I don’t know about you, but I can never remember how to store fresh fruits and vegetables. In the refrigerator or out? Wrapped in plastic or not? If you want to keep spoilage to a minimum (and save money by reducing waste), below are some storage tips. Keep in mind that temperature zones in refrigerators may vary by model. You need to “get to know” your fridge – where are the cold zones and where are the warm zones.
Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and celery can be stored in the crisper. Corn should be stored with the husk on in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Don’t snap the ends off your green beans until you’re ready to use them and store in an airtight container in a moderate zone. Squash and zucchini should be stored in a plastic bag in a warmer zone, and don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them.
For your leafy greens, you should keep them in a salad spinner or the crisper after washing; or wrap them in paper towels, place in a plastic bag and loosely tie the top of the bag.
Fruits like apples, berries, cherries and grapes should not be washed until you’re ready to use them. Apples should be kept in a cool zone and away from any foods that have a strong odor since they absorb odors. Berries and cherries should be kept in a warmer zone of the refrigerator with berries in a dry, covered container and cherries in a plastic bag. Grapes can be stored in a plastic bag, but remove any spoiled grapes since one bad one will spoil the bunch.
Some items shouldn’t be kept in the fridge right away. Avocados, peaches, plums and nectarines should be kept in a brown-paper bag until they are ripe. Once ripe, they should be put in the refrigerator. Bananas just shouldn’t be in the fridge. Onions and potatoes should be stored in dark, dry, well-ventilated places but never together! Onions will absorb the moisture from the potatoes and will produce ethylene gas which promotes spoilage. Tomatoes should also be stored at room temperature, but not in direct sunlight.