This must have happened to many of us: we get enchanted with the colorful, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables and end up loading our cart with a lot of them. Once we get back home, we unload them all into the fridge and forget all about them. A few days later, we just dump most of them into the compost file or in the garbage bags. To help your fruits and veggies stay fresh, you must know how and where to store them. While the veggies and fruits stay fresh in the vegetable and fruit drawer in the fridge, you must always remember not to pack your fridge too tight with too many items. The air must circulate to keep them cold. Always keep a check on them to see if they are spoiling. If yes, remove the ones that are spoiled to keep the rest from getting easily spoiled.
Check the list below to learn what stays best where.
In The Fridge:
All types of berries require refrigeration and are more prone to spoilage than other fruits. Always sort your berries out and remove any crushed or bruised ones. This is because if one berry gets spoiled, others also get spoiled in due time. To prevent any mold, you can soak them in a bowl of cool water where you can mix a little white vinegar. Remember to air dry the berries before storing them and line the plate or the container with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
2. Most Vegetables
Almost all the root vegetables except potatoes and other fresh vegetables such as peas, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, and yellow summer squash should be stored in chilled conditions.
3. Leafy Greens
While leafy greens can be stored in several ways, there are numerous shortcuts that help you eat them and not waste them. While some prefer to store them on the stems unwashed, some people remove the leafy parts, wash them and dry them in a salad spinner, and store them in a container with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Big tubs of salad greens can be stored by sticking a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. You can also wash them, pat dry or spin dry, pack in a freezer-proof bag or container, and use them in smoothies or soups.
4. Root Vegetables
If stored properly, root vegetables will stay for a long time. Most of the time, they are stored in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, like most other produce. If you buy root veggies with their green tops still attached, it is recommended that you cut them off and treat the greens like other leafy greens. While the greens will stay for 3 to 5 days, the roots will stay for weeks if stored dry and cold. You can also use plastic perforated bags to store beetroots and carrots.
5. Asparagus And Herbs
Most of the herbs can be kept in the fridge. While leafy herbs like parsley and cilantro can be stored in a glass of water, covered lightly, basil cannot be stored that way. Asparagus can also be stored in the same way. You can trim the ends of asparagus and place the whole bunch in a few inches of water and if you don’t want to do that, trim the ends and wrap the bunch in a damp paper towel.
On The Counter:
Unless they are cut, tomatoes should never go in the fridge. This vegetable stays best when you store them on the counter. Refrigerating whole tomatoes make them mealy and affect their texture, so they are always best stored in room temperature.
Best kept on the counter, citrus remains juicy when stored in room temperature. However, you must use them fast enough so that they don’t dry up. Some people, however, prefer to store citrus in a sealed plastic bag with the air inside removed.
Basil, when cut, doesn’t stay for too long. So, it should be stored in a glass of water at room temperature on the counter. Refrigerating basil turns the leaves black just like the blackening of basil leaves in excess moisture. Basil can be stored for longer by making a puree with a little water or olive oil added to it. This puree must be frozen on an ice cube tray or made it into a pesto.
4. Onions And Garlic
Onions and garlic should always be stored in a cool and dark corner on the counter and never be refrigerated. If you do not find such a place, store them in the pantry or the basement. Remember to keep onions always away from potatoes as both of them release gas and moisture that can spoil the other.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes should never go in the fridge as the starch in them turns into sugar if you refrigerate them. It has also been proved that storing potatoes in the fridge can cause carcinogens to form in them.