Every Sunday I shop at our local farmers market to buy our fresh fruits, vegetables and more for the week. I’ve been reliving this ritual every week for over 20 years and get endless satisfaction from the experience. I love visiting with the farmers, nibbling on new seasonal produce and watching my kids learning about different foods.
My one pet peeve, though, is when food goes bad before I’m ready to eat it. Over the years, I’ve come up with strategies to make my berries stay fresh up to two weeks and greens even longer. By taking a few minutes extra each week I’ve created these 9 ways to make your groceries stay fresher longer.
1. Fruits and veggies produce condensation as they chill, and paper towels will help to absorb that excess moisture preventing foods from going bad faster.
2. Line the crisper drawer in your fridge with paper towels and store carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and other whole fruits and veggies either loose or in their original bags, packaging or containers.
3. Leafy greens can be washed, dried in a salad spinner if using within a few days, then wrapped in a paper towel before being placed in a breathable bag and stored in the fridge. To keep greens fresher, longer place a folded paper towel in with greens to absorb excess moisture.
4. Berries should not be washed until you’re ready to use them. Line a glass container with a paper towel, place the unwashed berries, and top with another paper towel. When ready to eat, spray with a fruit and vegetable wash, rinse with water, and serve. I love these glass containers from Wean Green or these reusable silicone bags perfect for storying refrigerated or frozen food.
5. Tomatoes, avocados, and bananas should be stored at room temperate on the counter. Keep them away from apples so they don’t go bad. On the other hand, if you need any of these to ripen quickly, put them in a paper bag with an apple, fold closed, and leave on the counter overnight. When you have fresh summer produce on the counter, fruit flies can appear. I fill a glass with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, put a rubber band on top to keep it closed, and poke a few holes in the top to attract them. If this fails, try my favorite tennis racket/fruit fly zapper!
6. Mushrooms need room to breathe to prevent them from wilting or softening. Transfer them to a brown paper bag and store in the fridge.
7. Think of fresh herbs like flowers. Store them in a glass filled with water in the windowsill or a section of your counter that gets some sunlight.
8. Store potatoes and sweet potatoes in a drawer, or other cool dark place.
9. Nuts and seeds can be transferred to an airtight glass container and stored in the freezer so they can remain fresh to use for a year or more.
Share your best tips for storing fresh fruits and vegetables in the comments below!