Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, or you take part in a local CSA program, it is important to know how to properly store your fresh produce to preserve flavor and prolong shelf life!
Apples ripen very quickly at room temperature, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks! Do not wash until ready to use, and handle carefully to prevent bruising.
Stand up in a jar or dish with 1-2” of water and store in refrigerator; good for up to a week. Change cloudy water as needed.
While you’re probably not growing your own avocados, they’ve become a staple in many households over the last few years. Store avocados at room temperature until ripe or almost ripe, then store in the refrigerator for 2-5 days.
Store on the counter at room temperature, ideally away from other fruits and veggies unless you’re trying to ripen those faster. Freeze over-ripe bananas for use in smoothies or banana bread!
Store at room temperature for freshest flavor; will keep for up to 7 days. Trim stem bottoms and place in a glass of water like cut flowers, changing the water daily.
Try to eat as quickly as possible, storing them in the fridge for a maximum of 3-5 days.
If storing whole beets, separate the greens from the beets; store greens separately in a breathable bag for 1-2 days. Beets can be stored in the refrigerator where they will be freshest for 7-days; do not wash until ready to use.
Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries should all be stored in the refrigerator, and are freshest for 3-5 days (up to 10 days for blueberries). Do not wash until ready to use. To help your fresh berries last longer, wash them in a diluted vinegar bath (1 cup vinegar plus 3 cups water) and spin dry with a salad spinner. Store them in a sealed container lined with paper towels, with the lid cracked a little to allow moisture to escape.
Store in a breathable bag in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Do not wash until ready to use. Don’t forget – the stalks of broccoli are delicious! Grate and use as a crunchy slaw, or chop and prepare like the tops.
Last longer on the stalk than off; wrap the bottom of the stalk in a wet paper towel and plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Sprouts off the stalk are freshest for 7-10 days; do not wash until ready to use. Peel away any yellowing outer layers of the sprouts, revealing the yummy inner part.
Similar to beets, remove carrot tops from the root before storing. Tops can be stored for 2 days, while the carrots themselves can be stored in a shallow dish filled with water for up to 2 weeks.
Cucumbers should be kept at room temperature for up to a week, as prolonged exposure to low temperatures causes chilling injury. If you prefer a cool cucumber, store in the fridge for 3-5 days. Always keep them away from bananas, tomatoes, apples, and melons, which will cause them to ripen (and spoil) very quickly.
Do not refrigerate! Store loose or in a breathable bag on the counter.
Store unpeeled garlic, shallots, and onions out of the refrigerator for several months in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place. Do not store in plastic. Cut onions will keep for up to 7 days, while peeled garlic and peeled shallots should be kept in the fridge for several weeks.
Store unwashed bunches (grapes still on their stems) in a breathable bag in the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Store with a damp cloth in an airtight container, or place fresh cut bunches in a cup of water (like cut flowers) on the counter. Heads of lettuce will keep longer than leaf lettuces.
Store in the refrigerator; they’re freshest for about 7 days, but rosemary and thyme will last longer. Store loosely wrapped in a cloth or breathable bag.
Like avocados, store melons on the counter at room temperature until they ripen, then store them in the refrigerator. Whole melons are freshest for 5-15 days, while cut melon pieces are best for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Whole peppers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; cut peppers up to 3 days in an airtight container. Do not wash until ready to use.
Store summer squash in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wrap any cut ends in a damp cloth, and handle with care as they bruise easily. Winter squash will keep for several months on the counter; longer if stored in a cold, dry space like a root cellar.
Refrigerate these fruits after they’ve ripened at room temperature. They’ll be freshest for 3-7 days after ripening. Peaches, nectarines, and apricots can become mealy if left in the fridge for too long, so enjoy quickly!
Store these on the counter, not in the refrigerator! Refrigeration causes loss of flavor and sweetness, and an unpleasant mealy texture. Fresh, whole tomatoes will be good for 3-5 days at room temperature, but you should try and enjoy them right away. Cut tomatoes or overripe tomatoes can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days to preserve them for a bit longer.