Storing fresh fruits and vegetables

If you find it difficult to remember the best ways to store your fresh fruits and vegetables, here are some simple guidelines and tips that may help.

This list is based on some of my favorite types of produce, so I would suggest storing any items not listed here similar to how the grocery store had them when you purchased them. This list is broken into two categories, fruits and vegetables, but not necessarily by their actual classification. For example, a tomato is technically a fruit, but most people consider them vegetables, so that’s how they’re grouped here.

Fruits

Apples
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Bananas
Store on the countertop for up to 5 days.

Blackberries
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Tip: Remove damaged or moldy berries and spread in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels.

Blueberries
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Tip: Remove damaged or moldy berries.

Cantaloupe
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if whole, and up to 3 days if sliced.
Tip: To ripen, store at room temperature in a paper bag. Wash the outside thoroughly before slicing to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Cherries
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a bowl or open bag.

Grapefruit
Store on the countertop for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Grapes
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in a bowl or ventilated plastic bag.
Tip: They are best if used within 3 days.

Kiwis
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Lemons
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Limes
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Oranges
Store on the countertop for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pears
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tip: To ripen, store at room temperature in a paper bag until soft.

Pineapple
Store on the countertop for up to 5 days if whole, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if sliced.

Plums
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tip: To ripen, store at room temperature until soft and the skins develops a powdery-silver coating.

Raspberries
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tip: Remove damaged or moldy berries and spread in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels.

Strawberries
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tip: Remove damaged or moldy berries.

Watermelon
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if whole, or up to 2 days if sliced.
Tip: Keep it in a cool pantry if refrigeration is not possible.

Vegetables

Alfalfa sprouts
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Asparagus
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tip: Cut an inch off of the base and store wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag.

Avocados
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
Tip: To ripen, store at room temperature in a paper bag until soft.

Bell peppers
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if green, or up to 5 days if orange, red, or yellow.

Broccoli
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Brussels sprouts
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Cabbage
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Carrots
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cauliflower
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Celery
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Chili peppers
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Tip: Dried chili peppers can be stored for up to 4 months in an airtight container.

Corn
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if unshucked.
Tip: They are best if used within the first day.

Cucumbers
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Garlic
Store in the pantry for up to 2 months.
Tip: Make sure air can circulate around them.

Ginger
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Green beans
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Herbs
Basil, chives, cilantro, and tarragon can be stored for up to 3 days, parsley and mint for up to 5 days, and rosemary and thyme for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Tip: Basil, chives, cilantro, mint, parsley, and tarragon should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag.

Kale
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Lettuce
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, 2 weeks for iceberg, or until the expiration date on the package if bagged.

Mushrooms
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in a paper bag.

Okra
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a paper bag.

Onions
Store in the pantry for up to 2 months, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if sliced.
Tip: Make sure air can circulate around them.

Peas
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Tip: Keep them in the pods until ready to use.

Potatoes
Store in the pantry for up to 3 weeks.
Tip: Make sure air can circulate around them.

Radishes
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Tip: They are best if used within 3 days, but you can remove the leaves to extend freshness.

Scallions
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Spinach
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or until the expiration date on the package if bagged.

Squash
Summer squash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and winter squash, such as acorn, butternut, and spaghetti, can be stored in the pantry for up to 2 months whole, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if sliced.

Sweet potatoes and yams
Store in the pantry for up to 2 weeks in a paper bag.

Tomatoes
Store on the countertop for up to 3 days.
Tip: To ripen, store at room temperature in a paper bag.

Zucchini
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

In conclusion

That’s all I have for now, but if I discover anything else I like, I’ll be sure to add them to this list.

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