15 Easy Tips to Extend the Life of Your Produce

extend-the-life-of-your-produceAs we are approaching spring and more fruits and veggies are going to be in season I thought I would talk about making them last longer in your fridge.

I hate it when I get all excited about buying a bunch of fresh produce (or growing it) and then I forget about them for a few days- and they ends up being less that appetizing.

So let’s talk about keeping our produce in tip top shape for longer!!

1. For the best taste don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge, so you will just have to eat these up quickly!!

2. Store your garlic, onions and potatoes in the pantry (in baskets if you can). And make sure you keep the onions from other foods- they can spoil it more quickly.

3. Make sure your refrigerator is set for 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

4. When you get home from the store dry off any excess moisture from vegetables. Store in plastic bags with a layer of paper towels. Make sure they stay sealed in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

5. Separate different types of produce as much as you can. Store your fruits and veggies separately.

6. Don’t fill the produce bags too much, overcrowding speeds up the ripening process. And don’t place ripe produce next to unripe.

7. Don’t wash fruits until you are going to use them.

8. Store your grapes, strawberries, blueberries (and all other fruit) in a plastic bag. Berries only last a few day in the refrigerator.

9. Freeze produce that may take longer to use.

Also see: Want to Eat Healthy on a Budget? 10 Tips That Make it Easy.

10. Rotate produce to avoid bruising.

11. Unless you are eating it all right away (or fairly soon) buy some produce ripe and some less than ripe, this way it is not all ready at the same time. Buy some green bananas and some yellow.

12. Peppers may last longer (5-7 days) when you remove them from bags.

13. Only buy produce that is not bruised or damaged (unless its super marked down and you are using it right away)

14. Only buy what you can use- a great deal is no great deal if most of your produce ends up in the trash.

15. If you have limp carrots, celery or lettuce you can savage them by soaking them in cold water in the sink until they regain some crispness (I often cut off the bottom of the lettuce so it can soak up more water)

Do you have more tips on keeping produce good longer? What has worked for you?

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  1. Marbeth Carew says

    I always put all my produce in individual ziplock bags with paper towels on the bottom and on top. My produce seems to last forever that way. As I use the produce, I may even replace the paper towels as they become too soaked with moisture.

  2. Pamela Fenlon says

    When I buy celery, I take it out of the plastic it comes in, wash, Cut off any unuseable parts and wrap in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.
    It lasts MUCH longer.

  3. barbara says

    I still have some tupperware with the grid rack on the bottom and keep my carrots/celery in the one designed for that and the larger square keeps my other stuff. I have a second rectangular one and it will keep strawberries for a week! I rarely have to throw produce out …so this works for me. For cilantro I wrap it in a paper towel and then in foil..I do keep onions in the frig but in the door where they are not next to anything……for me they keep longer and don’t burn my eyes when slicing if chilled. I just read in the paper that melons should not be refrigerated but kept at room temp or in a warmer area with newspaper or dishtowel over (to avoid sunlight exposure) over it for a few days to “ripen”.

  4. says

    I bought something like those Green Bags which absorb the chemical that is released that rots them faster. It’s called BluApple [http://thebluapple.com/] and I noticed a difference RIGHT AWAY! My berries now last almost twice as long, so I hardly end up throwing any out before we’ve eaten them (before, I’d often throw out half of the package, since my daughter wasn’t eating them fast enough.)
    I like this better than the Green Bags, since it’s just a thing you toss in the produce drawer for 3 months (then replace the insert thingy,) rather than having to wash out bags between uses and keep track of how many uses they have left.

  5. Luana says

    A friend who owns a restaurant taught me to put strawberries (unwashed, etc.) in a glass canning jar w a lid-put in the fridge-they last a LONG time! I’ve not tried it w other berries-but might work w them also.

  6. Stace says

    I find fresh berries stay well kept washed and dryed in glass containers, like pyrex with lids or small mason jars. These can last a good week unless your family gets to them first.

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