Sometimes it feels like a race to use your fresh fruits and vegetables before they go bad. Here are some simple tips to keep your favorite summer harvests fresher, longer. (I think some of them will surprise you.) Say it with me, long live the produce!
Tomatoes: Keep tomatoes out of the fridge to extend their life. Store them on the countertop and out of direct sunlight to get the most life out of them.
Corn on the cob: Keep husks on the corn and store in a cool, dry place.
Potatoes: Store in a brown paper bag in a cool, dark place.
Fresh herbs: Snip off the bottom of the stems and pat down leaves with paper towels. Fill a jar with 2-3 inches of water and place stems in the water water and cover tops with sandwich bags. Leave on the countertop and refresh water when it discolors.
Apples: Keep apples in a cardboard box and store in a cold, dark place. To extend their life even further, wrap individual apples loosely in a sheet of newspaper.
Oranges: For longest life, keep oranges in the fridge.
Bananas: Bananas belong on the countertop and out of direct sunlight for longest life. Keeping them in a brown paper bag (to cut out sunlight) will extend their life even further.
Melons: Let unripe melons ripen on the countertop. Once ripe (the stem spot is a little spongey and smells sweet), keep melons in the fridge.
Peaches: Let unripe peaches ripen on the countertop. Once ripe, store peaches in the fridge.
Cherries: Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Blueberries: Store unwashed berries loosely in a shallow, covered container in the fridge. Line the bottom of the container with a paper towel.
Blackberries: Store unwashed berries in the fridge. Be sure to discard any bruised or moldy berries before storing in a shallow container lined with a paper towel and covered with plastic wrap.
Raspberries and Strawberries: Store unwashed berries in the fridge in a shallow container lined with a paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap.
Carrots: Cut stems off immediately and wrap unwashed carrots tightly in plastic, aluminum foil, or a plastic bag and store in the fridge.
Asparagus: Place cut ends in a vase of water on the countertop.
Radishes: Cut off the root and leafy ends and store them in a jar of water in the fridge.
Onions: Store in a brown paper bag in a cool, dark place.
Garlic: Store at room temperature in a dry, dark place. (Bulbs can last for months!)
Avocados: Ripen avocados on the countertop, and store ripe avocados in the fridge.
Nectarines: Ripen on the countertop and then store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Plums: Ripen on the countertop and then store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Cucumbers: Wrap individual cucumbers in a paper towel and store in the fridge.
Grapes: Store unwashed grapes in a perforated plastic bag with a paper towel at the bottom.
Lemons and Limes: Store lemons and limes in the fridge.
Pineapple: Store at room temperature and then in the fridge after cutting.
Green beans: Store loosely in a plastic bag in a fridge or in the freezer.
Please share your own tips in the comments section.