You spent 20 minutes sifting through loads of produce and walked away with perfectly delicious gems. Don’t let your prizes spoil: read these pro tips on storing the most popular fruits and vegetables so you can enjoy them when you want to.
- Tomatoes – Always keep at room temperature.
- Cucumbers – If you need to keep these fresh for more than a day or two after buying, wrap in a moist towel and refrigerate.
- Peppers – Store in a plastic bag for 1-2 weeks in the fridge. If flash frozen, peppers will last up to 10 months.
- Green Beans – These keep well with humidity (drape a damp cloth over them) but not wetness.
- Carrots – Keep in a closed contained and wrapped in a damp towel or dip in cold water every few days. For lasting freshness, cut off the tops.
- Squash – Will keep at room temperature for a few days if out of direct sunlight.
- Peas – Place in an open container and refrigerate.
- Onions – Keep in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
- Broccoli – Store in the fridge: either wrapped in a damp towel or in an open container.
- Corn – Best to leave these in the husk until ready to be eaten, but more flavorful if eaten sooner. Keep corn refrigerated.
- Garlic – Keep away from humidity, dampness, or direct sunlight.
- Celery – Wrap in foil and place in the fridge or keep in a bowl of shallow water on the counter.
- Lettuce – Keep lettuce damp and refrigerated, preferably in an airtight container.
- Mushroom – These are best stored in their original container. Uncooked leftovers should be covered with more plastic wrap before going back in the fridge.
- Potatoes – Store in a dark and dry place or a brown paper bag.
- Bananas – To extend freshness, separate bananas after purchasing and store in a well-ventilated basket.
- Apples – Away from heat, these will keep for about two weeks. For longer storage, place in a cardboard box and refrigerate.
- Grapes – Store in the fridge, but only wash when ready to use to avoid mushiness.
- Peaches – Only refrigerate when fully ripe.
- Pears – A cool environment or brown paper bag is best. Pears will keep for a few weeks on the counter.
- Watermelon – Let ripen at room temperature for 7-10 days. After that, sliced watermelon can be stored in the fridge for several days.
- Pineapples – Can be stored whole in the fridge (cut off the top) or sliced and put in an airtight container (don’t use aluminum foil, as this will alter the flavor).
- Strawberries – Keep away from damp, wet places. Refrigerated strawberries placed in a brown paper bag will keep for a week if the bag is kept dry.
- Oranges – Oranges lose juiciness when refrigerated. For freshest fruit, place in a ventilated basket and keep on the counter.
- Cherries – Store in an airtight container and avoid washing until ready to eat. Keep cherries refrigerated.
- Plums – Store at room temperature until they are ripe, and then keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
- Blueberries – Store dry in a shallow plastic container in the refrigerator. Do not wash them until you are ready to eat them, because they will quickly mold if they are stored wet.
Creative Commons Flickr photo courtesy of Frann Leach