Continue reading if you’re curious about how to store particular vegetables and fruits. This post teaches you how to keep grapes, onions, celery, citrus fruits, and more. It also includes some essential details concerning the ethylene hormone, which releases as it ripens.
Vegetables and Fruits can be stored quickly and easily. Depending on the vegetables or fruit, you can freeze, refrigerate, or even leave them out on the counter. Below are some suggestions and strategies for storage.
How to Store Vegetables and Fruits?
It would be convenient if instructions on properly storing each vegetable or fruit you purchased were included. You have to figure out how to preserve your goods on your own since they don’t. Sometimes the placement of something appears apparent, as though you wouldn’t put delicate fresh herbs and berries in the refrigerator.
At a Cool, Dry Location
- Keep bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes out of the refrigerator and in a cold, dry place.
- Mushrooms should only be washed right before use and can be stored in a cold, dry environment.
- After purchasing, the eggplant should be kept in a cool place and utilized within a few days.
- Keep potatoes in a cool, dry area with lots of ventilation, away from the refrigerator.
In the Freezer
- Fruits can be quickly and easily preserved at their peak nutritional value and maturity by freezing them at home.
- Most veggies may be quickly and easily frozen at home to keep food at its peak nutritional quality and maturity. Artichokes, Belgian endive, eggplant, lettuce greens, potatoes (other than mashed potatoes), radishes, sprouts, and sweet potatoes shouldn’t be frozen.
- Your dark bananas should be peeled and frozen in a new plastic bag. Later, use them in baking or to make delectable fruit smoothies.
- For delectable frozen treats, freeze papaya or mango slices on a tray, then store them in a clean plastic bag.
At Room Temperature
- Onions and garlic should be stored in a well-ventilated place at room temperature (or cooler).
- Tomatoes should be washed right before eating and kept at room temperature.
- In a brown paper bag, mangoes, plums, peaches, and pears can mature at room temperature before being refrigerated for prolonged storage.
- To allow the sweetness to permeate the entire fruit, store pineapple upside down for a day or two at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Whole melons should be stored at room temperature. Although it can be kept at room temperature, cantaloupe will quickly ripen.
Reference: Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
How to Store Vegetables?
Let’s examine whether vegetables should be kept A) in the fridge or root cellar or B) outside the fridge.
A. Vegetables to Store in the Root Cellar Or Refrigerator
The refrigerator is the most outstanding storage option for most produce since it preserves food best in a relaxed, damp environment. Keep produce in the produce drawer or perforated plastic bags to improve relative humidity because refrigerators tend to dry up food. Root cellars are an excellent alternative for vegetables like beets or carrots that store well.
Asparagus is best stored by putting the spears upright in an open container (such as a jar or drinking glass) with about an inch of water. Wrap a produce bag loosely around the asparagus. It ought to last between 10 and 14 days.
Snap beans, such as green beans, should last for approximately a week if you store them in a perforated produce bag in the fridge. Keep in mind that if you keep them below 40°F, their condition will degrade more quickly.
Keep Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for up to a month.
Broccoli: Before placing it in the refrigerator, avoid washing it because doing so could promote bacterial decay.
Cauliflower: Like broccoli, store cauliflower in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. It should last for two to three weeks if you don’t wash it before storing it.
Radishes can withstand chilly temperatures. For up to a month, keep in the fridge in a perforated plastic bag.
Root crops include parsnips, turnips, beets, and carrots.
Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, and others should be carefully refrigerated or preserved in a root cellar if you have one.
Small quantities should be kept in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag for two to three weeks.
Large quantities should be kept in a root cellar or another excellent, dark, humid location. Remove any remaining garden dirt by brushing the roots. If the tops are still on, cut or twist them off 1/2 to 1 inch above the roots. Bury the seeds in sand using buckets. Add a layer of somewhat damp sand to the bottom of either polyethylene bags with breathing holes or 5-gallon plastic buckets. Then fill the container with more sand and a layer of carrots. Just above freezing should be the storage temperature.
The traditional beet soup Borscht can be made from excess beets and frozen. Cook the beets first so you can grate them more quickly, and a little vinegar boosts the colour’s intensity.
B. Vegetables to Avoid Refrigerator Use
Some veggies are best stored outside the refrigerator since they are sensitive to cold damage at temperatures below 40°F. If feasible, keep them in the pantry, kitchen, or mudroom in a cool area (55°F).
