Here’s exactly what you need to know about how to store produce so it will last longer.
Produce storage can be confusing.
What vegetables do I store in the fridge? What do I leave on the counter? Should my berries be kept in the original container? Do apples need to be refrigerated?
Every fruit and vegetable seems to need a different condition: dry, dark, humid, cold….
While it can get cumbersome to learn how to store your fresh produce, it can also save you serious money in the long run.
After all, throwing out rotting produce is just like throwing out money.
How to Store Produce So It Will Last Longer
I made a video that you’ll find at the end of the post, but let me give you the short version of how I do it here.
Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onions
In my kitchen I keep two large baskets on a bookshelf. These baskets are large, provide good circulation, keep things cool, and are out of direct sunlight.
In one basket I store potatoes (sweet and white) and winter squashes (acorn, butternut, and spaghetti).
Stored properly, potatoes can keep for weeks, while squash can keep for months.
In the second basket, I store my onions, shallots and garlic.
Potatoes and onions, while both requiring dark and cool storage with good ventilation, do not play nicely together. They should be stored separately.
Bananas and Tomatoes
On my counter you’ll find bananas and tomatoes. Neither require refrigeration.
In our house, I’ll wash any cherry or grape tomatoes and set them out in a bowl on the counter.
Guess how long they last that way?
2 days max.
That’s because every time someone passes by, they’ll grab a handful to eat. It’s AMAZING how having it prepped and easily accessible means my family will just pop them in their mouth!
Asparagus can be so expensive! Make sure you are storing it correctly and use it quickly.
Asparagus needs refrigeration.
Stand asparagus up in a jar (a wide mouth Ball canning jar is awesome) and add about 2 inches of water before placing in the fridge.
Berries also belong in the refrigerator. HOWEVER, if you want them to stay fresh as long as possible, they need a vinegar soak.
Berry Vinegar Soak
To a large bowl, add 4 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar.
Add berries and allow to soak. Rinse thoroughly to remove any vinegar taste.
Next, you need to pat them dry before storing them in a glass container.
I remove the pad from the bottom of berry box and add that to the bottom of the glass container. This helps keep the berries dry.
Cover with a paper towel and store in the refrigerator.
Even after prepping your berries for the fridge, make a plan to eat them quickly as they are highly perishable.
Carrots, Celery, and Radishes
Celery, carrots, and radishes could just be put in a high humidity crisper drawer.
Make sure to remove them from any plastic first.
That said, I’m a huge advocate of taking just 5 to 10 minutes to prep them first.
If you will get in the habit of prepping them as soon as you get home from the store, it makes meal and snack prep soooo much easier.
Wash your carrots, celery and radishes first. Cut to fit in whatever glass containers you own. Cover with water. Add the lid and refrigerate.
Storing them covered in water keeps them crisp and ready to serve at any time. (See how easy it is to turn prepped veggies into the copycat Starbucks protein boxes in my Real Life Real Food Prep.)
What to Add to the High Humidity Drawer
The high humidity drawer is for your lettuce, cucumbers, summer squashes, cabbages and peppers.
What to Add to the Low Humidity Drawer
The low humidity drawer is for apples, lemons, limes, and other fruits.
I hope this helps but for further explanation, here’s a video on How to Store Fresh Produce that shows my exact methods.
Knowing how to store your fruits and vegetables so they will last longer saves you money on all of your produce purchases. Prepping them ahead helps make healthy eating choices easy.