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Spoiled Rotten – Make your produce last!

by Jenny Combs on January 9, 2013

Jennie’s on a mission to save money on her groceries this year. So today, I thought I’d share some information on how to best store fruits and vegetables to get the biggest bang for your buck! Throwing out spoiled produce is like throwing money right into the trash. In fact, Americans on average throw out more than half a pound of fruits and veggies everyday mostly because they’ve gone bad. Read on for storage tips on how to make your produce last longer! As a bonus I’ve also provided a guide you can follow to buy all your produce for the entire week in one shopping trip and make it last! Don’t forget if you want more info on how my family eats 17 different fruits and veggies everyday, visit my website www.jennycombsjuiceplus.com ! Happy grocery shopping!

fruit and veggie refrigerator

Apples
Store in the refrigerator to keep crisp for three to four weeks or store outside of the refrigerator in a cool, dry place to keep crisp for about one week. If you store apples in the fridge, put them in a plastic bag to trap the ethylene gas they release as this gas will cause other fruits and veggies to ripen to quickly

Avocados
Store avocados at room temperature for up to a week until they are ripe. Once they’re soft to the touch, move them to the refrigerator, where they can keep for up to another week. Tip: If the avocados you bought aren’t soft enough to eat yet, you can ripen them in a jiffy: Just throw them into a paper bag with a banana.

Berries
Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh for up to 10 days. How long depends on the variety of berry, but blueberries will stay fresh the longest. Don’t wash them until you intend to use them.
Citrus (grapefruits, oranges, etc.)
Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh for two weeks, or store at room temperature to keep fresh for seven to 10 days.
Lemons and limes have a shorter shelf life, only two weeks in the refrigerator.

Grapes
Store grapes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It’s best not to wash them until you’re ready to eat them as moisture damages their skin

Melons‐
When kept uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun, they’ll last up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be kept in the fridge.

Pears
Store unripe pears at room temperature for approximately five days. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to a week. . If you want to speed up ripening, put pears in a paper bag and put an apple in with them.

Peaches
Refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen best on the counter.

Pomegranates
Store pomegranates in the refrigerator, where they will last two to three weeks depending on how ripe they are.

Strawberries
Do not wash until you are ready to eat. Strawberries are best kept in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are best stored in a cool, dry place and eaten within a week. Avoid refrigerating tomatoes and also do not store them in plastic. The cold temp puts the fruit into cold shock and inhibits the taste. Plastic will trap the ethylene gas they release and will cause them to ripen more quickly.

Vegetables:
Asparagus
Cut an inch off the bottom of asparagus spears. Submerge ends in water and refrigerate.
Bell Peppers
Refrigerate peppers for up to two weeks or store them at room temperature to keep fresh for about a week.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Keep cauliflower and broccoli in their wrapping and place in the refrigerator, where they will last three to five days.
Carrots
Cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Wrap in a damp towel and store in a covered container.
Greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.)
All leafy greens should be stored in the refrigerator and will last three to seven days. If leaves aren’t pre-bagged, wash and wrap loosely in a paper towel, then put in a plastic bag. It’s best to keep a head of lettuce whole before you are ready to use it.
Mushrooms
They should be stored in their packaging in the refrigerator and used within five to seven days. Like other produce, mushrooms will perish faster if they’re presliced.
Root Vegetables (onions, potatoes, etc.)
Store in a cool, dry place, away from light. An open bowl or basket is best. Most potatoes last approximately a month.

Here is a guide on how to buy all of your produce for the week with only one single trip to the grocery! The key is proper storage and a little planning. Make sure to eat the more perishable produce early on as outlined below:

Eat first from Sunday to Tuesday:
• Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Basil, Broccoli, Cherries, Corn, Dill,Green beans, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Strawberries, Watercress

Eat next from Wednesday to Friday:
• Arugula, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Lettuce, Lime, Pineapple, Zucchini

Eat last Saturday & Sunday:
• Apricots, Bell peppers, Blueberries, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Leeks, Lemons, Mint, Oranges, Oregano, Parsley, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Spinach, Tomatoes, Watermelon

Eat into the following week:
• Apples, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, Winter squash

 

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