Cucumbers can be kept in the fridge for a few days, but they’ll last longer in an excellent kitchen area. For seven to ten days, store them in a perforated plastic bag.
The ideal place to store eggplant in the kitchen is a cold, dry area away from the refrigerator. After more than a few days in a chilly environment, it may start to show brown stains. To maintain the proper humidity, store it in a perforated plastic bag. You can preserve eggplant for 7 to 10 days.
Shallots, Garlic, and Onions
Never store shallots, garlic, or onions in the refrigerator. Store at room temperature in a cool, dark area, like a pantry, away from direct sunlight. To get that airflow, it’s better to store them in mesh bags, which they frequently come with. Put them in your pantry in a bowl if you cannot do this. You might use a bag to cover it, but ensure it has many ventilation holes. These bulbs can be sliced open and kept in the fridge in a small container or baggie.
- With these storage strategies, you won’t waste any of your food.
- Store potatoes away from onions, and they don’t get along. Potatoes expel moisture, which hastens the decomposition of onions.
- Scallions and green onions can be kept in the refrigerator without any issues.
- Is there another method to keep garlic? Consider producing your garlic powder.
In perforated produce bags, bell peppers can be kept in an excellent kitchen area. They’ll last between 10 and 14 days.
The traditional method of storing hot peppers is to rope them together and hang them till dry. To dry correctly, peppers need to be in an area with excellent airflow and be kept away from one another.
Never put potatoes in the fridge; it will transform their starch into sugar. Clean out any remaining soil, then keep it in a cold, dark area like a pantry or basement—place it in a paper bag or basket.
- Store potatoes higher up since they prefer it to be a little bit warmer than other root crops.
- Store potatoes away from onions and apples because they release ethylene gas that will rot the potatoes.
- Winter squash and pumpkins (Butternut, Acorn)
Unlike root crops, squash doesn’t enjoy it as chilly or damp. Squash should be kept somewhere at a temperature between 50° and 65°F. They are vulnerable to chilling damage below 50°F and get stringy above 65 °F.
Spring Squash (Zucchini)
Zucchini and other summer squash can be kept in the fridge for a few days. If you want to keep them longer, put them in a perforated plastic bag and keep the kitchen area cool. They ought to last between 10 and 14 days.
If you want to preserve the flavour of fresh tomatoes straight off the vine, never refrigerate them! Only cherry tomatoes can withstand prolonged storage in the refrigerator without becoming overly mushy or mealy.
Store away from direct sunlight on a counter. If the tomatoes are green, put them in a shallow box with paper between them to help them mature. They will take 25 to 28 days at 55°F and 14 days at 65° to 70°F.
How to Store Fruit?
A. Fruit to Store in the Fridge
For a short time, keep apples in the refrigerator. A fruit drawer and a wet paper towel should be placed close to increase humidity.
If you want apples to stay fresh, never leave them in a dish on the counter. At 50°F, apples ripen nearly four times faster than at 32°F, and at 70°F, they quickly become overripe.
Apples should be kept at 32°F in plastic bags inside boxes. When marked between 0°F and 45°F, apples retain their quality for roughly six months. If you don’t have a root cellar, you can simulate the environment with a double cardboard box in an excellent mudroom or basement. Don’t forget to give apples some fresh air occasionally.
After draining off a tiny amount for expansion, apple cider can be frozen.
Never rinse berries before storing (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries). The thin, protective epidermis layer is removed by washing, and berries are short-lived and highly perishable.
If you must preserve them, put them on a piece of paper towel and keep them in the fridge for two to three days. Just before eating, wash.
Citrus (Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons)
Oranges, lemons, Clementine’s, and grapefruit should all be kept in the refrigerator rather than in a nice fruit bowl. Lime and lemons can last up to four times as long! Put in the produce drawer or a perforated bag.
When stored in a perforated plastic bag (like the one they’re usually purchased in) in the refrigerator, grapes will remain fresh for two to three weeks.
Pears that are not yet ripe can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Move them out of the fridge a few days before you intend to consume them so they can ripen and acquire a better flavour and texture. Keep them on the counter in a paper or perforated plastic bag.
