One sneaky challenge to healthy eating has nothing to do with the eating part at all. Storage can be one of the biggest challenges you face when it comes to consistently eating fresh produce. We all are familiar with the guilty feeling that comes when throwing out a moldy carton of blueberries that we never got the chance to open, or a head of lettuce that we used for only one salad.
Knowing how to properly store your produce can extend the lifespan of your fruits and veggies, and help you freshen up your dishes while cutting down on your food waste.
Keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to store produce in your fridge.
Choose Your Fruits and Veggies Wisely
Proper food storage starts at the grocery store. You want to start with the freshest produce possible so it can have the longest life once you bring it home. Here are some must-have tips for picking out super fresh produce.
- Keep your eyes peeled for any sign of yellowing or wilting leaves that indicate produce is past its prime! Your greens should look deep green in color.
- Don’t be afraid to use your hands. If a fruit or vegetable is heavy, sturdy, and taut, it is fresh.
- Consider shopping with the seasons.
- Keep in mind how soon you will be eating said produce and choose accordingly. Buying under ripe tomatoes can help them last longer if you decide to eat them later in the week.
Keep Your Fridge Organized
A messy fridge can cause us to neglect some of the food inside — especially if we can’t see it at first glance. Keeping your fridge organized and clean can help you know what you’re cooking with! Check out our favorite tips on how to organize our fridge.
While the rest of your fridge may be organized perfectly, where you store your fruit and veggies can make a difference in their shelf-life. We’ve got pro-tips you can share at your next dinner party (or keep it to yourself; we don’t really care!)
You should consider temperature, humidity, and ethylene gas when choosing where to put your produce. Ethylene gas is released by some fruits and vegetables, which can affect certain types of ethylene-sensitive produce.
A great rule of thumb — keep ethylene producing and ethylene sensitive produce away from each other. AKA, keep that gassy produce away!
So you may be eating your veggies but show your parents up by storing them the right way.
The most important thing you should remember about leafy greens is that they hate moisture. Do not wash your greens before throwing them in the fridge — this will lead to a soggy mess.
Onions and Garlic
Avoid putting onions, garlic, and shallots in the fridge. Instead, keep them in a dry, cool place. You also want to avoid storing these next to any root vegetables as this can cause root vegetables to sprout!
Used half an onion during taco night? Throw the leftover in plastic or a plastic bag and refrigerate.
Root vegetables do not produce ethylene gas and can be stored in the fridge, either within a crisper drawer or in a plastic bag for an even longer shelf-life.
Pro-Tip: You can cut off the greens of beets, carrots and radishes to keep your veggies juicy!
Don’t put potatoes in the fridge; instead, store them in a cool dark place (think wine storage!) You will know potatoes are rotten when they sprout or become green.
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Bananas, Pears, and Apples
Bananas, Pears, and Apples release a great deal of ethylene. They should be kept far, far away from all ethylene-sensitive produce (leafy greens, root vegetables, and citrus). While you can refrigerate apples and pears, keep your bananas out of the fridge.
Avoid putting berries in the coldest parts of your fridge, as they can be sensitive to frostbite. Instead, keep berries near the front of your fridge so you can see them. Remember not to wash berries until you are ready to eat them.
If you notice any berries have become smashed or bruised, pick them out and discard to avoid contaminating the whole container.
Citrus can go in or out of the fridge! Keep in mind that lemons and limes are sensitive to ethylene gas, while oranges and grapefruit are not.
With a better understanding of where to store your favorite produce pals, you can prevent a ton of food waste and make grocery store runs a lot quicker.
Keep it Clean
Just because your fridge is organized properly doesn’t mean it’s clean. You want to clean your fridge to wipe away any nasties that may be lingering! Our Ira Excellent Maid helps you avoid the harsh chemicals around your food. Our plant-powered formula gets the job done, using naturally derived ingredients to erase food spills!