We all do it. For some reason, we assume vegetables need to go in the fridge and fruits go in a bowl on the table. Unfortunately, improper storage does more harm than good for a variety of fruits and vegetables. Whether you pick fruits and veggies from your garden or purchase fresh produce at the store, proper storage will make your food last longer and taste better.
Here are a few tips on proper food storage:
A bowl of apples on the kitchen counter may be a common sight in your home, but unless room temperature is 45°F or cooler, apples are going to last much longer on the top shelf of your refrigerator. If you have a large harvest from a backyard apple tree, cool storage in the cellar is another smart option.
Some root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and beets, can handle the cold temperatures of a refrigerator, but potatoes don’t fare as well. Potatoes require cool, dry storage, but the intense cold of a refrigerator can turn the potato’s starch into sugar. Be careful where you store potatoes, if a location is cool but not dry, potatoes will spoil.
Although soft and water-based, tomatoes do not necessarily belong in the refrigerator. Store tomatoes at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Keep tomatoes on a refrigerator shelf only to extend their useful life by a couple weeks, but keep in mind that refrigeration dulls the flavor of fresh tomatoes. Always let a chilled tomato come to room temperature before serving.
Since they’re grown in warm climates, pineapples, bananas and other tropical fruits don’t mind a little warmth. Instead of storing these fruits in the fridge, keep tropical fruits in the counter fruit bowl. Naturally, if fruit is cut it should be kept in the refrigerator.
Still curious about how to store fruit and vegetables? Check out this helpful diagram on refrigerator storage.