Produce Storage 101: Keep the freshness in Your Produce

Among many things, summertime means enjoying a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies. Whether you’re getting them from the farmer’s market, grocery or your own garden, we all want to keep our summer produce as fresh as possible for as long as possible. We have a few different options for storing our produce, so we want to let you know what works best depending on the item.

While we might be tempted to immediately place all produce in our refrigerator’s crisper drawer, there are actually some items that are best stored at room temperature. Tomatoes for example can be placed on your counter or in a kitchen cabinet to maintain their taste and texture. The same goes for bananas, garlic, onions, lemons, limes and potatoes, which can also absorb other odors in the refrigerator.

What exactly does the crisper drawer in the refrigerator do? These drawers adjust the humidity level to ensure that your produce will retain moisture. Some items to put in the crisper drawer are carrots (in a plastic bag), asparagus (with a moist paper towel wrapped around the stems), herbs, lettuce and berries. Some fruits should be left out to ripen and then placed in the refrigerator to maintain optimal ripeness. Examples would be melons, plums, mangoes, pears, peaches and pineapples.

If you end up with more produce than you’ll be able to consume for the time being, consider that many items can be stored in the freezer. Herbs for instance can be saved in an ice cube tray. Pretty much all fruits and vegetables can be frozen, but it also depends on how they will be used. It works best for smoothies and stews.

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