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Storage tips for fruits and vegetables

Fruits and veggies are perfect for rounding out a meal or putting together a quick snack. However, some of our favorite fruits always seem to go bad before we can get to them! Before you go on your next produce shopping spree, take some time to learn how to store fruit and vegetables so you can keep them as fresh as possible!

General storage tips for fruits and vegetables

While fruits and veggies each have their own specific storage preferences, they also have several preferences in common. To get yourself started on the right track, check what fruits are in season to make sure your favorite fruit is available. Produce always tastes best when they are in season, so learn their peak times before learning how to store fruit!

  • Immediately remove any rubber bands or ties used to keep your produce together when you get home. Leaving them on can bruise your produce.
  • Make sure to also cut off the leafy tops of root vegetables (like radishes and carrots) and store them separately. Leaving the tops on drains the moisture out of your produce and can cause the vegetables to quickly lose flavor.
  • Refrain from washing your produce unless you’re ready to eat them right away. Moisture overall is an enemy to freshness for most produce, so make sure your fruits and veggies are completely dry before storing them. Cut fruit, on the other hand, will dry up in three days and should be stored in the fridge as soon as possible.
  • The crisper, more commonly known as the fruit/vegetable drawer at the bottom of your fridge, is prime real estate for most of your fruits and vegetables. It is the coldest part of the fridge and sometimes has settings to that will let you control the humidity.

Some groups of food have specific storage preferences. See a few common preferences below.

Berries especially do not like moisture. It’s best to keep them flat on top of a paper towel on a plate or in a container that allows them to lay out on the plate in one layer. In other words, spread your berries out so they do not lay on top of each other. If you see any bad or rotten berries, make sure to toss them right away so they do not ruin the rest of the batch!

There are a few exceptions to the moisture rule. One specific exception includes vegetables that still have roots. The roots for these vegetables should be kept moist, so wrap the roots in a damp paper towel before storing in the fridge.

Another slight exception involves leafy greens. You can wash leafy greens by rinsing them with cold water prior to storage. After rinsing your greens, lay them flat on a towel or use a salad spinner to dry. Once they are completely dry, store in the fridge in an open container wrapped in a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Why do I have to keep some fruits separate?

Some fruits emit a chemical called ethylene gas. This speeds up the ripening process for produce and can either be a good or a bad thing. It’s great if you are trying to ripen your avocados, but not so great when your peaches accidentally go bad. This is why it’s important to pay attention to where you store fruits in your home and even more important to store fruits and vegetables separately.

Here’s a list of some fruits that produce a lot of ethylene gas that you should keep separate from other produce:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Figs
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Only put these high ethylene-producing fruit near your unripened produce if you’re trying to accelerate the ripening process. You can speed up the process even more by sticking them inside a brown paper bag to concentrate the ethylene-gas in a contained area.

Where to store fruits and vegetables

Below we give you detailed storage information for your fruits and vegetables and include approximately how long they’ll stay fresh. You can also jump down to the fruit and vegetable chart if you just need to take a quick glance to know how to store fruit and veggies!

Keep in mind that approximations are under the assumption that the fruit and vegetables are already ripe, uncut, unpeeled and in its most ideal storage location. You should learn how to pick the best fruit when you’re out running errands so you have a better chance of picking up the tastiest fruit. You should also always double-check your fruit for mold or blemishes before consuming to stay on the safe side!

Refrigerator

Fruit

Name

Days Fresh

Notes

Apples

3 weeks

Store in crisper in separate ventilated plastic bag, can last about 2 weeks at room temperature

Bell peppers: Green

1 week

Bell peppers: Red, yellow, orange

5 days

Store in a plastic bag in the crisper

Blackberries

2 days

Spread in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate or container, toss any bad berries

Blueberries

1 week

Spread in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate or container, toss any bad berries

Cantaloupe

5 days

Cherries

3 days

Store in crisper

Clementines

5 days

Store in crisper

Cranberries

1 month

Grapefruit

3 weeks

Can store on counter for up to a week

Grapes

5 days

Toss any bad grapes, store in the back of the fridge, cut and separate some of the vines to help with air circulation

Honeydew

5 days

Lemons

3 weeks

Store in a plastic bag, can last up to a week at room temperature

Limes

3 weeks

Store in a plastic bag, can last up to a week at room temperature

Oranges

2 weeks

Can last up to a week at room temperature

Pomegranates

3 weeks

Raspberries

3 days

Spread in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate or container, toss any bad berries

Strawberries

3 days

Store in the crisper, spread in a single layer on a paper-towel lined plate or container, toss any bad berries

Tangerines

1 week

Vegetables

Name

Days Fresh

Notes

Artichokes

1 week

Sprinkle stems with water and store in a plastic bag

Arugula

5 days

Asparagus

3 days

Trim ends and wrap top with a damp paper towel

Beets

3 weeks

Remove leaves and store in a plastic bag

Broccoli

1 week

Store loosely in a ventilated plastic bag

Brussels sprouts

1 week

Store in a ventilated plastic bag in the crisper

Cabbages

2 weeks

Store in the crisper, can last up to a week at room temperature

Carrots

2 weeks

Cut off leafy tops, place in closed container wrapped in a damp towel

Cauliflower

1 week

Store loosely in a plastic bag with the stem down to prevent moisture from getting to the head

Celery

2 weeks

Place in a cup of shallow water or wrap in aluminum foil

Chard

3 days

Store in a ventilated plastic bag

Chili peppers

2 weeks

Corn

3 days

Keep in husk until ready to eat

Cucumbers

5 days

Wrap in a paper towel and store inside a ventilated plastic bag in the crisper

Green beans

1 week

Store in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper

Jicama

1 week

Kale

3 days

Wrap in paper towels and store in sealed plastic bag in the crisper

Leeks

1 week

Store in a ventilated plastic bag

Lettuce heads

5 days

Wrap in dry paper towels and store in a plastic bag

Radishes

2 weeks

Remove leaves and store in a sealed plastic bag

Rutabaga

2 weeks

Store in a plastic bag

Snow peas

4 days

Store in a ventilated plastic bag, leave in pods until ready to eat

Spinach

3 days

Store with dry paper towels in a sealed contianer

Summer squash

5 days

Store in a ventilated bag in the crisper

Turnips

2 weeks

Store in the crisper

Zucchini

5 days

Store loosley in ventilated bag

Counter to Fridge

These fruit can’t ripen in the fridge, so keep them on the counter to ripen then move to the fridge to prolong freshness. Remember to also keep these fruit out of direct sunlight while they sit on the counter.

Name

Days Fresh

Apricots

5 days

Avocados

3 days

Bananas

5 days

Kiwis

4 days

Mangoes

4 days

Nectarines

5 days

Papaya

1 week

Peaches

5 days

Pears

5 days

Pineapples

5 days

Plums

5 days

Pantry

Most vegetables in this category should live in dark, dry and cool areas with good ventilation.

Name

Days Fresh

Garlic

2 months

Onions

2 months

Potatoes, New or fingerling

5 days

Potatoes, Red, russet or yukon gold

3 weeks

Sweet potatoes

2 weeks

Winter squash

3 months

Yams

2 weeks

How to store fruits and vegetable chart?

Peruse through our chart below if you want to quickly reference how to store fruit and vegetables after a quick stop at the grocery store!

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