Not knowing where to store your fresh produce can often mean it all ends up in the same place anyway – the trash.
So let’s take a look at what our options are and when to use them!
Some fruits – especially bananas, citrus and stone fruits can do quite well when left out on the counter. Not only that, they look great and can encourage everyone to grab a healthy easy-to-reach snack instead of processed foods. If you find your tomatoes have a grainy texture when stored in the fridge – storing them on the benchtop (out of direct sun) can help prevent this too.
Another important tip to remember – the more light and heat your produce is exposed to – the shorter their lifespan. So you might have to experiment a little to find the perfect spot in your kitchen to store your fresh fruit.
Cool, dark pantry-like conditions
Lots of fruit will be happy on the counter, but most vegetables will last much longer when stored in a place that is dark, dry and cool. Lower temperatures mean less water is lost and can be the difference between your vegetables lasting a few days, or a couple of weeks. A pantry is great, but a kitchen cupboard can do the job too. You’ll find your vegetables last even longer if you pick a spot that is away from the heat of the oven and cooktop.
Some fruit and veg will need to be stored in the fridge. When the crisper is doing its job right, it will provide a place with optimal humidity and air flow. If your fruit and vegetables aren’t lasting as long as they should – it could be due to the conditions in the crisper. Too much moisture can cause mould issues, and too little can cause your vegetables to dry out. If your crisper is struggling to get that balance right – products like the Veggie Saver bag can help. The layers in the Veggie Saver bags provide a balance of moisture and airflow that keeps your fruit happy and prevents vegetables from drying out.
Once the shopping is done, it can be tempting to store your fresh fruit and vegetables straight in their original containers from the supermarket. An easy option, but not always best for making the most out of your groceries. Herbs often last longer if taken out of their plastic packaging, given a quick wash and placed in a breathable storage bag. Before putting the berries away – quickly see if any look sad or soggy. Take these out before storing in the fridge. Super ripe berries can be eaten straight away too. Lettuce often comes in a plastic bag, but taking it out, washing the leaves and storing in a colander or cotton storage bag can keep your salads tasting fresher for longer.
Separate storage can work well too. Usually, fruit and vegetables last longer when stored away from each other. Onions can cause potatoes to sprout more quickly, so a bit of distance between the two can make both last longer. Storing bananas next to an already-ripe avocado can cause the fruit to brown more quickly than if they were stored apart.
Cheat-sheet for storing fruit and vegetables
Whether storing your fruit and vegetables on the counter, the crisper or a container, there’s four key tips to remember.
Keep your produce:
- Away from direct sunlight
- With room to breathe
- Correctly hydrated
There’s nothing like adding delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetables into mealtimes. A few simple changes can keep yours fresher for even longer.