Is there a word for that feeling you get when you throw out produce that’s gone bad before you could eat it? Veggie-guilt, maybe? Either way, it’s a crummy feeling, so we put together this post to help you avoid it. Check out these helpful DOs and DON'Ts for keeping fruits, veggies, herb, and spices fresh for longer.
How to store produce to keep it fresh
DO – Store your produce dry
Keep in mind that a little humidity is a good thing for produce—but excessive moisture is essentially kryptonite. Some moisture will keep produce perky and firm; too much moisture can make it moldy or mushy. There are a few exceptions to this, though, such as:
- Scallions: Store upright, roots-down, in water at room temp.
- Asparagus: Trim the ends, set in a glass of water, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Carrots: Put in a covered container of water to keep them firm.
- Celery (halved stalks): Also can be kept fresh in a covered container of water. (TIP – Remember to change the water every 2-3 days.)
DO – Swaddle your herbs
Herbs tend to need a bit more TLC. If your herbs are dirty, wash them first. To dry, roll them up between two clean, dry dish towels. Next, bundle the dry herbs in a dry paper towel. Place the bundled herbs in a resealable plastic bag or a plastic container. (TIP: you can put multiple bundles of herbs in the same bag or container.)
DO – Transfer ripe fruit to the fridge
Achieving the perfectly ripened avocado or mango is a delicate balance. You probably know that you should leave fruit out at room temperature to accelerate the ripening process, but what if it’s getting close to ripe when you’re not quite ready to eat it? You can buy yourself another few days by popping near-ripe fruit in the fridge and hitting 'pause' on the ripening process.
DON'T – Hide your produce in back of the crisper or fridge
"Outta sight, outta mind" comes into play here. Try not to jam that crisper full of fruits and veggies. Otherwise, when fridge cleanout day arrives, you'll be pulling out a bounty of spoiled produce you may not have even realized you had in the first place!
DON'T – Throw your garlic and onions in with other veggies
Garlic and onions need to be stored alone (and in a cool, dry, and dark place, not your fridge) and not thrown in with your potatoes or other veggies. Put them in their own container so that their scent (because they actually emit gas) doesn't contaminate your other produce.
DON'T – Wash your berries before storing them in the fridge.
While this may seem like a timesaver, you might be surprised. In reality, these delicate lil beauties hold quite a bit of moisture, and when you wash them before popping them in the fridge, you're actually increasing that moisture content. This can make berries mushy and overripe. So, the takeaway is: only wash (and then thoroughly dry) berries when you're about to eat them.
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Louise D. ( 7mo ) – I read about giving berries a vinegar & water soak for a few minutes then rinsing them off.
I’ve found this does work & they last a couple days longer instead of going bad so quick on me.