Tips on Storing Fresh Produce

Here are some proven methods for storing your produce to insure maximum freshness.

Bell Peppers

Store unwrapped on the refrigerator shelf or in the produce drawer. Use within a few days.

Broccoli

Refrigerate, unwashed, in a sealed plastic bag. Use within four or five days, before florets begin to wilt and yellow.

Carrots

Remove and discard green tops right away. Though useful for showing freshness in the market, they actually sap vitality from the carrot if left on too long. Store carrots in a tightly sealed plastic bag. They will remain crisp and flavorful for a week or longer.

Cauliflower

Refrigerate wrapped in plastic. Use within one week. If longer storage turns some of the florets gray, cut off the discolored parts.

Corn on the Cobb

Store in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place. Cook it the same day you buy it (preferably the same day it’s picked for best sweetness and flavor. Husk it just before cooking.

Cucumbers

Store unwrapped in the produce drawer. Use within two days.

Eggplant

Refrigerate unwrapped. Use within four to five days while the skin is taut and glossy.

Fresh Herbs

Refrigerate, wrapped in paper towels, in self sealing plastic bags, or trim the stems and stand them in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag and sealed around the glass with a rubber band.

Green beans or wax beans

Wrap tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator produce drawer. Use within two to three days, before the get wrinkled or rubbery.

Lettuce and leafy greens

Tuck a paper towel into a plastic bag with the washed greens and store in the produce drawer. Delicate leaf lettuces are best the day they’re picked or purchased. Romaine and other varieties keep for several days.

Onions

Store in a cool but not refrigerated dark place, but not with potatoes, which have different humidity requirements and can cause onions to decay more rapidly. Keep onions for two to three weeks. In hot weather, onions may sprout and turn mushy.

Potatoes

Store in a cool, dark place, not in the refrigerator, and not with onions. If you don’t have a dark pantry or potato drawer, store potatoes in a brown paper bag. ( Exposure to light causes a chemical reaction that turns potatoes green just under the skin. Peel the green away before cooking.) Potatoes should last a few weeks, but may sprout in warm weather.

Sugar snap peas

Store in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator. Or peel off the strings and store peas covered in water in a tightly sealed container for a day or two, ready for snacks.

Tomatoes

Do not store tomatoes in the refrigerator. Unripe tomatoes should be stored on a shelf near a sunny window. This will allow them to ripen quickly.

Zucchini and summer squash

Store unwrapped in the refrigerator produce drawer. Use within a week.

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