Storing Fruits and Vegetables to Last Longer


fresh-fruits-vegetables

Picture from joesmithfarms.com

Fruits and vegetables are not cheap. Every time I find the limp celery that I planned on using the last stalks of for soup or the moldy peaches stuck in the back of my fruit and vegetable drawers I see dollar signs floating away. How do I store them AND use them up so I am not throwing away my money?

Tomatoes, Potatoes and Onionย all emit ethylene gas as they ripen. Stored together they will ripen faster and rot faster. They should be stored in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator). Bottom cupboards or root cellars are good. They should also not be stored in the same cupboard or area of the cellar. Put them in separate cupboards or corners of the cellar. There is an Old Wives Tale that if you add an apple to the potatoes they will not grow eyes but this has been disproved. Left long enough they will grow eyes.

Now I tend to forget about my tomatoes. Potatoes and onions are pretty standard fare in my house so I keep the tomatoes on the counter once they are good and ripe and only buy a couple at a time so I can use them within a day or so.

Lettuces and Leafy Greensย should be washed in cold water and thoroughly dried before packing in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel. You want to keep the moisture away from the greens so they do not get mushy but retain their crispness. Keep in refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Other Vegetables – Most other vegetables can be kept in the refrigerator and most will need to be used within a day or two such as eggplant, asparagus, mushrooms to retain their taste, texture and vitamins.

Plums, Nectarines, Peaches and Pears can all be ripened in a brown paper bag on your kitchen counter until they have a bit of give to them when squeezed lightly. Then they should be stored in your refrigerator.

Pineapple sugar is concentrated at the base of the pineapple so turn it upside down and let it sit on your kitchen counter a day or two, out of the sun, before cutting it.

Bananas should be stored separately from your other fruit. They also emit ethylene gas as well just not as strong as potatoes and onions. They can hang on your counter for several days but will continue to ripen. They can be stored in the refrigerator which will slow the ripening but will turn the skins dark brown. ย Do not store them in a fruit or vegetable drawer as they will effect the ripening process of the other fruits and vegetables.

Berries generally tend to be very delicate and do not store well and should be eaten within a day or so of purchase for best flavor and texture. Blueberries are the exception to this. Gently wash all berries just prior to eating. Store in original containers until ready to use.

How do I make the most of my fruits and vegetables?

  • Don’t over buy. If there is a great sale go back two, three or even four days during the week and buy smaller amounts that will not spoil before they can be used.
  • Slice, dice or chop the vegetables before they go bad and freeze them for quick use during the week in casseroles, stir fries and soups. Check to see if they need to be blanched first as many do.
  • Designate one or two days during the week as your “clean out” days for produce. Make salads, soups or stews with all the items you have leftover. If you don’t want to eat the soups or stews now freeze them for later this fall. Remember creamy soups tend not keep as well in the freezer.

Hopefully one or two of these ideas will help save you a bit of money on your produce!

 

36 Comments Add yours

  1. Howto$tuffYourPig says:

    Very important tips! This information will help us save money and the environment! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Howto$tuffYourPig says:

    Reblogged this on How to $tuff Your Pig.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Howto$tuffYourPig says:

    Shared this on Facebook and Twitter too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much! I greatly appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. spearfruit says:

    Good post – I love my fruits and vegetables! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much! Hope you have great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Akhila says:

    great help.. thanks a ton

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m forever throwing out fruit and vegetables, but I do make soups as often as I can when veg are on the turn. Great tips. Thanks. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One awesome trick that I recently found (if you have the fridge space) – I store my lettuce in my salad spinner. After it has been torn into serving-sized pieces it will stay crisp for up to a week. Even garden lettuce, which tends to wilt after the first day, will stay crisp for a of couple days. Doesn’t work as well for iceberg which still tends to brown at the edges.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I’ll have to try this!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Another very useful post. I did not know that about the pineapple. Lordy, don’t tell anyone I use to live in Hawaii. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    PS When’s your Bday?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      July. Very soon!

      Like

  9. Happy Almost Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  10. LOL Marci grab the limp celery and place into an ice bath on kitchen counter you’ll be amazed at its returning to life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. auntiedoni says:

      If I could add to that, nothing wrong with using limp celery in soups… they’re going to to get cooked anyways, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. auntiedoni says:

    Also, I no longer keep Sweet Onions in a cupboard, but in the vegetable drawer, other wise they will go bad very quickly, learned that one the hard way ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Great information! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Glad you liked it!

      Like

  13. Those are ALL great tips! what I do with limp celery stalks and onions on their last legs and dried out carrots is throw them in a stock pot and simmer with garlic, parsley and other seasonings with a chicken carcass or reserved steak bones covered with wather to make some awesome homemade soup stock. I usually simmer for several hours, then strain through cheesecloth. It all freezes well in quart freezer bags for several months. I freeze my leftover chicken and steak bones until I have enough to make a pot then throw in any wilted veggies in the fridge I find, including lettuce! I don’t throw in strong-tasting veggies, like broccoli though.

    Like

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Yummy! I sometimes do that in my slow cooker too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL when I make a pot of stock it’s usually 10 to 15 quarts, lol! My biggest crockpot is 6 quarts but I can see how that would help with the heat in the house, for sure… ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          I don’t make that much lol!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m a glutton for punishment. But we LOVE soup here, even in the summer. ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post and very helpful tips!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. masgautsen says:

    Thank you for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      You are most welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. ginasjoys says:

    Great tips, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      You are welcome!

      Like

  17. I loved this post! Thank you so much for sharing all of this knowledge. I’ve definitely had a hard time keeping my produce to stay fresh before I eat it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much!

      Like

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