After a trip to the grocery store or a haul at the local farmer’s market, the last thing you want to happen is to lose a bunch of fresh veggies and fruits to improper storage.
From tips on what goes where (fridge vs. counter), what to do with cut produce, and how long to store certain items, here is a list of six stupidly simple tips to help you keep your produce (and kitchen) fresh.
1. First thing’s first: separate what doesn’t go in the fridge from what does.
Things like bananas, watermelon, potatoes, peaches, squash, etc. don’t actually need to go in the fridge. In fact, chilly temperatures can even cause certain fruits and veggies to lose their flavor!
2. Keep everything out of the extremes.
Be mindful of open windows, direct sunlight, stoves, freezers, or other variations on temperature, as these things can negatively affect your produce!
3. Keep the cut or sliced items in the fridge.
Rule of thumb: when it’s cut, it’s for the fridge.
4. Separate onions and garlic from other items.
The smell of these two things can be powerful, so much so, that if you sit garlic/onions by another fruit or veggie, it might soak up that smell or taste. Instead of spoiling other items, have a special place where these ‘stinky’ items go. (Ex: glass container).
5. Items that need to stay the coldest should be at the bottom of your fridge.
The coldest part of the fridge is the bottom, so keep things like leafy greens etc. there. The middle drawers can be used for fruits that are fine in more humid temps, or aren’t as likely to spoil right away (ex: kiwi).
6. Keep items that go bad the fastest at the top of your fridge.
This is especially important for things like berries. That way you can easily see them and use them up before they spoil.
*How long do items last?
Here is a helpful produce cheat sheet that you can reference to see how long certain items can stay fresh. Be mindful of things like mushrooms (which should be kept in a paper back to reduce moisture), avocados (especially as they go soft because they will get bad right away, and certain fruits.