There’s a wrong way to store fruits and veggies and then there’s the right way. The wrong way entails just shoving everything you bought carelessly into the fridge.
The right way follows a method, which, if you abide by, can have your vegetables and fruits last much longer.
So, let’s find out the optimum way of storing fruits and vegetables so you can get the maximum out of your groceries!
Basic Pre-Storing Guidelines To Follow
Before you stock up on vegetables and fruits in your fridge, you should follow certain pre-storing guidelines.
These can vary depending on the food concerned. However, the general guidelines are as follows:
- Never refrigerate your fruits and veggies unwashed.
- Do not store them in a plastic bag, not even the ones they came in.
- The only foods you can store in a plastic bag are herbs and mushroom as the trapped moisture helps prolong their longevity.
- Leafy greens that seem sandy or dirty should be washed before they are stored. Post washing, they should be wrapped neatly in plain white tissues and then kept in a plastic bag. They’ll stay fresh for longer this way.
- For foods that need to be stored at room temperature instead of being refrigerated, one must remove all packaging before storing them (think: onions, potatoes, etc.)
How Long Should Fruits And Veggies Be Stored?
Apart from adhering to these guidelines, you should know for how long you can store individual food items before they go bad. Below we’ve given a list of common food items along with the duration of their refrigeration or countertop storing. Bear in mind that the numbers we mention in this list have been given assuming that the food you intend to store is ripe and ready to be cooked or eaten. In case it isn’t, you should store it in a paper bag first as this speeds up the ripening process.
Without further ado, here’s how long you should store your fruits and veggies:
- Apples: Refrigerate for a maximum of 3 weeks.
- Asparagus: Should be kept in the fridge for 3 days. You can keep them fresh by wrapping the roots of the asparagus in a slightly wet tissue.
- Bananas: Keep on the countertop for up to 5 days. You can freeze ripe bananas and use them to bake something even if the peels blacken.
- Beets: These maroon veggies should be refrigerated for a maximum of 3 weeks. A handy way to store them is to tear off their leaves and store them in a separate plastic bag. That way, the leaves will stay fresh for 3 days.
- Capsicum or bell peppers: The color comes into play here! Green ones can be refrigerated for 1 week, while the red, orange, and yellow ones can be kept for 5 days.
- Broccoli: Refrigerate broccoli for no more than 1 week.
- Brussels sprouts: These should be kept in the fridge for 1 week.
- Red or green cabbage: Both the varieties can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks
- Carrots: Refrigerate for 2 weeks
- Cauliflower: Do not keep in the fridge longer than 1 week
- Celery: 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Fresh chilies: 2 weeks in the fridge. Dried ones should be kept in an airtight jar.
- Unshucked corn: Maximum, 3 days in the fridge.
- Cucumbers: 5 days in the fridge.
- Eggplant: Refrigerate for 5 days only.
- Garlic: Store it in your pantry for 2 months.
- Ginger: Keep in the fridge for 3 weeks.
- Grapefruit: On the countertop – they can be stored for 1 week. But in the fridge, for 3 weeks.
- Grapes: Keep in the fridge for 3 days max.
- Green beans: 1 week in the fridge.
- Leafy herbs: 3 days in the fridge.
- Woody herbs: Refrigerate for 2 weeks.
- Lemon: Keep in the fridge for 3 weeks.
- Lettuce: Refrigerate for 5 days.
- Limes: These can last 3 weeks in the fridge.
- Mangoes: No more than 4 days in the fridge.
- Mushrooms: Store in a paper bag and keep in the fridge for 1 week.
- Okra: Store in a paper bag and keep in the fridge for 3 days.
- Onions: Keep in the pantry for 4 months; chopped ones can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- Oranges: Store on your countertop for 3 days and in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- Peas: Refrigerate for 4 days.
- Pineapple: Store on the countertop for 4 days. Cut pieces for 3 days in fridge
- Potatoes: 5 days in your pantry for new ones, 3 weeks for other varieties.
- Radishes: Refrigerate for 3 days.
- Spinach (leaves): Refrigerate for 3 days.
- Strawberries: Keep in the fridge for 3 days.
- Tomatoes: Store on your kitchen counter for 3 days.
- Turnips: Refrigerate for 2 weeks.
- Watermelon: Refrigerate for 1 week if uncut, 2 days if cut.
So, there you have it! This list covers most of the fruits and veggies found in Indian homes. Do you have others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!