Fruit & Vegetable Storage


Countertop Storage Tips
There’s nothing as inviting as a big bowl of crisp apples on the kitchen counter. To keep those apples crisp and all countertop-stored produce fresh, store them out of direct sunlight, either directly on the countertop, in an uncovered bowl, or inside a perforated plastic bag. 

 

Refrigerator Storage Tips
For produce that is best stored in the refrigerator, remember the following guidelines.

  • Keep produce in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. (To perforate bags, punch holes in the bag with a sharp object, spacing them about as far apart as the holes you see in supermarket apple bags.)
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate, in different drawers, because ethylene can build up in the fridge, causing spoilage.
  • When storing herbs (and interestingly, asparagus, too), snip off the ends, store upright in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and cover with a plastic bag.

  • Store in Refrigerator:

Apples 
Apricots
Cantaloupe
Figs
Honeydew

Artichokes

Asparagus
Beets
Blackberries 
Blueberries 
Broccoli 
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots 
Cauliflower 
Celery
Cherries
Corn 
Grapes
Green beans
Green onions 
Herbs (except basil)
Lima beans
Leafy vegetables
Leeks
Lettuce 
Mushrooms 
Okra 
Peas 
Plums 
Radishes 
Raspberries 
Spinach
Sprouts
Strawberries 
Summer squash
Yellow squash
Zucchini


Store on Countertop:

Apples 

Bananas
Tomatoes

Basil
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic
Ginger
Grapefruit
Jicama
Lemons
Limes
Mangoes
Oranges
Papayas
Peppers
Persimmons
Pineapple
Plantains
Pomegranates
Watermelon

 

Store in a Cool, Dry Place:

Acorn squash

Butternut squash
Onions (away from potatoes)
Potatoes (away from onions)
Pumpkins
Spaghetti squash
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash
 

Ripen on Counter, Then Refrigerate:

Avocados
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Plums

Kiwi
 
Fruits and vegetables give off an odorless, harmless and tasteless gas called ethylene after they're picked. All fruits and vegetables produce it, but some foods produce it in greater quantities. When ethylene-producing foods are kept in close proximity with ethylene-sensitive foods, especially in a confined space (like a bag or drawer), the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce. Use this to your advantage if you want to speed up the ripening process of an unripe fruit, for example, by putting an apple in a bag with an unripe avocado. But if you want your already-ripe foods to last longer, remember to keep them away from ethylene-producing foods, as designated in the chart above. 
 
Print off this handy chart to keep in your kitchen so you can refer to it after every delivery. Then you'll be able to follow-through with your good intentions to eat your 5-9 servings a day, instead of letting all of that healthy food go to waste.