Melons can typically be stored outside the refrigerator if they haven’t been chopped yet. After being cut into slices, could you put them in the fridge?
Muskmelon (Cantaloupe, Honeydew): Muskmelon can be kept whole for two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Before storing them, wash them to remove any dirt or bacteria, but let them air dry completely before putting them in the fridge. They can be maintained for about a week without the refrigerator in an excellent kitchen area.
Watermelons can be stored for about a week at room temperature. If you can, keep them between 50° and 60°F to increase their shelf life by one or two more weeks. The melon should be kept in the refrigerator after being chopped.
Rock Fruit (Peaches, Cherries, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums)
In the refrigerator, keep stone fruit in plastic bags with holes punched in them. They can last for one to two weeks in a frigid, damp environment. Regularly inspect for flaws or soft areas since moisture can cause decay.
B. Fruit to Keep Away from the Fridge
Hawaiian Fruit (Bananas, Avocado, Pineapple)
Most tropical fruits lose their genuine flavour and texture when stored in the cold or refrigerator. (After all, they are tropical!) Bananas, avocados, and pineapple should ideally be kept at room temperature and not in the fridge.
You may or may not want bananas and avocados in the same fruit basket because bananas can make neighbouring fruits ripen more quickly—store cut-open tropical fruit in the refrigerator in a container or bag.
How to Store Herbs?
When the stems of dill and parsley are submerged in a glass of water and covered with a plastic bag, they can be stored for about two weeks. Most other herbs (and greens) can be kept in the fridge unwashed for brief periods with just enough moisture to keep them from wilting. Use cellophane and humidity- and gas-permeable paper for more extended storage. Plastic prevents plants from getting oxygen and speeds up their deterioration.
In the refrigerator, most fresh herbs rapidly go bad. Ever notice how parsley and basil leaves start to turn brown? Like a bouquet of fresh flowers, these leafy herbs (such as cilantro, mint, and dill) are best preserved in a glass of cool water. Every few days, trim the ends and change the water. Gather (pinch) leaves as needed, and this promotes further development. Additionally, herbs can be dried, frozen, and preserved in pesto, vinegar, and oils (which should be kept refrigerated or frozen).
Fresh woody herbs like rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, and oregano can be kept in the refrigerator by dampening paper towel-loosely wrapped around them.
The best spot to keep dried herbs and spices is somewhere cold and dry—not over the stove or directly next to the burners, where heat and steam will make them lose their flavour.
Additional Storage Advice for Fruits and Vegetables
Green beans that have been French-cut or diagonally sliced are simple to blanch and freeze, and they still taste delicious when thawed.
Almost all fruits (particularly peaches), beets, cranberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers are suitable for preserving, and the improved taste is usually worth the extra work. Greg Brown, a folk singer, said, “Taste a little of the summer.
Learn more about how to store all of your crops. Watch our video on crop storage for fantastic suggestions on what to do with your extra fruits and veggies.
Can You Store Fruit in an Airtight Container?
Apricots: Store in the refrigerator if fully ripe or on a cold counter at room temperature. Cherries: Store in airtight packaging. Before eating, wait to wash cherries because any additional moisture will encourage mould. Citrus: Never store in an airtight container; instead, keep it in a cool area with sufficient airflow.
Do Carrots Need to be Refrigerated?
The shelf life of carrots can be surprisingly long, despite the feeling that your fruit is perpetually on borrowed time. Your carrots will need to be kept in the refrigerator, but how you do it can matter. Raw carrots remain fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks when stored properly.
How Should Fruit be Kept in the Pantry?
It is recommended to keep these items apart from one another if you plan to store them in the pantry. They should be kept in a separate dish, out of direct sunshine, and a long way apart. They can last for 5-7 days when considering these factors, and you can store them in the refrigerator for 5-7 days afterward.
Can You Store Fruit in a Glass Bowl?
Any bowl can serve as a container for fresh fruit, but to keep the fruit fresh, seek designs that allow for better air circulation. It is preferable to select a wire mesh bowl or a ceramic bowl. Fruit tends to sweat in plastic or metal bowls, which can hasten degradation.
In conclusion, eating fruits and vegetables regularly has a lot of advantages. The healthy plate example shows that fruits and vegetables don’t provide all the nutrients with our bodies require but make up a sizable percentage.