Proper storage of produce can mean the difference between a delicious meal or a trash can filled with a rotten mess. However, the ideal storage environment for fruits and vegetables differs widely.
For the typical household it is simply impractical to have multiple temperature storage units each with multiple relative humidity ranges.
But don’t give up! Your produce can last nearly as long if you follow some basic steps. Follow these simple rules for longer lasting fresh produce:
1. Recognize the different storage categories.
COLD – keep in a refrigerator, typically between 32 and 40 (2-4c) degrees.
COOL – approximately 50 degrees. May be an door compartment in the refrigerator or in a cool cellar.
WARM – approximately 60 (16c) degrees. May be kept in a cellar or in kitchen out of sun.
MOIST – 80-90 relative humidity. Placed in a perforated bag with a moist paper towel. You may replace the perforated bag with a loosely wrapped plastic grocery bag.
DRY – 60-70 relative humidity. Place in perforated bag or loosely wrapped in plastic grocery bag when dry. If you wash the fruit or vegetable, pat dry with towel.
2. Know which fruits and vegetables fit into which storage category.
Root Crops – These include beets, carrots, horseradish, parsnips, radish and turnips. In general you want to: wash, COLD\MOIST. Will last 2-4 months.
Cole Crops (in the cabbage family) – These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi. In general you: do not wash, COLD\MOIST. Will last a week (broccoli) to 2 months (Chinese cabbage).
Greens and Salads – These include Swiss Chard, Collards, kale, mustard, spinach, Endive (Escarole), lettuce, parsley. In general you: wash, COLD\MOIST. Will last approximately 2 weeks.
Legumes – These include Lima beans, garden peas, southern peas. In general you: wash COLD\MOIST. Will last approximately one week. Consider freezing if you need to keep more than a week.
Asparagus, green onions rhubarb, sweet corn should be kept COLD\MOIST.
Vine Crops – These include cantaloupe, summer squash, cucumber, watermelon. In general you want to keep in a: COOL\MOIST. Will last approximately one week.
Eggplant, green beans, okra and sweat peppers also fit into the COOL\MOIST storage category.
Berries, cherries, apples, onions and hot peppers fit into the COOL\DRY storage category.
Apricots, peaches, pears, nectarines and melons should be ripened before refrigeration.
Bananas and pumpkins fit into a WARM\DRY storage category.
Sweet potatoes and tomatoes fit into a WARM\MOIST storage category.
Do you have a helpful hint on how to help your fruits and veggies last longer? Share it with us below.
All articles are copyrighted by Thrifty Times, 2004 - 2011. You may not reproduce or share or repost without express written permission from the Thrifty Times except to quote up to 60 words of an article with a link back to this site. For more information contact us at email@example.com or Thrifty Times, 2616 Cynwyd Avenue, Broomall, PA 19008.
Disclaimer - Articles are intended for personal information. Not intended to be financial, tax or legal advice. All financial plans as well as financial decisions, tax decisions and legal decisions should be made carefully and with the advice of a professional.