Fruits and vegetables are fresh produce and should be stored in a way to maximize their freshness for as long as possible. Some require refrigeration, while others can easily be stored in your pantry, vegetable drawer, or even on your kitchen counter. Let’s have a look at some fruit and vegetables and where the best place to store them would be.
Fruits and vegetables that should be stored in the fridge must be left unwashed in their original packaging. If you prefer, you can re-wrap them in a plastic bag. When storing fresh fruits and vegetables in a cool, dry place you need to remove all packaging and leave them loose. You could place them in a basket or fruit bowl to not have them simply laid on your countertop. If you have any fruits that are not ripe yet, you can put them in a paper bag in a dark area of your kitchen to speed up the ripening process. The bag traps the ethylene gas released by the fruit and it acts as a maturing agent. If you want to speed up the process even more, try putting an apple in the bag with it. Lettuce, spinach, or any leafy vegetable that is dirty should be rinsed before packing away. Rinse the leaves with running water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Once they’re completely dry, place them in a plastic packet and then refrigerate.
What should be stored in a cool, dry place
Some fruits and vegetables should never be refrigerated because the cold will cause them to spoil. Bananas, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes should always be stored on a countertop at room temperature. Potatoes, onions, squash, green beans, fresh garlic, zucchini, and eggplant should also be stored in a cool, dry place. These vegetables don’t need to be on a countertop but can be stored in a vegetable drawer. There should also be plenty of ventilation because otherwise they can dry up and spoil quicker, especially potatoes and onions. Most people store tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumbers in the fridge, but to keep them fresher for longer, it’s better to store them at room temperature. Herbs such as basil should also be stored at room temperature. There are, however, some fruits and vegetables stored on your counter that would need to be refrigerated once ripe. Some of these fruits include apricots, mangoes, kiwifruits, melons, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, and plums.
What should be stored in the fridge
Most people store fruits and vegetables in the fridge because it’s more convenient. Though there are some items that must be stored in a refrigerated area. This is because they need the moisture from the fridge to keep them fresher for longer. Too much moisture isn’t good though, that’s why berries, grapes, and cherries should be stored in a plastic bag or plastic container with small vent holes. These vents allow excess moisture to escape. Vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery should always be stored in the fridge. Apples should be refrigerated because they become soft much faster when stored at room temperature.
There are also some fruits and vegetables that can be frozen. Berries can be frozen as is, but other fruits need to be peeled and cut up or sliced before freezing. Most vegetables can also be frozen except lettuce greens, artichokes, sweet potatoes, radishes, sprouts, potatoes, and eggplant.