Pack in the Nutrients: Tips for Refrigerating Produce
Are you tossing more produce in the trash than you're eating each week? Try our tips for storing 15 fruits and veggies that Cleveland Clinic, a top-ranked hospital, considers among the best foods for heart health.
Our tips help maintain the flavor, texture, and nutritional value longer-and avoid wasted produce (and wasted dollars).
How to Store Salad Greens
Refrigerate salad greens in a perforated* plastic bag with a paper towel (to absorb condensation) 3-7 days.
*Purchase fresh produce bags with moisture vents or make your own by cutting six to eight small holes in a 1-gallon bag.
How to Store Citrus Fruit
Store citrus fruit at room temperature up to a week or in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Citrus Fruit Recipes:
How to Store Melons
Wash all melons before cutting, then store cut melons covered in the refrigerator. Watermelon chilled longer than 3 days loses flavor and its deep red color.
How to Store Kiwifruit
Ripen kiwifruit in a paper bag at room temperature until fruit gives to gentle pressure. Refrigerate ripe kiwifruit in a plastic bag (to retain moisture) 2-4 days.
How to Store Asparagus
Refrigerate asparagus up to 4 days upright in a container with an inch of water and a plastic bag loosely draped over the top to trap moisture.
How to Store Berries
Refrigerate berries in a vented plastic clamshell container 2-5 days.
Tip: Fruits generally require lower humidity (and release more ethylene gas) than vegetables, so store in separate drawers, if possible.
How to Store Potatoes
Nonrefrigerated potatoes have the best flavor, but new (baby) potatoes are more perishable than mature potatoes, so refrigerate them if not used within 3 days.
How to Store Papaya
Ripen papaya at room temperature in a paper bag until skin turns from green to yellow-orange. Refrigerate ripe papaya in a plastic bag up to 3 days.
How to Store Squash
Place squash in plastic wrap (or a bag) and refrigerate 3-5 days.
Tip: Paper towels help absorb excess moisture in crispers. Replace weekly.
How to Store Bell Peppers
Refrigerate bell peppers up to 1 week in plastic bags. Keep them away from ethylene-releasing fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and melons. Fruits that release ethylene will decrease the product quality and shelf life of foods stored around them, but ethylene is not harmful to humans.
Bell Pepper Recipes:
How to Store Broccoli
Refrigerate broccoli in a perforated plastic bag up to 5 days.
How to Store Peaches
Ripen peaches at room temperature until fruit gives to gentle pressure. Refrigerate ripe peaches in a perforated plastic bag 3-5 days.
How to Store Tomatoes
For best flavor, store tomatoes at room temperature until ripe. Once cut, store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
How to Store Carrots
Refrigerate carrots 1-2 weeks in perforated plastic bag away from produce that releases ethylene gas.