the refrigerator.
Herbs, leafy – basil, cilantro, chives and tarragon last 3 days in the refrigerator; parsley and mint last 5 days in the refrigerator. Tip: Wrap the bunch in a damp paper towel before bagging.
Herbs, woody (such as rosemary and thyme) – last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Honeydew- lasts 5 days (whole) or3 days (cut) in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag. Before slicing the melon, wash the rind thoroughly to prevent the transmission of bacteria.

Kale-lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.

Kiwis-lasts 4 days in the refrigerator.

Leeks- lasts 1 week in the refrigerator. Tip: Cut off and discard the dark green tops and keep the roots intact.
Lettuce, head – lasts 5 days (iceberg can last for 2 weeks) in the refrigerator.

Limes – last 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Mangoes- last 4 days in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft.

Mustard greens-last 3 days in the refrigerator.

Okra – lasts 3 days (in a paper bag) in the refrigerator.

Onions- last 2 months (whole; make sure air can circulate around them) in the pantry. 4 days (cut) in the refrigerator.

Parsnips-last up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

Peaches-last 5 days in the refrigerator.Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft and slightly fragrant.

Pears-last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag until soft.

Peas, English and in pods-last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Tip: Leave them in the pods until ready to eat.

Pineapple-lasts 5 days (whole) on the countertop. It lasts 3 days (sliced) in the refrigerator.

Plums-last 5 days in the refrigerator. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature until soft and the skins develop a silvery, powdery coating.

Pomegranates – last 3 weeks (whole); 3 days (seeds) in the refrigerator.

Radishes-last 3 days( 2 weeks are possible) in the refrigerator.Tip: Remove the leaves to prolong freshness.

Raspberries-last 3 days (in a single layer on a paper towel–lined plate) in the refrigerator.
Tip: Discard damaged or moldy berries before storing to prevent the spread of mold.

Rhubarb-lasts 1 week in the refrigerator. Tip: Do not eat the leaves; they can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.

Rutabaga-lasts 1 week in the pantry; it lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Scallions-last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Shallots-last 1 month (make sure air can circulate around them)in the pantry.

Snow peas-last 4 days in the refrigerator.

Spinach, bagged and in clamshells – keep them refrigerated. Tip: No matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop.

Spinach, bunch-lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.

Squash, summer – lasts 5 days in the refrigerator.

Squash, winter (such as acorn, butternut, delicata) lasts 3 months (whole) in the pantry; 1 week (cut) in the refrigerator.

Sugar snap peas-last 4 days in the refrigerator.

Sweet potatoes and yams-last 2 weeks (in a paper bag) in the pantry (storeroom).

Tomatillos-last 1 month (in a paper bag) in the refrigerator.

Tomatoes-last 3 days on the countertop. Tip: To ripen, keep at room temperature in a paper bag.

Turnips-last 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Tip: Separate the leaves from the roots before storing them separately in a plastic bag; the leaves will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

Watercress, bagged and in clamshells-keep it in the refrigerator; no matter how fresh the leaves look, follow the expiration date on the package, since bacteria can develop.

Watercress, bunch-lasts 4 days in the refrigerator.

Watermelon-lasts 1 week (whole); 2 days (cut) in the refrigerator. Tip: If you can’t refrigerate the melon whole, keep it in the pantry at a cool temperature.

Zucchini-last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

*
Diet of Life relied on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food scientists, food manufacturers, and a host of other experts, to cite the above-listed storage guidelines. The first consideration was safety. But since you want your food to be delicious, too, we chose the conservative storage time for optimum freshness for some produce.

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