Keeping produce fresh and ready for use is difficult at best; it take diligence to put your just collected or purchased produce away appropriately. It takes double the effort to eat everything before it begins to ripen past its prime, and it’s not always convenient to visit the grocery store every few days. There are lots of gadgets (which I find very entertaining) making claims to keep your produce fresh. My personal favorites are the food-savers made of molded plastic or the nana-saver. So you don’t have to spend any more money on gadgets, these 4 tips will help stretch the life of your produce.
1) Use your grocery store as a general guide for how to store your produce
The produce section of your grocery store has a lot at stake each week. Use how they store their produce as a rule of thumb. For example, you will never see a produce manager store fresh tomatoes in the refrigerated section. Storing them in your own refrigerator is a poor idea as well.
2) Citrus does not need to be refrigerated, storing at room temperature is fine
Leaving your citrus out on the counter is not necessarily for the citrus, but more for other produce. Storing citrus (and watermelons) on the counter leaves more room for produce that needs to be refrigerated such as lettuces and berries.
3) Keep your fresh-cut herbs wrapped and in the refrigerator
Fresh herbs left on the shelf of your refrigerator will be on their way to compost in about 2 days. It is best to rinse, dry and wrap your herbs in a damp paper towel and plastic before you store them. If you cant, simply just place them in a zip-tip bag or loosely wrap them in the grocery bag you brought them home in. They can last nearly 2 weeks stored properly.
4) “One bad (or good) apple spoils the whole bunch”
The saying has many sources, but when it comes to storing produce, it’s true. Certain types of produce will make others ripen/rot faster than others. Apples are king among them, and as an apple ages, the more it negatively affects other produce. Apples can be store in the refrigerator or on the counter, but they should be kept away from other produce. Bonus: Use the power of apples for good by placing unripe bananas or avocados in a bag with an apple to speed them along their way.